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Air NZ takes out top national health and safety award

Air New Zealand takes out top national health and safety award

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Wednesday 29 May 2019

Air New Zealand has taken overall honours at this year’s New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards.

Sixteen awards were presented at a gala dinner at SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland last night, where an audience of 600 celebrated a variety of successful health and safety initiatives and the people behind them.

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 an industry health and safety practitioner.

Peter Bateman, convenor of the judging panel and editor of Safeguard, said the way Air New Zealand organised a worldwide election for health & safety reps provides a model of workplace democracy that other organisations could learn from.

“Health and safety representatives have a critical role to play, yet all too often little attention is paid to how they are elected.

“In many cases, people are simply appointed rather than elected, which leaves them vulnerable to the accusation that they are just a tool of management.

“Air New Zealand’s commitment to a full election process, widely publicised and available to staff around the world, is to be commended because it is highly democratic and enables a worker-centred approach to health and safety.”

The winners were:

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

Air New Zealand

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

Auckland District Health Board

A new electronic system lets staff in the emergency department swiftly report violent incidents, generating good data so that the effectiveness of interventions can be measured.

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

Road Science

Eliminated potentially fatal exposures to hydrogen sulphide at bitumen plants by the addition of scavenger materials – and improved the quality of bitumen produced.

Vitae best initiative to improve worker health

Vodafone NZ

Created a trained volunteer staff network to be the first point of contact for staff with concerns about bullying, sexual harassment and domestic violence.

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

Air New Zealand

Held a highly transparent online election for health & safety representatives which resulted in high numbers of nominations and voting from staff around the world.

3M best use of New Zealand design/technology

CPB HEB Joint Venture

Complex, highly elevated crane lifts next to live power lines in Transmission Gully were able to be carried out due to 3D imaging software giving crane operators good oversight, even at night.

Site Safe best health and safety initiative by a business of no more than 50 staff

Rabo Construct

Identified mental health as an issue for its staff and for the sector, so used the Five Ways to Wellbeing to create monthly activities, lifting productivity and reducing absenteeism.

Impac best collaboration between PCBUs

North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Alliance

Created a safety system from the different approaches of the Alliance partners and others, with a particular focus on mental wellbeing and fatigue, given that post-Kaikoura quake workers faced long hours in isolated sites and extended periods away from home.

Simpson Grierson best board level engagement in health & safety

Department of Corrections

Members of the executive team undertake a comprehensive and extended immersion in health and safety risks faced by their staff and by prisoners, including multiple site visits.

ACC best leadership of an industry sector or region

Government Health and Safety Lead

This initiative has created multiple successful projects to lift the public sector’s focus on health & safety and has used collaboration and innovation to build partnerships beyond it.

NZISM health and safety practitioner of the year

Bridget Smaill, Bank of New Zealand

Identified mental health as a critical risk and arranged training for 200 people leaders, and integrated health & safety into the response to traumatic events like robberies.

edenfx HSE Recruitment health & safety representative of the year

Brent Armitage, Air New Zealand

Reorganised the safety committee to focus on fixing issues, is part of a working group to develop a peer assistance network, and led the board on a tour of the ramp area.

Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum leader of the year

Michelle Henderson, PowerNet

Her ‘coaching by kilometre’ initiative has engaged supervisors and team leaders in field trips and intensive practical coaching with staff and work-as-done, helping spread good ideas.

Countdown Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr Hillary Bennett

Recognised for her work in safety culture assessment and growth, and for her work in measuring and changing how chief executives and other leaders think about health and safety.

Fonterra judges’ commendation awards went to:

Lion New Zealand

For working with Lifeline to develop resources for and to successfully trial the Zero Suicide Workplace programme.

Herwin Bongers

As a member of the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association, for his work in developing the Aviation Peer Assistance Network to support the mental health of people in the aviation sector.


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