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WorkSafe Victoria awards for maintaining safety in workplaces

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WorkSafe Victoria  awards recognise workplace health and safety committees and health and safety representatives, individual workers, employers and companies. Portland company, Smarter Safety Solutions won a WorkSafe Victoria award last year and followed up with a judge's choice win on the ABC's New Inventors programme.

Smartarm is a rescue device for people trapped in confined spaces such as tanks and silos, in manufacturing industries and on farm and underground drainage systems. WorkSafe Victoria observe that the awards supported their efforts to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries in Victoria. A number of last year’s award winners have moved up to the national Safe Work Australia Awards.

The winners include:

  • William B Thomson from the Department of Human Services (Best individual contribution to workplace health and safety)
  • Smarter Safety Solutions (Best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue) Uncle Tobys at Wahgunyah (Best workplace health and safety management system)
  • Bill Grant Engineering of Marong (Best workplace health and safety practices in small business)

Following are the categories included for 2009 awards:

  • Health and Safety Representative of the Year: This category acknowledges a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) who has made a difference to health and safety within their Designated Work Group (DWG) by demonstrating commitment to representing members of their DWG and bringing occupational health and safety issues to the attention of the employer. It also recognises Health Safety Representatives who are able to facilitate positive outcomes and/or demonstrate persistence in difficult environments.
  • Health and Safety Committee of the Year: This category acknowledges a Health and Safety Committee (HSC) that has demonstrated a high level of commitment to health and safety, which represents all interests in the workplace, and is consultative.
  • Best Health and Safety Initiative in a Small Business: Acknowledges the work done by a small business (less than 20 employees) which is aimed at improving occupational health and safety in their workplace. This may address specific solutions to identified risks, an innovative and systematic approach to OHS management, or any other practice that has improved the occupational health and safety performance of the business.
  • Best Design for Workplace Safety: Acknowledges a design organisation for the innovative design of a building, structure or plant that eliminates or reduces a workplace risk.
  • Best Strategy for Health and Safety Management: Acknowledges the innovative way organisations manage and improve workplace health and safety. Entries may vary from effective management processes, effective ways of consulting with employees and contractors, risk reduction programmes to the inclusion of occupational health and safety processes into other aspects of an organisation’s activities.
  • Best Solution for Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders: Recognises an innovation, invention or initiative that eliminates or reduces the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This could be a solution such as a single engineering control or a number of risk controls packaged together.
  • Best Solution to a Health and Safety Risk: Recognises an innovation or invention in workplace health and safety that eliminates or reduces a risk. This could include a specific issue or a group of initiatives such as changes to the work environment, new equipment, an engineering control or design solution or it could be an entirely new work process.

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