Australia’s national safety award winners

This evening in Canberra, Safe Work Australia announced the winners of the 5th Annual Safe Work Australia Awards. The profiles below are provided by Safe Work Australia.

The winners are:

Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System – Private Sector

GHD, South Australia

“GHD South Australia uses an electronic workplace health and safety management system accessible to all employees and has a workflow element to ensure that the necessary safety analysis and reporting is undertaken for all projects.

The workplace health and safety management system identifies significant risks during the tendering process. This system is supported by suitable training of all staff responsible for the tendering process.”

Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System – Public Sector

Australian Institute of Marine Science, Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

“In early 2008, AIMS commenced the Scott Reef Research Project with Browse Joint Venture Partners, operated by Woodside Energy Limited. This project was undertaken to provide a baseline environmental study of the marine environment at Scott Reef. To ensure safety during the research project, AIMS integrated a health, safety and environmental management system.

Through the effective implementation of this system, the safety practices and performance of AIMS have gone beyond statutory compliance while achieving a lost time injury rate of zero. Materials including risk assessments, operating procedures, hazardous substances, training and competencies were introduced to all staff.”

Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue

Australian Air Express, Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

“The design of new, state of the art Domestic Freight Processing Centres (DFPCs) provided the opportunity to significantly reduce many manual handling risks and traffic management hazards in the new facilities.

The Victorian DFPC has achieved an improved safety culture, resulting in a significant reduction in the lost time injury frequency rate and workers’ compensation claims.

Over the three year period since its implementation, there has been a 60 per cent reduction in the lost time injury frequency rate and an 85 per cent reduction in workers’ compensation claims.”

Highly commended – Frook Pty LtdFosters Coonawarra Vineyard

Best Workplace Health and Safety Practices in Small Business

IFE Forklifts, New South Wales

“IFE Forklifts has implemented an innovative and systematic approach to workplace health and safety management through a program called ‘Take PRIDE in workplace safety’.

This program focuses on risk awareness and creating a family friendly workplace.

As part of the focus on risk awareness, IFE Forklifts involves workers in the development of relevant safe work practices, including the identification of workplace hazards. The policies developed have increased productivity, reduced staff turnover and increased the skills and workplace health and safety knowledge of staff”

Highly Commended – Woodrising FarmJoondalup Lotteries House

Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety – without experience

Nicola Featherstone, South Australia

“Nicola Featherstone joined the University of Adelaide in 1979 as a Technical Assistant and is now a Research Officer in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide, Waite Campus.

In response to a WorkCover audit conducted throughout the university which highlighted a lack of resources and training in laboratories, Nicola produced a resource folder for the laboratory she was working in.

The resource folder contained all information required for induction of new staff and training records. This project has expanded to over 100 folders with one located in every laboratory. They are easily kept up to date and adapted to the requirements of individual laboratories. They continue to be an invaluable resource to university staff.”

Highly commended – Phyl Hilton

Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety – with experience

Glyn Williams, South Australia

“Since joining Southern Cross Care in 2004, Glyn Williams has brought significant experience, knowledge and expertise to the organisation. Glyn has been a practitioner in the field of safety and risk management for over 30 years.

Glyn identified that there was a culture of blame in the organisation. To combat this culture, Glyn focused on the design, environment and behaviours of the staff. He has been responsible for refining existing processes and introducing strategies that are aimed at improving the organisation’s management of workplace health and safety.

His approach included promoting the involvement of stakeholders and inviting unions to participate in quarterly forums to speak on relevant topics. Glyn readily shares his knowledge and expertise with other staff members and views this as an important way of influencing improvements to safety in his community.”

Of all the finalists, I can personally support Glyn’s award.  Having met him at several OHS conferences in Australia, I am convinced of his commitment to the safety profession and I have always found him happy to share his knowledge.

As mentioned in a media statement accompanying the awards:

“Finalists in each of the four Awards categories were winners in the state, territory or Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission awards. An independent judging panel considered each finalist’s award submission before deciding on the final winners.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, Julie Gillard, was unable to attend in person but in a video on the night she congratulated all 36 finalists on their achievement.  Gillard acknowledged the International Day of Mourning and reiterated the principal positive benefits of OHS harmonisation:

“It will increase profitability and productivity while better protecting the lives and health of Australians.

It will ensure that equal standards and protections for all workers apply across the nation, which is vital for the safety of workers in an increasingly mobile labour force.

It will ultimately improve the health and safety of all Australian workers.”

The scheduling of the awards on the same day as the International Day of Mourning is a good strategy, if intentional.  Safety awards rarely gain much media attention and this scheduling adds a new dimension to the day, a dimension that is positive rather than reflective and, perhaps, may increase the newsworthiness of the event.  It will be interesting to see the level of print and electronic media coverage in the 48 hours after this year’s awards.

Kevin Jones

reservoir, victoria, australia

2 thoughts on “Australia’s national safety award winners”

  1. congratulations to all of those individuals and organisations who take their responsibilities seriously and clearly understand that risk is unacceptable.

    The matter of productivity and profitability seems to have priority in Ms. Gillards thinking, when those two factors are purely a result of what the recipients of awards have in large part achieved.

    I would like to know what kept Ms. Gillard from attending such a peak event. It would need to be very, very important to convince me that OHSW is not low subject on the totem pole of her portfolio\’s

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