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Agri-workers reap benefit of award-winning safety campaigns

Winning recognition in the Queensland Government's Safe Work Awards is paying real dividends for workers at the Bundaberg agribusiness, Greensill Farming.

The company's Ashley Rieck won the prestigious award for Best individual contribution to work health and safety for his safety advocacy among his young crew. And he continues to kick safety goals in 2020.

The award judges were impressed with how Ashley's Greenshoots campaign helps supervisors identify and address a range of issues for young workers, such as high risk taking. Ashley uses his passion and positive energy to overcome traditional barriers in the agriculture industry and has been instrumental in implementing several initiatives. Greenshoots is his greatest achievement, giving young workers the opportunity to meet and speak with senior management to voice safety concerns and ideas.

Ashley also champions programs such as alcohol and drug education, fatigue management training, mental health support, suicide prevention, health and wellbeing, contractor safety and managing whole body vibration.

Ashley's dedication and leadership has had an immeasurable impact on the safety culture at Greensill Farming, a family-based agri-business growing sweet potatoes, watermelons and sugar cane. He is a role model for workers who respect his genuine, passionate approach.

Ashley said already in 2020, the benefits of winning the award were obvious. There is ongoing recognition from the public, contractors and clients. This is setting a lead for contractors and reinforces the approach to safety that Greensill expects.

“Our workers do feel supported and, I believe, proud of our team overall,” Ashley said.

He said new health initiatives had already kicked in this year, with industrial hygienists scheduled to conduct monitoring for the team in relation to whole body vibration and respirable illnesses.

“This ties in with our focus on worker wellbeing and rolling out our revised Young Worker Program for 2020,” he said.

“A challenge is the on-boarding of new workers as we continue to grow and keeping that safety momentum. We also like to work closely with our local WHS officers and have recently had a safety advocate visit on site and speak with our team.”

Ashley Rieck from Greensill with his award

Ashley Rieck of Greensill Farming (second from left) accepting his award at 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards in Brisbane