Awards honour the best in health and safety

Treasury Portfolio

Seven Victorian businesses and individuals have today been presented with a prestigious Victorian WorkCover Authority Health and Safety Award for their outstanding commitment to workplace health and safety.

The seven winners received their award at a gala event hosted by Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC, and Victorian WorkCover Authority Chief Executive, Denise Cosgrove.

Mr Rich-Phillips said that the calibre of this year’s winners was inspiring.

“The passion and the innovation of the award winners is truly impressive,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“The award winners recognised here today are wonderful examples of businesses and individuals motivated to create workplaces where health and safety are of paramount importance.”

Mr Rich-Phillips congratulated all of the 19 finalists for their commitment to workplace health and safety.

“In the past year, workplace injury claims in Victoria have dropped by five per cent. Victoria continues to lead the way in driving health and safety at work and it is the example of people such as the finalists here today that have helped make this possible.”

Ms Cosgrove said the awards were designed to recognise outstanding achievements in workplace health and safety and also highlight the impressive commitment of people and organisations helping injured workers return to work.

“Our award winners, and all our finalists, should be proud of their achievements,” Ms Cosgrove said.

“Their success is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of workers, health and safety representatives, supervisors and employers.”

The 2014 award winners are:

Best Solution to a Specific workplace Health and Safety issue
A.G Coombs Group (Moorabbin) – A.G Coombs Group and Brookfield Multiplex developed an alternative method to installing the vertical shafts (services risers) in multi-storey buildings which deliver electrical, air conditioning and plumbing services to each floor. The initiative removes much of work conducted at height at the site to a controlled factory environment.

Highly commended: Community Chef (43-47 Drake Boulevard, Altona) – Community Chef invented an automated condiment dispenser to eliminate repetitive manual handling during food preparation.

Health and Safety Representative of the Year
Sue Smith from Hepburn Health Service (Creswick) – Sue was recognised for her creative approach to promoting health and safety in the workplace and her ability to engage colleagues to actively think about health and safety.

Health and safety invention of the year
Safescape Laddertube, Safescape (Golden Square) – Safescape has invented the Safescape Laddertube to reduce the risk of injury or death to workers installing, using or performing maintenance on emergency escape systems in hard rock underground mines.

Employer excellence in return to work
Chandler Macleod Group Ltd (Altona) – Chandler Macleod has established  an early intervention return to work partnership, which ensures employees are given the best opportunity to recover from injury and return to work safely and quickly.

Return to work coordinator excellence
Fanol Isai from Catholic Homes (Hawthorn) – Fanol has implemented a Managed Return to Work Skills Assessment and Training Program, as well as a sophisticated incident, hazard and near miss reporting system, which enables contributing factor analysis of all incidents.

Highly commended: Marc Bullen from Hardwick’s Meat Works (Kyneton) –  Mark pioneered the use of photographs and video footage of the different processing roles at the company to ensure treating practitioners understood role requirements in order to plan an injured employee’s return to work.

Worker return to work achievement
Zoe Welsh from Ambulance Victoria (Horsham) – Zoe defied expert medical opinion and returned to work as a paramedic following a serious back injury.

Commitment to workplace health and wellbeing
St John of God Health Care Inc. (North Ballarat) – St John of God Health Care has introduced the ‘Live Well, Work Well’ wellness program designed to enhance mental emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual wellbeing in the workplace. The program includes an online health portal and is incorporated into the organisation’s corporate culture.

Media contact: Andrew Drever  0409 580 996
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