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Queensland Safe Work Awards honour innovators

Queensland's work health and safety and return to work high achievers have been recognised for their efforts to improve the state's workplaces.

Individuals and organisations going that extra mile to create safer and healthier work as well as getting injured workers back to meaningful work as soon as they're ready, were celebrated at the 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards ceremony.

The awards ceremony was a highlight of Safe Work Month, which featured strong turnouts at the Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference, masterclasses, regional safety breakfasts, as well as the King George Square community breakfast and industry hosted events throughout October.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace was joined by Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at Brisbane's Royal International Convention Centre to announce 12 award winners in 11 categories. This year's winners represented a wide cross section of industries from all over the state.

Ms Grace said the winners were champions who deserved to be celebrated for their outstanding efforts—and for sharing their stories and ideas to help others.

“From Jordan Williams' courageous return to work after serious injury to Ashley Rieck's health and safety initiatives for agriculture workers—these are all shining examples of what smart Queenslanders are doing to improve our working lives,” Ms Grace said.

Jordan Williams from Mackay took out the Injured worker achievement award (serious injury). While he was repairing a conveyer, Jordan suffered severe injuries to his eyes, spine, and spinal cord. At 22, he was told he would never walk again. However, he defied the odds, and with the help of his employer, is training to become a draftsman/estimator. Photo below: Jordan Williams with Shane Webcke and Minister Grace.

Ashley Rieck won the award for Best individual contribution to work health and safety

Ashley Rieck won the award for Best individual contribution to work health and safety for his safety advocacy at a Bundaberg agribusiness. Ashley also championed programs such as alcohol and drug education, fatigue management training, mental health support, suicide prevention and managing whole body vibration.

The 2019 winners are:

Category 1 - Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue

  • Pole Grab Pty Ltd - Clontarf

Category 2 - Best individual contribution to work health and safety

  • Ashley Rieck - Greensill Farming - Bundaberg

Category 3 - Best solution to an identified electrical issue

  • Energy Queensland - Hervey Bay

Category 4 - Most significant improvement to work health and safety performance

  • Eagle Alliance Earthmoving Pty Ltd - Murarrie

Category 5 - Best commitment to work health and wellbeing

  • CQ University - Rockhampton

Category 6 - Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety

  • CQ University - Rockhampton

Category 7 - Injured worker achievement award (serious injury)

  • Jordan Williams - Melco Engineering - Mackay

Category 7 - Injured worker achievement award (return to work)

  • Jessica McDowell - Churches of Christ - Maryborough

Category 8 - Best rehabilitation and return to work system

  • Griffith University - Nathan

Category 9 - Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work

  • Tracy Bignell - Townsville City Council - Townsville

Category 10 - Best demonstrated leadership in return to work

  • Skyline Landscape Services - Nerang

Category 11 - Best demonstrated healthy and safe work design

  • Buildsafe Queensland - Gold Coast

Further information

For more information on the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards, visit worksafe.qld.gov.au.