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Council wins second prize in StateCover WHS Excellence Awards 2017

Rous County Council’s innovative approach to safety in the workplace has won second prize in the StateCover WHS Excellence Awards 2017. Rous’ General Manager, Mr Kyme Lavelle said, the Awards recognise the achievements of councils that have adopted initiatives to improve health, safety and wellbeing standards in the workplace.

In conjunction with national Safety Month in October 2016 staff designed a safety poster targeted at raising awareness of safety and its far reaching impacts internal and external to the workplace. The poster depicts photos of staff, their families and other things they identified as important to them. It was intended to convey a very personal safety message and be a reminder why safety is so important.

‘This is a great achievement and reflects the importance that safety has in our workplace. It is one of the four Values that we have here at Rous: Safety, Teamwork, Accountability, Respect’, Mr Lavelle said.

‘I am delighted that our efforts to profile safety have been recognised in this way. We are always trying to mix things up and use different methods, techniques and strategies to reinforce the health, safety and wellbeing message. It makes me extremely proud to be part of such a safety conscious team’.

Council’s WHS Officer, Stephen Parlevliet, said it is well known that the impact of a workplace injury extends far beyond just the workplace. Mr Parlevliet, who coordinated Council’s submission, said that the message was simple, Safety first - 24/7 – look out for each other and for yourself.

This is not the first time that Rous has been recognised among its peers for its safety initiatives. Rous won second prize in the StateCover WHS Excellence Awards 2014; equal second with a consortium of Sydney councils.

Rous has also recently reviewed and adopted a new Work Health Safety Management System (‘WHSMS’). The WHSMS is the structure used by Rous for managing and achieving a consistent and high standard of work health and safety performance. It is designed to ensure that worker safety is given a high priority and that each worker takes personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their workmates. The WHSMS is the tool used by management to oversee and ensure the effective delivery of actions to achieve health and safety outcomes for workers.

Underpinning the WHSMS is Council’s philosophy that all workers work safe, are safe at work and return home from work safe each day; safety is everyone's responsibility regardless of their position and their role; no one is ever expected to work unsafely; no exceptions.