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Farmstrong Takes Out Top National Health & Safety Award

The nationwide agricultural sector wellbeing programme Farmstrong has taken overall honours at this year’s New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards.

Fifteen awards were presented at a gala dinner at the Cordis in Auckland last night, having been postponed from the original June date due to Covid-19.

The awards, which began in 2005, are organised by Safeguard magazine and proudly supported by WorkSafe New Zealand. The awards are judged by a panel which includes representatives from WorkSafe, NZ Council of Trade Unions, Safeguard, and two health and safety practitioners.

Peter Bateman, convenor of the judging panel and editor of Safeguard, said Farmstrong’s intense focus on the mental health of the rural community is to be commended.

“Farmstrong seeks to engage with farmers in a relatable and authentic way which a generation ago would have seemed unlikely. Farmstrong also has a real commitment to research, which is generating statistics that are being shared within New Zealand and abroad.”

The winners were:

The WorkSafe New Zealand/ACC best overall contribution to improving workplace health and safety in New Zealand


Dentons Kensington Swan best initiative to address a work-related safety risk


A new training facility replicating a client site allows trainee chemical tanker drivers to learn the basics of loading and unloading using water, eliminating the risk of chemical exposure.

WorkSafe New Zealand best initiative to address a work-related health risk

Fonterra Co-operative

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Occupational health nurses were given additional training to enable them to lead and implement a new risk-based health strategy in their re-imagined role as health navigators.

Vitae best initiative to improve worker health


Has partnered with the National Foundation for the Deaf to support staff with hearing loss, to offer apprenticeships to those with hearing disability, and to raise awareness of noise-induced hearing loss.

NZ Safety Blackwoods best initiative to encourage worker involvement in health & safety

Refining New Zealand

Replaced its global behavioural safety approach with E Tū Tangata, a values-based framework created and championed by its own workers and contractors.

3M best use of New Zealand design/technology to eliminate or manage a risk

Voideck NZ

A new modular suspended working platform design allows a temporary floor to be fitted to a building under construction. The design is adaptable to voids of any shape.

Impac best collaboration between PCBUs

Frucor Suntory

A significant and open-ended collaborative project to review risks associated with machinery across multiple plants saw multiple improvements made.

ACC best leadership of an industry sector or region


This wellbeing programme for farmers tracks its own progress using quantitative and qualitative measures and has become a widely recognised brand in the rural sector.

NZISM health and safety practitioner of the year

Adele Saunders, St John

Supports staff involved in traumatic events and has built a model of psychological care which aims to build adaptive capacity for staff to be able to dynamically manage risk.

edenfx HSE Recruitment emerging practitioner of the year

Gareth Beck, Aurecon

Formed the Emerging Safety Leaders group to help establish a solid pipeline of younger people into the H&S profession.

Vero Liability health & safety representative of the year

Chris Gorringe, Department of Corrections

Issued a Provisional Improvement Notice to get door access made safer after a number of staff were able to be assaulted due to design faults, and contributed to the new design.

Countdown lifetime achievement awards

Colonel Clare Bennett

Recognised for developing a mental health strategy for the NZ Defence Force which has achieved real culture change and has been adopted by other organisations.

Mike Cosman

Recognised for devoting his working life to health & safety, including being an influential member of the Independent Taskforce which outlined new legislation and a new regulator.

ecoPortal judges’ commendation awards went to:

Department of Corrections

Developed a structured, repeatable deep-drive approach to critical risks which highly engages senior leaders, guarantees input from staff and identifies clear actions.

Grant Pritchard, Spark New Zealand

An advocate for mentally healthy workplaces who has created a 600-strong peer support community within Spark and has influenced other organisations on psychological safety.

© Scoop Media

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