SafeWork NSW Awards

The awards recognise businesses and individuals that have made positive changes to workplace health and safety, as well as recovery and return to work.

2019 SafeWork NSW Awards - WINNERS announced!

The wait is over! Please join us in congratulating the winners of the 2019 SafeWork Awards.

Category 1: Leadership in workplace health and safety culture – embedding a WHS landscape within your business  - small business

InSite Remediation Services

InSite Remediation Services is an environmental remediation company that provides a range of soil and water treatment services. InSite have worked hard to ensure a strong safety culture is entrenched in every part of the business. They strengthened their safety culture with an online safety metrics reporting system – a paperless, accessible and easy to use online system for reporting hazards.

InSite is also recognised for their culture of strong leadership commitment, empowerment of staff through easy to use systems for hazard identification and incident reporting, and consistent and innovative communication with employees.

Category 1: Leadership in workplace health and safety culture - embedding a WHS landscape within your business - large business

Diona Pty Ltd

Diona is a civil engineering business specialising in utility infrastructure across Australia. Diona has implemented a number of highly successful initiatives such as their safety leadership workshops, HSEQ Simple and 'consultation saves lives' programs.

Diona demonstrates its commitment to embedding a work health and safety culture by having safety conversations at all levels. Leaders and senior managers are more involved in safety conversations than ever, resulting in an increase in the reporting of workplace health and safety issues.

Diona’s innovative suite of safety programs empower their workers to improve safety culture every day. These programs encourage early consultation, good reporting, and easy implementation of effective safety systems.

Category 2: Safe by design – best solution to high risk work health and safety issue

Port Waratah Coal Services

Port Waratah Coal Services is the world’s leading coal export facility, located in the Port of Newcastle. A marine surveyor is required to measure the tonnage of coal on board each vessel through a draught survey, involving a rope ladder to get as close as possible to the water line to read the draught marks on the vessel.

After identifying the risk, employees devised a solution to eliminate the need for the marine surveyor to descend the rope ladder altogether with their marine surveyor trolley.

The trolley is lowered by the marine surveyor down the side of the vessel, aided and guided by a rope and magnets to ensure stability. Images of the draught marks are captured with the use of the light and Go Pro camera, which are transmitted back to the surveyor’s mobile tablet on the vessel deck. This solution is recognised as an original design and is now being used at other port businesses nationally and internationally.

Category 3: Safety champion - best individual contribution to WHS

John Harris, National HSEQ Manager, Liberty Industrial

Mr Harris has developed a large number of crucial training programs for high risk work activities on demolition sites including the development and implementation of their high reach demolition training package.

At the time, the high reach excavator was not used in NSW and there was no competency unit or training package available. However the excavator was needed to demolish Lake Munmorah Power Station – the largest demolition if its kind in Australia.

The training package Mr Harris developed included the verification of competency for high reach excavators, using innovative technology such as the Volvo advanced excavation simulator. The training package also features training pathways for unskilled workers to enter the demolition industry and for skilled operators to further develop their skills.

Category 4: Excellence in recovery at work for business


CareSouth is a medium not-for-profit organisation based in Southern and Western NSW.  Their recovery at work program is built on their values of compassion, respect, integrity, accountability and inclusion and has been written to encompass CareSouth’s 'everyday therapeutic model' that is built on the foundations of safety, healing and connection.

Key components of the system includes an informed care model, which has a focus on understanding the management of client and worker behaviour following exposure to trauma. They promote proactive and early intervention processes, such as welfare checks and support to workers following exposure to violent incidents. Early communication with injured workers and the use of employee assistance program services is also paramount.

Category 5: Recovery at work achievement award for injured workers

Scott Atkinson

Formerly a Detective Senior Constable within the NSW Police Force, after a workplace injury, Mr Atkinson actively committed to his re-education and redeployment to achieve a long-term goal to work as a secondary school teacher.

Mr Atkinson worked closely with his treating medical practitioners and rehabilitation provider during his rehabilitation and has now successfully completed a Bachelor of Secondary Education with honours, majoring in modern history with minors in ancient history and geography. He completed a final 10-week internship in July 2019.

Mr Atkinson has received conditional authority to teach in secondary schools from the National Education Standards Authority and is currently in the process of obtaining authority to teach from the NSW Department of Education.

Category 6: Most significant contribution to the improvement of workplace health

Sydney Metro

Sydney Metro made a significant investment in the development of the construction industry’s first occupational health, hygiene and wellbeing standard. The standard is now embedded into all of their major contracts as a contractual condition. It safeguards the health of thousands of Sydney Metro workers, and has led to improvements in how the construction industry manages significant risk, particularly relating to silica dust.

Sydney Metro recognised that their construction activities, particularly tunneling through sandstone and using products that contain quartz, had the potential to produce silica dust. Given Sydney Metro excavates more than 7.6 million tonnes of sandstone underground, this potential exposure meant construction workers could be at risk of occupational lung disease if the silica dust was not appropriately controlled.

The Sydney Metro occupational health, hygiene and wellbeing standard requires contractors to engage technical specialists such as certified occupational hygienists to identify health risks before starting work.

Category 7: At risk worker achievement award

Nathan Owens, Health Safety Environment and Quality Manager, Eden Brae Homes (EBH)

In 2015, Mr Owens introduced a new staff career development program called 'pathways to EBH' which was expanded in 2017 to include their 18 apprentices, who are predominately young workers. The program has since achieved a 100 per cent retention rate for apprentices.

Last year, Mr Owens launched a 16-week English language program for workers from non-English speaking backgrounds to improve site communication and safety. Basic comprehension of safety documents, for example safe work method statements, is a key factor in protecting workers.

This year the program evolved into partnering with contractors to provide direct support to business owners who manage culturally and linguistically diverse workers.

Nathan and EBH are recognised for their well-designed and well-executed initiatives that protect and support high risk workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, migrant workers and young workers.

Category 8: SafeWork NSW Excellence Award (selected from winners across all categories)

Port Waratah Coal Services

Port Waratah Coal Services developed and implemented the use of the marine surveyor trolley to eliminate the need for surveyors to descend rope ladders on the sides of vessels to manually check draught marks.

Draught mark inspections take place up to 2,600 times across approximately 1,300 vessels at Port Waratah each year.  Port Waratah load vessels 24/7 during all weather conditions, which can increase safety risks for marine surveyors.

Port Waratah Coal Services marine surveyor trolley utilises a trolley, light, Go Pro camera and mobile tablet technology to provide a surveyor with an instant reading of the vessel draught mark from the safety of the deck of a ship.

This innovative solution takes advantage of the latest technology, and goes above and beyond in terms of safety compliance. It is recognised as an original design that eliminates the high risk of a surveyor falling from heights altogether.  It has been adopted by other local port businesses that see the benefits of its use, as well as nationally and internationally.

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