26 September 2023

PS workers honoured at WorkSafe Awards

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Public Service workers and organisations have been recognised for their outstanding commitment to keeping workplaces safe at the presentation of WorkSafe Victoria’s 2021 WorkSafe Awards last week.

Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria, Colin Radford said the Awards celebrated those who went above and beyond their duty to improve workplace health and safety, as well as the resilience of injured workers who’d overcome obstacles to make a successful return to work.

Mr Radford said eight winners across seven categories received the prestigious honour, with Western Health taking home an award in one of two newly added categories.

He said the two new award categories for 2021 were Commitment to Prevention of Mental Injury in the Workplace and Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety on a Farm, honouring commitments to improving mental health at work and to farm safety.

“Every year at WorkSafe mental injuries account for a greater share of our claims,” Mr Radford said.

“Meanwhile farms remain one of the most dangerous places to work.”

He said the new categories highlighted the need for improvement in those areas and it was hoped the success stories encouraged more workplaces to think about how they could take prevention-led approaches towards health and safety.

He said the Commitment to Prevention of Mental Injury in the Workplace honour was awarded to Western Health for its ‘Predict, Prevent, Priority: Safety Strategy’ which encouraged staff to prioritise their own safety in the face of violence and aggression.

Mr Radford said Western Health (tied with AusNet Services) took home the award for Workplace Health and Safety Solution of the Year for the development of an isolation hood that helped protect health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

He said high voltage operator at Melbourne Water, George Vagias (pictured) was presented with the Return to Work Achievement award for showing courage and returning to the workforce after suffering electric shocks that burned 60 per cent of his body.

“Since his return, he has dedicated his career to promoting workplace health and safety,” Mr Radford said.

He said Goulburn Valley Health was presented with the Leading Return to Work Practice award for its approach to helping injured workers return to work, with a focus on treating ‘the whole person’.

Other award winners included Gwynnyth Evans, Lifetime Achievement Award; Adrian Lidsey and Christopher Ball, Crown Melbourne, Health and Safety Representative of the Year; Ash Presser, URBNSURF, OHS Leadership/Achievement; and Aurora Dairies, Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety on a Farm.

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