Safety Awards 2016 Winners

WorkPac named finalist in 2017 Hunter Safety Awards

30/01/2017BY: Tracey Mesken

​WorkPac has been named a finalist in the 2017 Hunter Safety Awards for the Most Innovative Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Idea category for large organisations.

WorkPac won the 2016 Hunter Safety Award for best WHS Management System and has been recognised for its industry-leading safety in Hunter workplaces.

Winners will be announced at the Hunter Safety Awards gala event on Friday 17th March 2017.

National Safety and Risk Manager, Rachel Pearse says WorkPac wanted to support employees and facilitate discussion on fatigue and mental health while addressing the key challenges of engaging with a geographically diverse workforce.

“Our initiative was to broaden our communication approach of safety messages across platforms like video and social media,” Ms Pearse said.

“Our first message focused on fatigue management and our second message focused on mental health and wellbeing which are two really important issues in our line of work,” she said.

Across the industries WorkPac services, the statistics speak for themselves. A construction worker is six times more likely to commit suicide than die as a result of a workplace incident. If the worker is under 24 years of age, the risk increases by 10 times.

The Minerals Council of Australia’s blueprint for mental health and wellbeing estimates costs to the resources industry, including lowered productivity, is between $320 million to $450 million per year or around $300,000 to $400,000 for an average worksite of 170 people. 

Luke Tresidder, Business Centre Manager at WorkPac Hunter Valley says the WorkPac team wanted to do more than produce posters and flyers or transfer the responsibility over to an external Employee Assistance Program provider when dealing with mental health issues.

“We engaged with our workforce and identified that traditional forms of communication were no longer the only way to reach our field team. We didn’t want to wait around for tragic statistics before we formulated an initiative to address fatigue and mental health,” Mr Tresidder said.

“We knew we needed to implement new ways to reach our workforce and our research pointed to social media, video communication and real people communicating sincere messages,” he said.

WorkPac’s Head of Marketing Tracey Mesken says Facebook now serves more than 8 billion video views per day.

“That’s double the amount the video content users were consuming in early 2015,” Ms Mesken said.

“LinkedIn and Facebook allowed us to elevate workplace challenges that have influencing factors external to the workplace, into social networks enabling a peer engagement forum.

“The campaign drove greater awareness and acceptance by our employees to openly discuss these challenging topics.

“To be a finalist again is a fantastic achievement and we are happy to be recognised two years running, this is a real credit to the Hunter Valley and Newcastle teams’ efforts.”

WorkPac is proud to be finalists in what will be a hotly contended category.

Regardless of the outcome, WorkPac congratulates all nominees for their contributions towards making workplaces in the Hunter Region safe. WorkPac will continue to explore video and social media amplification of messages using these platforms to further enhance safety education and communication.

In its 20 years of operation, WorkPac has experienced no fatalities or prosecutions and has one of the lowest Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates in the contingent labour industry.

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