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2017 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards

Bishopp Billboards

The team from Bishopp developed a solution to minimise the risk posed by overhead powerlines when installing and changing vinyl billboard skins.

All new billboards near overhead powerlines are constructed with rear gantry walkways, allowing work to be performed from behind the billboard face.

A fixed piece of sail track forces the sail track to be fed in the opposite direction to powerlines.

A blocker is also installed to prevent the sail track from being fed towards the powerlines.

Following Bishopp's demonstration of how to change a vinyl billboard skin in close proximity to overhead powerlines, the Electrical Office Safety released and distributed a brochure titled 'Working safely on billboards near powerlines'.

The solution has been rolled out to all Bishopp structures that are in close proximity to overhead powerlines.

Download a copy of this film (ZIP/MP4, 141MB)

On screen text

Nick McAlpine, Bishopp Billboards - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

Bishopp is a large format billboard company operating about 800 sites stretching right across Queensland. We're a little bit different from other advertising companies in that we operate our own construction arm as well. So we've got a team of 15 constructors, fabricators, and skin installers who are out on the road every day of the week, spending time maintaining our signs, building new structures and replacing vinyl skins, which is a big part of our business. The inherent risks in that are three fold. Obviously working from heights is a big challenge. Quite often our structures are more than 10 meters above ground level. We're operating in close proximity to high volume traffic. And then finally, the inherent risk is always there with close proximity to high voltage power lines, which is a very big part of our safety focus as well.

Bishopp has a very strong safety culture from our CEO on down our staff our taught every day of the week that when they start their job to when they go home at night that they always need to be mindful of the safety challenges that are inherent in the work that we do. So we're very active in our peak industry body, The Outdoor Media Association, which has as part of its remit a keen focus on raising safety standards across the board. We're very proud that we have been at the forefront of some of those initiatives, which have helped keep the industry as a whole safe. When we do have sites that are in close proximity to high voltage power lines we take extra steps. Specific examples on those high voltage sites include having fixed sail tracks, which have no risk at all of being accidentally led into an above power line. There are on the spot directions, which are right next to where they will be doing the work to remind people of the inherent risk.

Those sorts of steps we've found have been really helpful, very practical and very successful. It's hard to put the benefits of safety into a single box. First and foremost we want our staff to get home safely every afternoon and that happens. Secondly, there's unashamedly a financial dividend in keeping our staff safe. Our reputation is crucial to us as well. We live and die by our reputation, whether it's be in our relationships with the councils that are approving our signs, our landowners who have our signs on their property, with our staff or with our clients. The benefits are shared evenly across the whole business. Well our record speaks for itself. Bishopp is a business that's been active for 23 years now and we're very proud to say that we've never had an event or an incident related to electrical power or any sort of injury along those lines.RUN TIME: 2min 45sec

Bruce O'Grady, Maxcon Industries

Bruce O'Grady was crushed in a forklift incident and suffered four fractured vertebrae, collapsed lungs, a broken pelvis, fractured ribs, damaged spleen and liver, crushed nerves from the waist down and partial bowel removal, as well as ongoing complications.

Bruce had a positive attitude about his rehabilitation and pushed himself to ensure his rehabilitation goals were met. After completing rehabilitation, Bruce returned to work four hours a week, increasing gradually to four days a week (at time of submission).

While Bruce was injured, he completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to assist in the role as a trainer for Maxcon. The effect of Bruce's incident and return to work has been that people are more aware of their working environment and are more proactive about safety. Bruce often speaks candidly to current and new staff about his injuries and the importance of safety in the workplace.

Bruce's goal is to return to full time hours soon, with the approval of his treating doctor.

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On screen text

Bruce O'Grady, Maxcon Industries - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

Bruce O'Grady: My name's Bruce O'Grady. I work for Maxcon Industries. Maxcon Industries do treatment plants for sewage, all to do with stainless steel, mild steel, whatever it happens to be. They do cryogenics. They've got a lot of positions, jobs they do. I presently work in the tool store, but I have worked in the yard at the same time.

On the day of my injury, I was in the yard, using a forklift, and all I know was that I woke up in hospital. What I was told was that I got crushed between the mast and the body of the forklift, and that's where I died. Basically, from the waist down was just crushed.

It's always hard. You come home in a wheelchair, and then what you used to do, you don't do anymore. You learn that things change. Even now, I still have trouble walking. I'm in constant pain down one side, but I'm up. I'm still walking.

After the rehab, I returned to work. Very important to do. It was good for me, good for my mind, good for my family.

