The agriculture industry has again impressed at the recent Queensland Safe Work and Return to Work Awards, taking out two of the major prizes and being nominated for many more.
JBS Australia’s Northern Division took out the top honour for the Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety award, and was nominated for the Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue award.
The company operates feedlots and processing facilities across Queensland and New South Wales, with access to an extensive network of quality cattle. JBS Australia’s Northern Division designed and built a double deck livestock trailer fitted with a pneumatically operated handrail system, which works by allowing the handrails of the livestock trailer to lift up and lock in place when activated. This provides a fall protection for drivers of the livestock trailers when they access the top tier of the trailer. The handrails fold down when they are not in use, making them the same overall height of the trailer when down.
The award judges noted the business’ leadership and commitment to providing a safe workplace for all employees, and said that the company demonstrated it is continuing to work towards other safety innovation and design processes to provide a safer working environment.
The Australian Agricultural Company was also praised for its efforts in taking out the Best commitment to work health and wellbeing award. AACo strongly promotes psychological safety, and best outcomes for the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. AACo identified several risk factors with their employees’ psychological safety and wellbeing profiles and recognised the need for a more rural-centred employee support program.
The company consulted with Strive Occupational Rehabilitation for a tailor-made employee support mental health program for its 430 employees and their families. This program offers one to one coaching services for all employees, coaching for managers, critical incident response and support for family members including younger children and teenagers.
- During the first eight months of the employee support program, over 10 per cent of the workforce engaged in the program, 130 support sessions were accessed, and 12 trips to stations, feedlots and farms were undertaken around the state.
- With the success to date, AACo’s yearly budget has increased to continue the program’s engagement rate and focus on early intervention.