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Winners of NZ Workplace Health & Safety Awards announced

Highlighting the value of including safety in the design process wins top health and safety award

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 29 May 2014
Engineering consultancy Beca took overall honours at this year’s New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards.

The company first took out the leadership category with its programme to educate staff and the wider construction sector about the value of incorporating safety principles early in the design process of any construction or engineering project. At the end of the evening the judges announced that this entry was also the supreme winner.

Awards were presented in 12 categories at a gala dinner at SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland last night, where an audience of over 500 celebrated the achievements of a wide variety of successful health and safety initiatives.

Now in their tenth year, the awards are organised by Safeguard magazine and proudly supported by WorkSafe New Zealand. The awards are judged by a five-strong panel representing WorkSafe, ACC, NZ Council of Trade Unions, Safeguard, and an industry health and safety practitioner.

Convenor of judges Peter Bateman, editor of Safeguard, said the winning initiatives represented the kind of inspiring developments which would help to engage people in the new health and safety landscape to be fully in place once the new Health and Safety at Work Act comes into effect in 2015.

The winners were:

Supreme award: the WorkSafe/ACC best overall contribution to improving workplace health and safety in New Zealand

Kensington Swan best initiative to address a safety hazard
Fulton Hogan HEB TEL Construction Alliance
Faced with the need to fill thousands of wall stabilisation bags the company developed a frame to fill 40 bags at a time, eliminating a huge amount of manual handling risk and cutting 50 days from the overall project.

WorkSafe New Zealand best initiative to address a health hazard
Mercy Hospital Dunedin
Eliminated electrosurgical smoke plume from operating theatres using latest research, international expertise and smoke evacuation gear, resulting in improved air quality and a reduction in headaches and respiratory conditions among theatre staff.

Vitae best initiative to improve employee wellness
Hubbard Foods, Auckland
Focused a wide range of activities – including nutrition, sport, water safety, driveway safety – on the local community because 80% of staff live nearby and it felt it could make the biggest difference by involving employees’ broader communities.

NZ Safety best initiative to encourage engagement in health & safety
SafeRebuild Canterbury
Collaborated to develop a health and safety champions course and has trained nearly 2000 safety champions so far, creating evangelists for safety who spread the message into the hard-to-reach residential building sector.

SICK best design initiative
INTAKS NZ, Tauranga
Developed a lightweight aluminium scaffolding system using interlocked aluminium planks to provide a secure working platform and reduce manual handling injuries in setup and dismantling. Uses permanent brackets in commercial buildings for easy re-installation.

Site Safe best health and safety initiative by a small business
MBC, Westport
With its field staff facing challenging terrain and working with clients in high-risk sectors, the company developed its own two-day training course on health and safety leadership and communications rather than relying on generic training programmes.

Impac best significant health and safety initiative by a large organisation
New Zealand Steel
Responded to a relatively higher rate of injury for contractors by developing a safety code of practice setting out agreed standards, practices and responsibilities for all its many contractors and subcontractors who work on site. The common framework and associated forum has improved contractor relations and collaboration.

ACC best leadership of an industry sector or region
Promoted safety-in-design concepts by running a staff competition to elicit the best project examples, then created training courses using some of these examples to upskill its wider staff and stakeholders, and ran public seminars to raise the construction sector’s understanding of the concept.

NZISM health and safety practitioner of the year
Alison Murphy, Earthquake Commission
A key person behind the development of systems to protect EQC field staff working in Canterbury, the development of the Safe6 programme focusing on the six most significant risks facing home repair contractors, and the programme to monitor injury data and feed trend analysis back where it is needed.

Ross Wilson – NZCTU most influential employee
Vern Rosieur, Northpower
Refreshed tailgate meetings, made job planning more effective, spent a week touring the Brothers in Arms roadshow, and went out of his way to help advise people in the electricity supply sector, regardless of which company they work for.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum leader of the year
Dave Chambers, Progressive Enterprises
The company’s managing director has challenged all staff to reconsider what are the real drivers of a safer workplace and a safer community, and leads the executive council to break safety log jams, ask hard questions and challenge existing thinking, including re-orienting the measurement of health and safety away from numeric targets to focus on people.

Countdown Supermarkets Lifetime Achievement Award
Hazel Armstrong, Wellington
For her determined advocacy for better health and safety and improved access to the ACC scheme via trade unions, the ACC board, commissions of enquiry, two books, and her legal practice.

A judges’ commendation award went to: Hunter Safety Lab, Wellington
For inventing an infrared sensor system which fits to a hunter’s gun scope or barrel and uses a laser to detect reflective patches attached to a hunter’s clothing, sounding an audible and visual alert to prevent accidental shootings.


About Thomson Reuters
Safeguard is a business magazine published by Thomson Reuters.

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