Paul Cort: You know, straight away, when you think about an injury of that magnitude, it's all about the person that's injured, obviously, but with Bruce, it was the after effects, the morale in the workplace. I think it's essential for management to commit, because they have to put those resources in place. I mean, I know when Bruce came back to the workplace, you could see an immediate morale uplift, straight away. So, it's absolutely essential.

Bruce O'Grady: Management backed me from day one. They were fantastic. Could not complain. The people themselves have changed, I've changed, which is for good, because they now look at what they used to do as, "Hang on, I could get hurt doing this." Now, they think about what they're doing, and with the backing of work, they have meetings all the time, and expressing the fact that they can get injured, and everybody is a lot safer than what we used to be.

Everybody wants to achieve something, and if you sit around doing nothing, then you haven't achieved anything. At least if you get back to work, you know you're trying to get where you want to go.RUN TIME: 2min 18sec

Darwalla Group

Darwalla is an integrated poultry producer with sites across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. In 2012 the Darwalla Senior Leadership team put rehabilitation and safety into Darwalla's five year strategic plan. The 'Beyond Best Practice' system was designed and implemented as a customised long term, sustainable, fully integrated rehabilitation management system to meet the unique requirements of the business. The cornerstones of the system are training, communication, worker support and collaborative networking.

Darwalla's senior leadership team provided the resources and direction to develop an integrated rehabilitation and safety management system based on risk assessments and safety analysis. The system has a four phase approach to employee rehabilitation based on:

  • training principles of rehabilitation, risk management, injury prevention and risk minimisation
  • safety communication – reporting and feedback
  • worker assistance
  • collaborative networking internally and externally.

A range of strategies are used to develop the rehabilitation and safety system including development of the communication and reporting system, worker support and targeted training programs. The design and utilisation of task specific functional demands and pre-employment assessments is one of the core initiatives of the program.

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On screen text

Juan Corredor, Darwalla Group - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

The Darwalla Group of companies it is a fully integrated poultry producer with operations in Queensland. We are in diverse sectors such as manufacturing, transport, administration, and obviously poultry farming.

Well my role involves overseeing the compliance systems in the company and health and safety systems, including the rehabilitation systems. Darwalla has implemented a five years strategic plan, and safety and rehabilitation is fully embedded in the rehabilitation plan. What we work here it is an strategic deployment process where we go and consult with the frontline management team and frontline management team consult with the workers on the implementation of any new programs, any new process in the company, including rehabilitation system.

Darwalla believes on a very consultative process which includes all the stakeholders in every single area of the business. We're very proud of our Darwalla rehabilitation system as it has evolved. The four cornerstones of the rehabilitation system are: training, it is communication and feedback, it is support to the worker, and it is a collaborative networking among all the stakeholders through the injury management process.

Our priority at Darwalla it is to bring the worker to a safe environment and it is not fail them. It is just to make sure that if we put a plan together it is to make sure that it is successful. Some of the outcomes from the implementation of the rehabilitation system and the whole safety system as such it is vast reduction on lost time injuries. We are talking about 30 to 35% less medical treated injuries in the company. It is a reduction of half of injuries since the financial year 2010 till now, so it is a huge reduction.

WorkCover premiums have been vastly reduced as well in most of the companies in the organization. We have a huge reduction on common law claims coming our way, and when we have these sort of claims we're able to test the system and we're able to test that Darwalla has a duty of care and has performed all the due diligence and able to proof that we are really caring about the person.

I believe the most rewarding part and the most satisfactory part of my role is to go through the journey of the injury management with somebody and give them support, caution those guys on a very difficult time of their lives because nobody comes to work to get injured. So when they have an injury, they need somebody next to them to be able to take them through very daunting process, and I believe that's the most rewarding part of my job, it is just helping people.RUN TIME: 2min 50sec

Lendlease

Lendlease improved its approach to designing and constructing air traffic control towers for the Australian Department of Defence through a two-pronged design solution which significantly reduced the need to work at height and in confined spaces. The solution involves prefabricating the concrete to form the main tower structure and pre-assembling structural steel at ground level to form the main structure of the tower cabin.

Lendlease also developed a gasket and flowable grout solution to replace the traditional dry pack grout method. This removed the need for internal access scaffold and formwork, eliminating the need to work in confined spaces within the tower lift and service core.

The design methodology has been applied across the project, and has improved safety outcomes and productivity.

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On screen text

Lendlease - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

My name is Lachlan Tipler, Construction Manager for Lendlease. I'm responsible for the overall delivery of the ATC Amberley project.

Landlease had been contracted to undertake this new air traffic control facility at Amberley and also eight locations across Australia.

