And the winners are…

Grocon Constructors, a Victorian company, was the winner of the 2012 7th Annual Safe Work Australia Awards for Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System, private sector. They have integrated their safety management system across their entire organisation and created a solid safety culture through all levels of the company. In the public sector, the award went to Energex, which manages energy distribution networks in South East Queensland. Their ability to successfully manage large and unpredictable events such as the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi, testified to the quality of its health and safety management systems.

The Australian Reinforcing Company (ARC), which manufactures and distributes reinforcing steel to the construction industry, won the award for the Best Solution to an Indentified Workplace Health and Safety Issue for their innovative solutions to three hazards in manufacturing steel. Their solutions addressed manual handling, falls and crushing and can be easily applied across the steel and construction industries.

Best Workplace Health And Safety Practices in a small business went to South Australia’s The Hub Fruit Bowl, a small family business. Consistency, rather than any earth-shatteringly clever innovations, underlies their award-winning approach: ensuring every employee is properly trained in the comprehensive health and safety system they developed, and encouraging them to ask questions about safety and report hazards.

Seaman Natalie Irvine of the Royal Australian Navy won the award for Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety. She identified a number of errors in safety instructions and, demonstrating perseverance to overcome the barriers of rank, ensured they were fixed, improving the safety of Australia’s fleet.

Questions for discussion

Congratulations to the award winners. How award-worthy are the health and safety systems and practices at your workplace? What can you do to make your work team more safety conscious and strengthen its safety culture?