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New awards celebrate business health & safety

NEWS
7 February 2005

New awards celebrate business health & safety initiatives

Enter now and help tell the real story about workplace safety!

For the first time, New Zealand businesses are to have the opportunity to have their health & safety initiatives acknowledged and celebrated nationally.

The inaugural New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards, organised by Safeguard magazine with the support of the Department of Labour, also recognise the efforts of individuals who champion better health & safety in their organisation.

"This is an opportunity for the New Zealand business community to identify and celebrate the many worthwhile injury prevention and wellness initiatives that go on behind the scenes," says Safeguard editor Peter Bateman.

Many people, he says, are under the impression that health & safety is a bad news story: injuries, deaths, complaints about compliance costs. "When a company decides to take health & safety seriously it embarks on a genuinely rewarding and productive journey. Behind the sometimes negative public perception there is a much more positive story waiting to be told. These new awards will let these stories be heard."

Making sure your people are safe and well at work isn't just a moral obligation or a legal requirement, says Bateman. There's a compelling business equation too: Safe + Well = Happy + Productive. "That's why organisations that strive for excellence in health & safety generally also do well at their core business objectives."

OSH national operations manager Mike Cosman – one of the judges – says he is delighted the Department of Labour is supporting the awards. "A proactive approach to health and safety leads to positive results for workers and businesses, including productivity gains. We encourage organisations to enter, and for people to nominate individuals who have made a difference too."

Entries are being sought for the awards, which feature seven categories for organisations as well as two special categories to recognise individual achievement.

Categories available for organisations to enter cover productivity, design, employee involvement, health & wellness, small business, management systems, and industry leadership.

The two individual categories – health & safety practitioner of the year, and most influential employee – focus on the efforts of individuals.

"Many people develop a huge personal commitment to improving health & safety," says Bateman. "If you know of someone who has gone the extra mile for the benefit of others, I urge you to nominate him or her."

The judging panel includes representatives from the Department of Labour, ACC, the CTU, and industry. Awards will be made at a gala dinner on 5 May to coincide with New Zealand's largest health & safety event, Worksafe Expo 2005, held over three days at the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau City. Public admission to the Expo is free.

Entries close 31 March. Full information and an entry form is available at www.safeguard.co.nz.

Notes for editors

Safeguard publishes New Zealand’s leading independent publications on the health and safety of people at work and hosts a free email discussion forum on the subject.
Safeguard magazine is published every two months.
Safeguard Update newsletter is published every fortnight.
Safeguard Buyers Guide is published annually.
Worksafe Expo is held annually.

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