Organisations that have created new ways to prevent injuries caused by manual handling are being encouraged to share their innovations by entering the 2016 WorkSafe Victoria Awards.
Manual handling is Victoria’s most common cause of workplace injury, accounting for almost 40 per cent of all injuries reported to WorkSafe. Last year alone, more than 10,000 Victorian workers suffered injuries caused by poor or awkward manual handling.
To highlight the issue, WorkSafe has for the first time added “Best Solution to a Manual Handling Issue” to its award categories.
Finance Minister Robin Scott said he hoped as many organisations as possible would enter the new category.
“Thousands of workers suffer the debilitating effects of back strains and sprains, as well as muscle and ligament damage, caused by lifting heavy or awkward objects or lifting objects over and over again. This is a great opportunity to acknowledge innovative ways of making workplaces safer" Mr Scott said.
“Many businesses are coming up with innovative ways to reduce these types of injuries and by entering the WorkSafe Awards their innovations can be shared with a much wider audience. This could save thousands of Victorians from ever suffering the same pain.”
WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies said it was important to recognise new solutions to an age-old issue that continued to affect all industries.
“Awkward or poor manual handling affects employees in every type of workplace – from retail assistants lifting and moving boxes of stock every day and construction workers using tools repetitively, to health care workers moving patients in and out of hospital beds,” Ms Amies said.
Ms Amies said there were two important reasons individuals and businesses passionate about improving workplace health and safety should enter the awards.
“Great health and safety stories inspire others to do more to make workplaces safer,” Ms Amies said. “By entering the awards, their ideas can be shared across their industry and with other workplaces across the state.
“But, just as importantly, it gives WorkSafe the opportunity to recognise and honour the people and organisations that strive for excellence in health and safety, and who do their very best to help injured workers back to work as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The prestigious awards, now in their 28th year, have nine categories:
Health and safety representative of the year
Health and safety invention of the year
Best solution to a specific workplace health and safety issue
Best solution to a manual handling issue
Commitment to workplace health and wellbeing
Employer excellence in return to work
Return to Work Coordinator excellence
Worker return to work achievement
Entries close on 30 June. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony during WorkSafe Health and Safety Month in October.
To enter the awards, or for more details, visit www.worksafeawards.com.au
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.