To celebrate the 16th year of the awards, 16 businesses and individuals across eight award sectors have been named as finalists in the 2019 SafeWork Awards.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said the awards recognise businesses and individuals with the most outstanding workplace health and safety standards and return to work outcomes in NSW.

“Far too often people come to SafeWork after a serious incident or other accident happens in their workplaces – I am pleased to see so many entries where safety at work and best-practice return to work solutions are acknowledged,” Mr Anderson said.

“From big businesses to individuals, these awards acknowledge the commendable work we see in categories including ‘Excellence in Recovery at Work’, ‘Best Solution to High Risk Work Health and Safety Issue’, as well as acknowledging ‘Excellence in Return to Work’ for both businesses and individuals.”

Take Port Waratah Coal Services Ltd for example. After realising their marine surveyors were at risk of falling from a height into the sea while checking draught marks on ships, they devised a solution to eliminate the risk altogether. They collaborated internally and with industry peers to develop a technology-based system which allows the marine surveyor to check draught marks from the safety of the ship’s deck.

Bega Hospital, part of the Southern NSW Local Health District, have also shown innovation through the development of its 'Code Black – empowering staff' program. The program has equipped staff with the training, knowledge and practical skills to confidently manage violent or aggressive situations.

Mr Anderson said the awards coincided with Safe Work Month, and he encouraged workers to think about how they can create a safety culture in their workplace.

“Safe Work Month is an opportunity for every manager in NSW to have a conversation with their employees about how their workplace could be operating in a safer way,” Mr Anderson said.

The SafeWork Award finalists include these businesses:

  1. A. G. Coombs Group Pty Ltd
  2. TEAM UOW - Desert Rose University of Wollongong
  3. Care South
  4. Diona Pty Ltd
  5. The Reject Shop and Griffith University
  6. Insite Remediation Services Pty Ltd
  7. John Holland Group Pty Ltd
  8. Port Waratah Coal Services Ltd
  9. Southern NSW Local Health District, Bega Valley Health Service
  10. Sydney Metro

Individuals named for an award include:

  1. Scott Atkinson
  2. Simon Schmitzer
  3. John Harris, National HSEQ Manager, Liberty Industrial Pty Ltd
  4. Christopher Mann, Fire Safety & Security Manager, HealthShare NSW - Tamworth Hospital
  5. Nathan Owens, the Health Safety Environment Quality Manager for Eden Brae Homes
  6. Shan Ruprai, Group Compliance Executive (WHSEQR), COLAS Australia Group Pty Ltd

These finalists were drawn from 139 entries to the SafeWork Awards, and the winners will be announced on 31 October in Sydney.

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