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Innovation and motivation recognised in inaugural safety awards

An innovative solution to transporting oxygen bottles, going the extra yard to ensure safety compliance and creating a safety culture in Timor-Leste were celebrated at St John of God Health Care’s inaugural safety awards.

The three winners of the 2017 Tony Howarth Awards of Leadership in Health and Safety were announced on Thursday 1 February, after 18 entries were received.

St John of God Health Care Chairman Tony Howarth said the award winners, which included a nurse, engineers and occupational health and safety representatives, highlighted the role every caregiver has to play in promoting a safety culture.

"Everybody deserves to go home from work safely. It is just vital that we expect that people are safe in our workplace and we look after each other in the same way we look after our patients,” he said.

“These winning initiatives demonstrate this well and highlight that good occupational health and safety is only achieved with input from everyone in the organisation and understanding that we are responsible for each other.”

There were 18 nominations from 11 divisions in the inaugural awards.

he creation of these awards are a partnership between HESTA and St John of God Health Care, with the aim of recognising and celebrating safety achievements across the organisation.

St John of God Health Care Group Director Workforce Rita Maguire said she was delighted to see the level of commitment to health and safety initiatives within the organisation.

“Our award recipients and nominees have set the benchmark for other caregivers within our organisation to aim for throughout 2018,” she said.

“The start of a new year is an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate our commitment to work health and safety and for caregivers to look out for each other and improve health and safety in their workplace.” 

The winners

Category 1: A solution to an identified OHS issue

Winner: St John of God Murdoch Hospital engineering team for designing and building a fit for purpose trolley for the safe handling of oxygen cylinders.

Category 2: Most outstanding health & safety representative

Winner: Corina Smith, St John of God Geraldton Hospital, for a range of initiatives including designing and implementing a new and outstanding program following the installation of a new fire panel and system that went above and beyond her work requirements.

Category 3: Best example of safety leadership

Winner: Ima Betty and Emilia Soares from St John of God Social Outreach in East Timor. Although historically Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in Timor-Leste has not had the same focus as in Australia, the OHS committee in the Social Outreach office at the Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares in Dili has been working hard to establish a health and safety compliant environment in its workplace. They have a focus on obtaining full compliance under the OHS Act in Australia and are fully compliant in the Labour Code of Timor-Leste especially in regards to Chapter II Section IV (Occupational, Security, Hygiene and Health).