So the three key safe initiatives that we developed on this project is the assembly method for the structural steel for the top of the tower, the gasket system that we came up with for the structural grout for the precast, and the design of the structural precast elements.

So the key safety focus on this project in respect to the tower was the risk of falls from heights, and also the confined space work that we would be faced with in constructing the concrete tower.

We developed a gasket system that allowed us to fill those horizontal joints with the structural grout, a pourable grout, that was all able to be undertaken from the external faces of the concrete tower, so it eliminated the need for any workers to have to be internal to those confined spaces.

It's been very successful, the outcome is what we expected. The careful selection of the size of gasket, so that the flowable grout didn't leak.

So the other important safety factor on the project challenge with assembly, the build of the structural steel component to form the structural cabin element of the top of the precast concrete tower. There are a lot of challenges in assembling that because of the nature of the shape of it.

The solution that we developed was to come up with a method that allowed us to build the structural steel element in its entirety at ground level and then pick that structural element up and place it as one piece at the top of the tower.

What I find rewarding about my role is towards the end of the project, you look back, you see what you've achieved, and it's extremely satisfying when you sit back and reflect on all of the design challenges that you worked with, the solutions that you came up with, and the end result, and a result that's right.

Also knowing that you handed it over during the delivery process it was always safe. Everyone was kept safe, every day, that was forefront.RUN TIME: 2min 45sec

NOJA Power

NOJA Power manufactures medium and high voltage equipment for power utilities and employs around 150 staff at its Murarrie plant.

NOJA's workplace health and wellness initiative 'Safety is important – health is your life' includes strategies that target occupational, social, physical, intellectual and emotional wellness with the goal to see safe, happy, healthy and more productive employees. The initiative targets the risk factors for chronic disease and musculoskeletal disorders, adding new initiatives to their program in 2017 that positively impact on worker health and wellbeing, including work design improvements such as ergonomic workstations. NOJA's program is good for their business, achieving reductions in injuries, absenteeism and staff turnover.

NOJA Power was the first private organisation in Queensland to be awarded gold recognition in the 'Healthier. Happier. Workplaces.' scheme.

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On screen text

Neil O'Sullivan, NOJA Power - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

NOJA Power manufactures high voltage switchgear, and we export that high voltage switchgear to 86 countries around the world. NOJA Power has approximately 200 employees on this site, and we have another 50 employees around the world, so 250 in total. Here at NOJA Power, we consider our staff one of our most important assets, and so we invest heavily in our staff from a health and safety perspective, but also from an education perspective. We really focus on making sure that we create the best possible environment for our staff to operate in and to thrive in.

I think, safety's important; health is your life, is a motto that we've developed over time. Since 2010 we've had an ever-increasing health and safety program. That program initially started with some health checks. We initially arranged for a doctor to come to site and provide health checks for our staff and also to do flu immunization each year. The program has now developed today into a very extensive program and is a very important part of our business. It includes things like monthly meetings, where we have a health and safety meeting. We have representatives from every department within the business that come along to those meetings, and they provide contributions and ideas on how we can expand our program.

I think driving the health program has improved our safety. If you get people thinking about their health; they automatically think safe. Some of the benefits of the health program are financial benefits as well. When we look at our staff absenteeism, for example, we've got 50% less absenteeism now than we did in 2012. That absenteeism savings is actually paying for the program. Whilst we're spending six figures on our health program today, it's actually paying for itself. The absenteeism is one thing, another one is our staff turnover. We now have 66% less staff turnover than we did in 2012. Not only is the program working to improve the health of our people, improve the environment in which they're operating in, but it's actually creating financial benefit for the business.

The future for the program here is really, it will drive itself. It's a matter of the company continuing to agree to fund the program but it's now got momentum and it's going to continue to drive itself. Not only will it drive the health of the employees, I think it will continue to drive the success of our company.RUN TIME: 2min 41sec

Robert Brown

Robert Brown is a trades construction teacher who specialises in cabinet-making at TAFE Queensland. Robert trains apprentices in a high-risk area and educates them on how to use workshop machinery. He leads the students through a four day induction that trains the apprentices on hand-held tools and static machinery, and sets a work safety ethic for future industry.

Robert is extremely committed to his work and his students, and contributes to work health and safety by:

  • ensuring that all machinery that students are working with is safe and up-to-date
  • going above and beyond to maintain communication with the apprentice's employers on their training and progress
  • tailoring training to students with learning or physical disabilities
  • implementing professional development for staff on any new machinery.

