HON Ben Franklin MLC

A mentor program bringing together safety experts and small businesses to help tackle safety issues in the workplace kicked off in Ballina today, Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin said.

The inaugural Far North Coast Mentor Program will see 18 mentors and 18 mentees from businesses across the region collaborate on innovative ways to address health, safety and injury management challenges.

Mr Franklin said the SafeWork NSW program runs for three to six months and involves a series of site visits, advisory sessions and workshops.

“The mentors are some of the region’s leading health and safety professionals who understand the challenges businesses face on a daily basis,” Mr Franklin said.

“They will work with participating organisations to help find solutions to common safety and injury management issues. These outcomes can not only improve safety, but also the participant’s competitiveness and productivity.

“At the end of the day this is all about making sure that every worker who heads off to their workplace in the morning returns home safely to their family each night.”

Since 2006, 485 NSW businesses have participated in the mentor program, with more than 90 per cent of mentees saying the experience had improved work health and safety in their business.

Mr Franklin said the program also gave medium and large businesses the opportunity to share the importance of a positive safety culture in the workplace.

“The program encourages small businesses to consider how they can create a safety culture at their workplace, while mentors have the opportunity to enhance their business’s reputation and profile,” Mr Franklin said.

The program will be launched at the Quality Hotel in Ballina this morning, and is supported by the North Coast Safety Network, as well as Murwillumbah, Ballina, Lismore and Tweed Heads business chambers.

SafeWork NSW will also conduct free advisory and educational sessions with mentees across a variety of safety and injury management topics. For further information visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.

Mentors

Mentees

Allied Mills Pty Ltd

Ballina Shire Council (4 x mentors)

Diona Pty Ltd Ecoteam, Lismore

IPAR Rehabilitation, Ballina

Laing O’Rourke, Grafton (2 x mentors)

Manildra Harwood Sugars, Broadwater

Northern Cooperative Meat Company,

Casino Pacific Complete, Grafton (2 x mentors)

Saltfish Catarmans Pty Ltd, Alstonville

See Civil Pty Ltd, Chinderah

Southern Cross University The Good Guys

Scandinavian Cone Company Pty Ltd, Murwillumbah

Byron Writers Festival

The Modern Grocer, Murwillumbah

Byron Bay Tree and Landscaping Services, Mullumbimby

Tweed Coast Demolition and Excavation, Tweed Heads South

Quality Hotel Ballina Beach Resort, Ballina CMT (NSW) Pty Ltd, Shannon Brook

Rod ‘n Reel Hotel, Woodburn

Tallow Tree Services Pty Ltd, Bangalow

Penmans Engineering Pty Ltd, South Lismore

McKeeco General Engineering Pty Ltd, East Lismore

Cawarra Cosmetics Pty Ltd, Billinudgel

Grafton Gas and Plumbing, Grafton

Rugendyke & Bashford Lismore Heights

Andrew Keller Plumbing & Gas Service Pty Ltd, Federal

McMullens Freight Lines, South Lismore Spar Lismore

A Cummings & Co, Ballina

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