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Winners announced at NZ Workplace Health & Safety Awards

Winners announced at NZ Workplace Health & Safety Awards

Innovative quad bike protective device wins top health and safety award

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 30 May 2013

Dargaville company Ag-Tech Industries has won the top prize at this year’s New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards.

The company first took out the design category with its flexible crush protection device for quad bikes. At the end of the evening the judges announced that this entry was also the supreme winner.

Awards were presented in 11 categories at a gala dinner at SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland last night, where an audience of over 450 celebrated the achievements of a wide variety of successful health and safety initiatives.

The awards began in 2005 and are organised by Safeguard magazine and proudly supported by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The awards are judged by a five-strong panel representing MBIE, 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 just the kind of innovative and engaging developments required to lift New Zealand’s health and safety performance.

The winners were:

Supreme award: the MBIE/ACC best overall contribution to improving workplace health and safety in New Zealand
Ag-Tech Industries, Dargaville

Kensington Swan best initiative to address a safety hazard
The company invented three different and innovative methods to prevent staff from falling while maintaining rail tracks on bridges.

MBIE best initiative to address a health hazard
Nelson City Council
Booming library use left staff at greater risk of strains and sprains from handling more books. A variety of ergonomic, rostering and technology interventions has seen the average weight of books handled fall by 60%.

Vitae best initiative to improve employee wellness
Carter Holt Harvey Pulp, Paper and Packaging – Kinleith Mill
Unhealthy lifestyles were tackled under the name Fit4Work which included health monitoring, drugs & alcohol and rehabilitation programmes. Absenteeism fell and the health risk for significant numbers of staff was reduced.

NZ Safety best initiative to encourage engagement in health & safety
Pacific Steel, Auckland
Inspired by the “ghost chips” TV ad, the company ran a competition to ask staff what they would say to a colleague who was about to do something unsafe. The top six phrases from 300 entries have been printed on t-shirts and given to all staff.

SICK best design initiative
Ag-Tech Industries, Dargaville
Rejected fixed rollover bars on quad bikes as too dangerous because the rider can be crushed by them. Developed an innovative, flexible crush protection device for quad bikes to protect the rider in a rollover.

Site Safe best health and safety initiative by a small business
Generation Homes, Tauranga
Benchmarked its 14 joint venture partners for health and safety and created multiple online opportunities for each to learn from the others while closely supporting their subcontractors to come up to speed.

Impac best significant health and safety initiative by a large organisation
Carter Holt Harvey Pulp, Paper and Packaging – Mount Maunganui
Developed an innovative online safety induction for the hundreds of truck drivers who daily enter its 100+ nationwide sites. The new method can be accessed anywhere and has resulted in increased truck compliance and fewer incidents.

ACC best leadership of an industry sector or region
Fonterra Co-Operative Group – Darfield project
Used safety culture surveys, coaching of managers, and clever use of design to remove hazards in advance, resulting in an effective ‘community of people’ approach which has brought all subcontractors on board and achieved excellent results.

NZISM health and safety practitioner of the year
Paul Anderson, Fonterra Co-Operative Group, Auckland
Paul has driven multiple successful initiatives across the company’s worldwide operations, bringing together multi-disciplinary teams to quickly tackle issues. His sophisticated approach includes innovative methods drawn from sociology studies.

Ross Wilson – NZCTU most influential employee
Louisa George, Genesis Energy, Huntly
A quality control chemist, Louisa has used her specialist knowledge to champion safe chemicals handling and working with gases, including confined space work.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum leader of the year
George Adams, Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand, Auckland
The company’s managing director has been highly visible to staff as he has championed health and safety initiatives and encouraged managers to become personally involved. He has helped develop an assessment tool for leaders to use to determine their own commitment to health and safety.

Countdown Supermarkets Lifetime Achievement Award
Dave Feickert, Wanganui
For his dedication over many years to improving health and safety in Chinese coal mines.

A special commendation was made to: Phil Sexton, Complete Safety Management, Te Puke
For his work to raise ethical standards in health and safety, driven by his concern for some of the off-the-shelf packages sold to residential builders.

Another special commendation was made to: NZ Post Primary Teachers’ Association
After government funding for health & safety representative training was cut, members demanded NZPPTA continue to offer training by other means. Two staff organised training seminars and engaged with schools nationwide to significantly lift participation rates.


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