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On screen text

Robert Brown - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

My name is Robert Brown, I'm a Cabinetmaking Trainer for Tafe Queensland Gold Coast, and I work with Certificate III cabinetmaking students who are all apprentices.

My role currently is to teach students that are 15 to 30 years of age, some of them are into their 40s. It's in a practical environment of a machine shop, and a practical cabinetmaking area as well. I'm doing all the practical based activities with those students. I have a very high-risk area, it's up as high as butchery is as well; so why shouldn't have more than seven people in that space. I work on a theory of having a one on one basis whenever any student's using a high-risk machine.

We introduced an induction program so that we can take students away from their work environment, put them through as a group, give them one on one training and then be able to report back to the employer and tell them that they've been safely inducted into those machines. That helps the employer be more comfortable with them using those machines in their own work environment.

We decided with our induction program we not only had to cover all the theoretical side, but we had to do the practical based as well. We put together a document that actually shows the right way to use the machinery as well as the wrong way to use the machinery. We couldn't find anything that had a wrong way to use it, so we thought if we put that into a photographic booklet that students take away with them, they've then got a good background of this is correct, this is incorrect.

We've always had a really good safety culture here, however, I think there was some spaces that we could improve on. By putting certain processes paper-based as well as practical demonstration in place we make sure everyone walks out with the perfect training.

I'm very lucky that I work in an environment where the management is very happy to support us. Mainly because they obviously don't want to see any accidents, and they want to see the quality of our training is 100% spot-on. Keep out there in industry and people know that. I think I believe really strongly in workplace health and safety particularly, in my cabinetmaking environment because it takes a lot to train a person really well to work safely. Then once they've got that, they should work safely throughout the rest of their life. If they don't get it from the beginning there's a very high risk of them hurting themselves, and either having to leave the industry or take extended time off to get into it.

The best thing that I like about my role is that I work with 15 to 40-year-olds. They come from all different walks of life. We're all here for a common goal, to become a highly skilled cabinetmaker, and I like to be able to instil my knowledge and how I can do that, and how I still have 10 fingers myself.RUN TIME: 2min 40sec

Toni Wilson

Toni Wilson is a Senior Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator for the Torres Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS). She demonstrates an influence on developing a positive return to work culture in a portfolio with a number of challenges including very remote clients.

Toni has a strong emphasis on early intervention including unique strategies such as injured workers being flown to Cairns for intensive week-long treatment with the appropriate treating medical, psychological and allied health professionals. Toni arranges for suitable duties to be provided in the Cairns TCHHS office for these visiting workers, which exemplifies the focus on durable early return to work goals.

To assist in proactive rehabilitation and return to work goals Toni has implemented frequent claims reviews and uses her expert knowledge of unique TCHHS policy needs to identify barriers and implement effective short and long term rehabilitation strategies to advance return to work outcomes. During these claims reviews Toni collaboratively and positively works with WorkCover Queensland Customer Advisors and is more than happy to share her diverse knowledge base and professional experience.

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On screen text

Toni Wilson - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017

My name is Toni Wilson and I'm the Senior Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator and I work for Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service. We are the major health provider for communities in Cape York, the Northern Peninsula area and the Torres Strait. My role is injury management so I support workers who provide those health services in the event that they have an injury or illness, either work-related or non-work-related. The health services that we provide cover approximately 137,000 kilometres and we have four hospitals and 32 primary health care centres and three of those workplaces are in Cairns, so the rest of them are in a very remote or remote location.

I'm very passionate about providing care and services to our workers who injured themselves at work and ensuring that they have the same level of service in their community, the same level of health service and health care available to them regardless of whether they work in a remote or a very remote location compared to if they are working in Cairns. It's certainly a barrier to engage your workers sometimes from a very remote location. An average case for me is a worker, say for example in Cape York and maybe an indigenous worker and often, I need to engage a support person to assist with ensuring that they're aware of what their entitlements are and that we can ensure that they receive the appropriate medical care. It's very important to get the worker back to work as soon as possible. The longer a worker stays at home and receiving treatment, the harder it is then for them to return to their usual role.

I do share my outcomes with other organizations and certainly within Queensland Health as well and I think it's important especially with other hospital and health services with similar geographical sizes and similar challenges that we can learn from each other. It's very rewarding to have a worker who has been injured at work and being able to efficiently get them rehabilitated and back to the workplace where that they can be as highly functioning as possible with the end game being that they return to their normal role. What gets me up in the morning is being able to help people get them back to work as soon as possible and being able to do that safely, ensuring that they can continue to receive their wage and that they're in their usual job and they can pay their mortgage and support their family.RUN TIME: 2min 38sec