SafeWork NSW Awards 2017. We all win.

Entries are now open for the 14th annual SafeWork NSW Awards. Individuals and businesses across the state are invited to enter and showcase their innovative safety systems and commitment to workplace health and safety and recovery at work.

Established in 2004, the awards were introduced to recognise and reward individuals and businesses who go the extra mile to improve safety and injury management outcomes in their workplace environment.

This year, aside from earning that all important safety tick of approval, business winners will receive a marketing package, whilst individual winners will receive the opportunity to attend specialised safety training, a safety conference or receive a safety equipment rebate.

Plus, as a winner you will be recognised as a safety leader in your industry, just like Clive Woodnutt of Bohmer’s Tree Care, a 2016 winner. This award enabled him to win new contracts and business opportunities.

If you have developed an innovative solution that reduces workplace injury or know someone that is passionate about promoting safety culture in their workplace, then now is the time to enter!

You can enter yourself, someone you know, a business, government agency or not-for-profit organisation in one of six categories.

Entries close July 21, with the winners announced at the official awards ceremony and black-tie gala dinner on October 26.

For more information, entry details or assistance with completing your entry visit safeworkawards.com.au or call 02 4321 4444.

Best of the best recognised at SafeWork Awards

The winners of the 2016 SafeWork Awards have been announced, showcasing another outstanding selection of safety and recovery at work solutions and systems.

A high standard of entries this year meant our judges had their work cut out for them, selecting a total of nine winners across six categories. The winners represent small and large businesses from across the state, from industries including construction, mining, aboriculture and disability services.

As well as recognising those who go the extra mile, the Awards aim to encourage business across the state to implement similar solutions and processes. We’ll be showcasing a number of these exciting entries in the coming months so watch this space to see what others have been doing and get inspired!

And the winners are..

EXCELLENCE IN WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY CULTURE
Bohmer’s Tree Care
Laing O’Rourke

BEST SOLUTION TO AN IDENTIFIED WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUE
Bracton Industries
HY-TEC Industries – Austen Quarry

BEST INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION TO WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY (no formal WHS responsibility)
Kerry Dent (Cabonne Council)

BEST INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION TO WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY (formal WHS responsibility)
Shahn Ruprai (SRS Roads Pty Ltd)

EXCELLENCE IN RECOVERY AT WORK FOR BUSINESS
Endeavour Foundation

RECOVERY AT WORK ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR INJURED WORKERS
Chris May (Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure)

SAFEWORK NSW LEADERSHIP IN SAFETY AWARD
Clive Woodnutt (Bohmer’s Tree Care)

If you’d like to be notified when the 2017 Awards open, visit safeworkawards.com.au and subscribe for updates!

The robot making life easier for Harbour Bridge workers

Some of Sydney’s most innovative thinkers – with a bit of help from a humble worm – have created a futuristic solution to an age-old problem, improving safety and winning awards in the process.

Like us, bridges have life expectancies. And just like our doctors, there are inspectors that assess the condition of the frames – inside and out – and determine what needs to be done to prolong life.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, for example, only had a predicted life span of 100 years. As it nears its use-by date, preserving this national icon becomes more and more important, but at what cost?

Until now, the best way to examine the bridge interior was to send a bridge inspector in. With chambers smaller than one metre tall and port holes measuring half of that, providing a thorough check-up could be quite an ordeal.

To avoid putting the squeeze on their workers, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) enlisted some expert assistance from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) engineers. The challenge was to create something small enough to fit in the cramped spaces, agile enough to move through the steel passages and smart enough to record data and provide an accurate assessment of the bridge’s condition.

The result is CROC, an autonomous robot that could have a significant impact on the way steel bridges and other tight spaces are inspected.

Through an extensive process of consultation, trials, workshops and robotic engineering, UTS and RMS found CROC’s inspiration in an unlikely hero – the tiny inchworm.

The robot consists of a flexible body with a magnetic ‘foot’ at each end, along with a sensor package equipped with a camera and scanning equipment. To top it all off a ‘brain’ handles environmental and situation awareness, 3D map building, motion planning, collision avoidance, negotiation with edges/corners/rivets and data collection.

Once carried into position (on an operator’s back, no less) and deployed, inspectors can monitor the high definition feed to assess the bridge’s condition in safety and comfort.

It’s a high-tech solution to an age-old problem; one that has scored both parties recognition at the recent SafeWork NSW Awards. Against stiff competition RMS and UTS made an impression on the judges and went home with the award for best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue category.

More importantly, it’s an invention that has the potential to improve safety not only for our local bridge inspectors but for workers around the world. Any workplace that needs to inspect cramped metal environments could benefit, such as ship holds, power plants and transmission towers.

See CROC in action, or visit the UTS Centre for Autonomous Systems YouTube channel for other fascinating innovations.

If you’ve developed a solution to a workplace safety issue (no matter how simple – intelligent robots not necessary) check out the 2016 SafeWork NSW Awards, opening soon.

An App-ropriate safety move for Luke

When he’s not belting out rockabilly tunes with The Philistines, Luke Sullivan is likely to be coordinating the myriad of safety aspects of a concert for up to 100,000 people.

After 20 years in the construction industry as a dogman, rigger, concreter and the like, Luke decided to  give his brain cells a workout by completing an economics degree and embarking on a career in workplace safety and risk management. He became involved in civil engineering, logistics, maritime and manufacturing projects, and in 2011 was appointed Principal Advisor for HSE at Staging Connections, one of Australia’s largest event management companies.

“Our events can be anything from a flip chart and projector for 10 people to a Taylor Swift tour with hundreds of thousands of attendees,” Luke explains.

When he joined the company, fatalities and serious incidents at events around the world had placed the event management industry in a state of crisis and Luke was determined to change the company’s safety culture from complacency to commitment.

“I’m an outspoken critic of my own profession and urge my colleagues to adopt a steadfast high-risk focus,” Luke says.

“At any given time we have several tonnes of rigged AV equipment slung directly above people’s heads, which is a huge public risk.”

“Competency and skill-set management are critical in controlling this risk,” Luke says.

To meet the challenge, Luke garnered the support of senior management and set about developing the first risk management system designed specifically for events. He called it Stagesafe and made it available to staff via the company’s intranet and to the wider industry via a mobile app, ‘The Stagesafe App’. The system allows event crews to apply consistent safety controls at all shows, backed by thorough risk assessment and safe work procedures periodically reviewed by subject matter experts.

Given the geographical spread of the business and its young mobile workforce, Luke was aware that communication and consultation were vital in implementing the Stagesafe culture. He launched a quarterly newsletter with a ‘LukedIN’ column raising risk management issues and building safety awareness in the teams, published safety alerts to highlight ‘near misses’, and introduced the ‘Stagesafe Champion’ to acknowledge those who most contribute to the company’s new safety culture.

Within two years of implementing Stagesafe, lost time injuries halved at Staging Connections and Luke won the 2014 SafeWork Awards for best individual contribution to work health and safety by a WHS professional.

Have you made a difference to safety like Luke? We would love to hear from you. Entries in the 2015 SafeWork Awards are now open. Entry is quick, online and free. Apply now at safeworkawards.com.au.