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Council's approach to workplace health and safety nets prestigious award

Publish Date 29/10/2015

Port Stephens Council continues to cement its reputation as a leader in workplace health and safety after last night taking out the prestigious 2015 SafeWork NSW Award for the best workplace health and safety management system (public sector/not for profit).

Council was presented with the award ahead of some tough competition in fellow finalists NSW Public Works and the National Electrical and Communications Association at a gala ceremony in Sydney.

General Manager Wayne Wallis said the award recognised a significant body of work over the past five years to tackle the number workplace injuries that occurred at Port Stephens Council and reduce its workers compensation premium from $1.86 million in 2009-2010 to $568,590 in 2015-2016.

Key to this success was the introduction of a number of programs to encourage workers to identify risks before incidents occurred.

"Council’s priority is to deliver the services our community demands in the most efficient way possible, but as one of the largest employers in Port Stephens we also have a responsibility to our workforce to ensure their safety while they are at work," Mr Walis said.

"We are fortunate to have a very talented and dedicated Work Health and Safety and Risk Management team at Council that is delivering significant results, not least significant declines in the number of injuries as well as the cost of our workers compensation premiums.

"But what this award really means is that every person at Port Stephens Council is doing their bit to keep themselves and their colleagues safe on-the-job, and that’s the best reward."

Port Stephens Mayor Bruce MacKenzie said last night's award was yet another indicator of the hard work and dedication of the staff of Port Stephens Council following on from the ruling as being 'fit for the future' by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

"Port Stephens Council continues to set the bar in a range of fields across a range of industries," he said.

"This award is a tribute to everyone at Council who saw a need to lift their game in workplace health and safety, came up with a range of solutions and are now seeing the results."