Ordinary Victorians, with an extraordinary commitment to making workplaces safer, were recognised for their achievements at the 18th annual WorkSafe Awards.
WorkSafe Awards were presented in six categories, in front of almost 1000 people at a celebration held in Melbourne.
A special recognition award was also presented to Dr Yossi Berger, the.Australian Workers Union’s national Occupational Health and Safety Officer.
According to WorkSafe Victoria, a common thread linking all award recipients was that they did not work in isolation, but took a collaborative approach to workplace safety.
Consultation - involving staff - seeking input - working together. These are all phrases associated with the individuals and organisations recognised. “They have made outstanding contributions, not only to improve the safety of their colleagues, but also the wider community.
The WorkSafe Awards continually uncovered innovative organisations and individuals who developed solutions to specific risks, or who went the extra mile to ensure their workplace was safe for others.
By making safety an integral part of what they do, all WorkSafe Awards finalists are winners because they are helping WorkSafe Victoria achieve this important goal by making Victoria a safer place to work.
A panel of judges representing industry, unions, employer associations and WorkSafe Victoria chose 22 finalists from more than 100 entries.
The individual award categories and recipients are summarised:
Health and Safety Representative of the Year
Brodene Wardley of Roche Mining, Hamilton.
Brodene balances being a crane driver and a mum, with her role as a health and safety representative. Brodene is a staunch advocate for the people she represents. Brodene has initiated demonstrable safety improvements in a dynamic, high hazard environment where women, let alone female health and safety reps, are the exception, rather than the norm.
Health and Safety Committee of the Year
Central Highlands Water, Ballarat
Central Highlands Water’s Health and Safety Committee has carved out a key role in health and safety in its diverse workplaces. The development of an intranet site that provides access to safe work procedures and safety information to everyone, even on remote worksites via laptop computers, has engaged and empowered the whole organisation in improving safety on the job.
Best Health and Safety Initiative for Small Business
Asema International, Ballarat
Asema International has worked with researchers and industry to develop a solution that removes the need for plasterers to work off ladders and manually handle plaster sheets. With the addition of an extension to the screw gun, plaster can now be positioned on the ceiling and fixed in to place from the floor. This also eliminates the risk of work at height.
Best Solution for Sprains and Strains
The Age Print Centre, Tullamarine
Health and Safety representatives, managers and employees at The Age Print Centre took on a manual handling problem associated with changing the turbos in their printing press. Injuries occur on similar equipment around the world. Using in-house expertise, they came up with a solution that removed the manual handling from this risky job. Now the printing industry is looking to The Age to help solve this problem elsewhere.
Special Commendation: Tieman Industries, Keon Park
The judging panel wanted to recognise the work done by Tieman Industries, which designed a spare wheel carrier to remove manual handling of wheels by truck drivers changing tyres. This design could improve safety for thousands of truck drivers.
Best Risk Solution to a Health and Safety Risk
Australian Pacific Paper Products, Dingley
A forklift tragedy at Australian Pacific Paper Products several years ago generated a strong commitment to improve on site traffic management and engineer-out the potential for pedestrians to be struck by forklifts. Australian Pacific Paper Products came up with a walkway solution that provides warning and protection, where forklifts cross the walkway.
Best Strategies for Health and Safety Management
Hume City Council
Hume City Council worked with their employees, and health and safety representatives to put in place a consultation and management strategy that engages everyone across the workforce. Autonomous safety action groups are empowered to deal with a range of issues and feed directly into an integrated safety management culture. They have demonstrated a level of engagement and confidence in their employees that is reaping benefits in safety improvements and constructive working relationships.
Outstanding Leadership and Contribution
Dr Yossi Berger