Following the postponement of the 2020 Hunter Safety Awards, 13 winners were announced last Friday across a range of organisational and individual categories.
The Hunter’s biggest night in the WHS calendar was due to be held on Friday 6 August at the Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre (NEX) after being postponed from March 2020 – but was cancelled due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Hunter Safety Awards Founder, Sarah-Jane Dunford said while the decision was devastating, it was the right thing to do.
“As the leading safety event in the Hunter region, we had to lead by example and made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the event,” Sarah-Jane said.
“While the event was cancelled, we still wanted to recognise the hard work and achievements of the winners.”
Now in its fifth year, the Awards recognised businesses across 13 different categories of health and safety, with a further exploration of mental health being evident across submitted entries.
Major winners included Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG), who walked away with the prestigious Gold Safety Helmet in the WHS Business of the Year category.
Sarah-Jane said NCIG’s dedication to implementing innovative health and wellbeing programs across their workplace was a key asset that stood out in their entry.
“Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group’s entry demonstrated an approach to safety that embraced all the important facets of WHS, which is what gave them that award-winning factor,” Sarah-Jane said.
“Their program, Move For Your Mind, is a great example of how the organisation are leading the way in their approach to safety.”
NCIG Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Johansen, said that it was an honour to be recognised in the Hunter for their approach to safety.
“It is an achievement that reflects the commitment shown to Health and Safety by everyone on our site,” Aaron said.
“Our Health and Safety culture at NCIG is driven by real passion and it is incredible to be a part of a workforce that enthusiastically gets involved in programs rolled out onsite. We are very proud of both our Safety Vitals Program and our Move for your Mind initiative that have contributed to this award.
“We will continue to uphold the positive health and safety culture at NCIG, as we see the benefits in our workplace every day.”
Best Health & Wellbeing Program (Large Organisation) was awarded to Daracon Group.
Their 12 week program, Workplace POWER (Preventing Obesity Without Eating like a Rabbit) was an innovative, evidence-based weight loss program developed by The University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute.
Jenny Rudder of Singleton Council was awarded WHS Champion of the Year for her dedication and commitment to her role as the Work, Health and Safety Advisor for the Council.
Laing O’Rourke was awarded Most Innovative WHS Idea (Large Organisation) for developing Toolbox Spotter, a world-leading artificial intelligence computer vision system which was optimised for heavy industries.
The judges were impressed by the dedication and innovation every finalist and winner showed in their entries.
While the awards were unable to go ahead this year, the 2022 Hunter Safety Awards will be held on Friday 19 March 2022. Tickets will be on sale soon.
The full list of winners are as follows:
- WHS Business of the Year: NCIG
- Best Health and Wellbeing Program (Large Organisation): Daracon
- Best Health and Wellbeing Program (SME): Body and Mind 2000
- Best WHS Improvement (Large Organisation): WesTrac
- Best WHS Improvement (SME): Norsu Group
- Best WHS Management System (Large Organisation): Asplundh
- Best WHS Management System (SME): Mainstream Industries
- Most Innovative WHS Idea (Large Organisation): Laing O’Rourke
- Most Innovative WHS Idea (SME): Novecom
- WHS Student of the Year: Jaime Collins (Glencore)
- WHS Champion of the Year: Jenny Rudder (Singleton Council)
- Young WHS Leader of the Year: Aaron Jones (Critical Alpha)
- Best WHS Training Program: Ethos Health
IMAGE | WHS Business of the Year winner – NCIG Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Johansen.
The Hunter region is well-known for leading the way in industry, this in turn has led to the region becoming champions of WHS.
The Hunter Safety Award were born out of desire to recognise companies and individuals within the Hunter region who are demonstrating best-practice and innovative approaches when it comes to workplace health and safety (WHS).