Winners of 2021 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards revealed


Friday, 15 October, 2021

Winners of 2021 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards revealed

The recipients of the 2021 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards have been announced, highlighting outstanding examples of Queensland businesses and individuals who have gone the extra mile. Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace congratulated the 12 winners, chosen from 34 finalists and 82 overall entries. Minister Grace commended the businesses for displaying unrivalled commitment to keeping Queenslanders healthy and safe at work, or if they’re injured, getting them back on the job as soon as possible.

The 2021 awards featured a new category that recognised outstanding responses to COVID-19, which was won by Australian Country Choice. “ACC tackled the pandemic challenges head on to keep staff and customers healthy and safe. Through accelerated use of digital technology and constant messaging, ACC kept its entire workforce in the loop,” Minister Grace said.

Minister Grace also praised the cattle, beef and food processing company for developing reusable and launderable balaclavas and using specialised messaging for social distancing, like ‘stay one cow-length apart’. Minister Grace also recognised Ellie Dunn, recipient of the Injured Worker Achievement Award, for returning to work against the odds. “Ellie was completing her civil traineeship when she was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident while traveling between sites for a client. She suffered multiple injuries resulting in a high amputation of her left leg. Ellie spent months in hospital receiving intensive rehabilitation and psychological support. Ellie was able to walk again and her rehab continues, but she is back at work. Her bravery, determination, resilience and positive attitude is inspiring,” Minister Grace said.

Minister Grace also highlighted PRM Engineering Services Pty Ltd, for receiving the ‘Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue’ award, after developing a high-tech pedestrian detection system using artificial intelligence, recognising when a person has entered a hazardous zone. “The system reliably identifies a person’s presence and warn operators, pedestrians or site employees of impending danger. The system is versatile and can adapt to all kinds of excavators, loaders, trucks and other types of vehicles, so it can be used in the construction, waste, retail and warehousing industries,” Minister Grace said.

A list of the recipients of the 2021 Safe Work and Return to Work Award winners is provided below:

Category one — Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue

  • PRM Engineering Services, Willawong

Category two — Best individual contribution to work health and safety

  • Michelle Oberg, Downer Group, Runcorn

Category three — Best solution to an identified electrical safety issue

  • National Electrical Communications Association, Salisbury

Category four — Most significant improvement to work health and safety performance

  • Mendi Constructions, Townsville

Category five — Best commitment to work health and wellbeing

  • Wesley Mission Queensland, Chermside

Category six — Best demonstrated healthy and safe work design

  • Workplace Maintenance Solutions, Riddells Creek

Category seven — Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety

  • Australian Country Choice, Cannon Hill

Category eight — Injured worker achievement award

  • Ellie Dunn, Protech, Highfields

Category nine — Best rehabilitation and return to work management system

  • Wesley Mission Queensland, Chermside

Category ten — Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work

  • Nancy Andrian, Lendlease, Bowen Hills

Category eleven — Best demonstrated leadership in rehabilitation and return to work

  • Protech, Highfields

Category twelve — Best response to the COVID-19 pandemic in work health and safety

  • Australian Country Choice, Cannon Hill

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Dmitriy

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