Bill's Media Releases

THE FUTURE OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, today launched the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022. Mr Shorten also announced Jacinta Macaulay from Ron Finemore Transport as the 2012 Safety Ambassador of the Year at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

 Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022


 Mr Shorten launched the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2012 (Australian Strategy). The Australian Strategy provides a framework to drive improvements in work health and safety in Australia. It promotes a collaborative approach between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, industry and unions and other organisations.

With the vision healthy, safe and productive working lives the Australian Strategy sets a new direction for work health and safety in Australia for the next decade.

“Work health and safety is an important issue that usually doesn’t get the recognition it deserves until it is too late,” Mr Shorten said.

“Around 250 workers die each year from traumatic injury fatalities and around 130,000 workers receive injuries that result in them requiring one week or more off work.”

“Every Australian who goes to work should be able to come home safe.”

“While significant progress has been made to improve the work health and safety of our nation’s workers, more can still be done.”

The Australian Strategy is aimed at governments, work health and safety regulators, industry, unions and other organisations that influence work health and safety and workplaces across Australia.

“The Australian Strategy is targeted at decision makers, but through the action area of leadership and culture and initiatives like the Safety Ambassador of the Year Award individuals are also encouraged to promote and drive work health and safety in their community or organisation,” Mr Shorten said.

 Safety Ambassador of the Year Award


 In presenting the award Mr Shorten recognised the commitment to improving work health and safety demonstrated by Ms Macaulay.

“Ms Macaulay’s entry demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to work health and safety,” Mr Shorten said.

“Through her initiative, leadership and consultation with managers and staff at all levels Ms Macaulay has made her workplace safer, committing herself to identifying and rectifying issues within her workplace.”

The Safety Ambassador of the Year Award was open to individuals who demonstrated a commitment to improving work health and safety in their organisation in 2011-12. It recognises those who lead by example, raise the awareness of the importance of a safe working environment and encourage others to become involved in work health and safety. Over 650 people registered as workplace Safety Ambassadors.

Ms Macaulay is a Return to Work and Claims Officer at Ron Finemore Transport. Through an analysis of recurring injuries Ms Macaulay identified areas for improvement at her workplace.

The initiatives Ms Macaulay highlighted as part of her entry included the development of customised solutions like the ‘Fifth Wheel Coupling Aid’ and retro fitting of chequer plating to truck access ladders. Ms Macaulay also introduced the ‘Air Hawk Truck Seat’ to minimise injuries for truck drivers and helped develop work health and safety training for new starters.

“While the quality of submissions received in this year’s Safety Ambassador Award was high, Ms Macaulay’s evidence based approach and the development of innovative solutions to some common problems in the road transport industry has made her a worthy winner of this year’s award.”

“Congratulations to all of this year’s entrants and Safety Ambassadors for making workplaces safer for our nation’s workers.”

For more information on the Safety Ambassador of the Year Award and the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 visit www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au .

Mr Shorten’s media contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660