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Hunter businesses remain committed to safety


Which local businesses are setting the standard when it comes to looking after their employees?

The answer to that question will be announced at the annual Hunter Safety Awards at the Newcastle Exhibition and Conference Centre (NEX) on Friday 15 March.

AGL, Ampcontrol, ARTC, Asplundh, Asset Training, Body and Mind 2000, Coal Services Mine Rescue, Enviroculture Maintenance Services, Ethos Health, Fenech Demolition, Machinemonitor Pty Ltd, Metso, Newcastle Airport, Plant Assessor, Plus ES/Ausgrid, Red Insight, SafeGauge, Scratchie, Singleton Council, Swietelsky Rail Australia and Westpac Group are vying for the honours across 12 categories.

Over the past 11 years, Australian workplaces have made significant strides in safety, with a noteworthy 30% decrease in traumatic injury fatalities since 2012.

Despite historical challenges, such as more than 1,850 reported deaths and 1,140,000 workers filing significant compensation claims involving in excess of one week of lost working time, it’s crucial to acknowledge the positive trend emerging.

Statistics like these triggered Hunter Safety Awards founder and judge Sarah-Jane Dunford to spearhead the gala event and bring them to the region.

“Seeing the drop in fatalities is something I’m extremely grateful to witness and is a testament to the concerted efforts of organisations, not only in the Hunter, but also nationwide,” she said.

“This year’s finalists include businesses and individuals who have demonstrated positive approaches to Work, Health, and Safety (WHS) in their workplace.

“The remarkable decline in fatality statistics signifies a shift in safety, highlighting the unified dedication of enterprises to prioritise the wellbeing of their employees.

“The statistics show a dedicated focus on implementing robust safety measures and comprehensive work programs.

“It is evident through the submissions we received that businesses are investing time and effort into fostering safe working environments.

“So, the finalists represent the state-of-the-art safety innovation that can be seen within our region.

“Their unwavering dedication to outstanding work environments has not only set them apart but has also positioned them as leaders in this space.

“Each submission received this year serves as an example of excellence in action.

“We look forward to congratulating the finalists as well as celebrating their achievements this week.”

The judges were impressed with the number of entries for their individual categories in 2024.

“These people are champions in promoting WHS practices as well as bringing innovative approaches to their business,” Ms Dunford said.

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