WorkSafe Victoria Awards 2013

October 24, 2013

Yesterday was a highlight of Victoria's WorkSafe Week, with the announcement of the winners under a number of Return to Work, Health and Wellbeing, and of course Health and Safety categories.

The Awards, held at The Peninsula at Docklands, recognised the innovation and the contribution of individuals and committees. Of most interest to OHSReps@Work are the awards presented under the Health and Safety section.

Best solution to a specific Workplace health and safety issue

Winner:  Tulla Sydney Alliance - Anti-Gawk Screens

'Anti-gawk' screens are an essential anti-distraction and protection barrier on major road projects, but until now have not been rated for impact. After consultation with all parties, including unions and workers, the Tulla Sydney Alliance developed a new impact-rated scree, capable of withstanding a flying truck tyre at 80km/hr.

Health and Safety Invention of the Year

Winner: CodeSafe Solutions - Bridging Communication Barriers

CodeSafe Solutions identified that one of the major challenges in many workplaces was ensuring workers with varying language and literacy skills (including many workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds) were receiving adequate information and training. The system allows workers to access information in the form of short videos at any site or location via their smartphone, tablet or similar device. 

Health and Safety Committee of the Year

Winner: Healesville Sanctuary - Zoos Victoria

Healesville Sanctuary's HSC has a real presence in their workplace, and has been crucial in ensuring that a 'safety first' culture is upfront and central. 

Excellence in Health and Safety Management

Winner: Phyllip Bix - Grampians Region Prisons

As the health and safety officer for Grampians Regional Prisons, Phyllip works with staff and stakeholders to undertake risk assessments, job safety analysis, and much more. He is enthusiastic, always approachable, prepared to provide advice and guidance, and has mentored many of the new health and safety reps. Phyllip's 'back story' is an interesting one: for many years Phyllip was an HSR in the meat industry, and a member of the AMIEU. He suffered a serious workplace injury, which meant he was unable to continue working in the industry. With the assistance of the AMIEU's OHS and Workers Compensation Officer, Gwynnyth Evans, Phyllip was able to retrain under the compensation agreed to and begin a career as an OHS professional. Read the Ararat Advertiser feature on Phyllip's Award.

The Healesville OHS Committee:
(L to R): Julie Koch, Lakmini Ekanayake, Janine McCoy Back: Donna Finegan
Phyllip Bix, with his 'mentor', AMIEU OHS Officer, Gwnnyth Evans

Health and Safety Representative of the Year

There were four finalists in this category:

Daniel Blackmont - Bluescope Distribution.

Daniel, an NUW member and nominated by his union organiser Rod Wigg, represents the afternoon shift at Bluescope Distribution in Clayton. Daniel believes his greatest achievements are driving changes to the issue resolution procedures, ensuring HSRs are integral to the process and accessible to workers. His time as HSR, since June 2010, has not been easy, and he has enjoyed excellent support from his DWG who value his hard work and contributions. (L-R Rod Wigg, Daniel Blackmont, his partner Jodie Parkinson)  


Jedda McGlinchey - Ambulance Victoria
Jedda is a paramedic based in the western suburbs, and a member of the Ambulance Employees Association Victoria (a division of United Voice). The main issues confronting Jedda and her DWG were to do with the ageing building where the Sunshine Branch is housed. These included lack of sleeping quarters, and safety issues involving access to the branch itself. Jedda, who is very proactive and persistent in her goal to achieve better conditions, was instrumental in successfully negotiating the building of a new ambulance branch.

Lawrence Mwangi - Hurstbridge Farm - NEMA DHS Northern Division
Lawrence has been an HSR for over five years and, together with another HSR, represents a DWG of 113 members. He has addressed a wide variety of OHS issues including terrain and surface issues, lighting, client management and more.

Jason Peters - Parmalat Australia
Also a member of the NUW, Jason is the HSR for the production and dispatch DWG. He has been an HSR for six years and is highly regarded in his department and across the entire site. He has been proactive in identifying and addressing many issues at the Rowville site, including the implementation of a traffic management system.

Jedda McGlinchey - with AEAV Secretary Steve McGhie Jason Peters


And the winner?  

Jedda McGlinchey

Jedda was surprised and delighted to be nominated the 2013 Health and Safety Representative of the Year. She thanked her DWG and her manager for the support they had given her, and then also thanked Steve McGhie and other union officials, and also Renata from the VTHC OHS Unit for the guidance and advice provided.


Jedda  - with Award Jedda with Keith Brown, Executive Director Health and Safety, WorkSafe

Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to Health and Safety

This is a special WorkSafe Award, that is not awarded every year, but only in years where the panel decides there has been an individual who has shown 'outstanding leadership and contribution to health and safety in Victoria. It was a huge surprise to the VTHC's own Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Ms Cathy Butcher, to be nominated as the 2013 recipient of this Award. All agree that the Award is well-deserved and .. in our view.. about time!


Ms Cathy Butcher, VTHC OHS Officer (right),
2013 Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to Health and Safety
 with WorkSafe Chief Executive
Ms Denise Cosgrove 

WorkSafe Media Releases:

  • All the finalists WorkSafe Award finalists announced.
  • Winners recognised for outstanding achievements -  a full list of all the winners, with links to further information