On Wednesday 9 October Huon Valley Council staff gathered at the Huonville Town Hall for a special breakfast event to raise awareness of Work Health & Safety (WHS) this National Safe Work Month.
The event was well-attended with staff from all Council locations throughout the Valley coming together with their colleagues and families to show their support.
A wide range of engaging stalls and activities were on offer, with special guests from health-focused industry and not-for-profit organisations SPEAK UP Stay ChatTY, 26TEN, Tasplan, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers Newport & Wildman in attendance to lend their expert advice, and information from Safe Work Australia, the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia, the Stroke Foundation and the Heart Foundation available for people to take home.
An interactive activity on fatigue management which made use of simulated visual aids to demonstrate the effects of fatigue was run by TasWater, and spot health checks were provided by Council’s own practice nurse Jackie Brooker from Geeveston Medical Centre.
With handball and colouring-in competitions also proving popular throughout the morning, there was something for all ages to enjoy, and plenty of WHS-themed prizes to be won.
Presentations began with a talk from Huon Valley Council General Manager Emilio Reale, who reminded staff about the resources that are available to support their wellbeing at work, as well as the responsibilities all employees have to support a healthy and safe workplace, such the need to always remain vigilant about safe work standards and practice the Stop Work Authority, which requires staff to speak up when observing unsafe activity.
“The aim of the event was to bring WHS back into focus, reconnect people with important advice and information, and raise awareness of the main message behind Safe Work Month – that everyone should strive to be Safety Champion at work and at home.” – Emilio Reale, General Manager
Risk & Safety Officer Bruce Paterson provided further information about WHS standards and how the devastating consequences of poor WHS can be avoided, while Leading Hand Capital Works Andrew Hext shared his personal journey with WHS, and Julia Gandy from Stay ChatTY spoke about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
In the spirit of this year’s theme ‘Be a Safety Champion’, a number of Council staff were recognised as WHS Champions for the organisation and provided with certificates. Before presentations wrapped up, the Chair of the Huon Valley Health and Wellbeing Committee Cr Juarne Bird judged the entries into the colouring-in competition and young winners were awarded with prizes.
“The aim of the event was to bring WHS back into focus, reconnect people with important advice and information, and raise awareness of the main message behind Safe Work Month – that everyone should strive to be Safety Champion at work and at home,” said Mr Reale. “As an organisation we are relatively spread out over a large area, and our staff perform a wide variety of types of work in a range of different environments. However, something that we all have in common is the need to put our health and safety first in everything we do, so it was really good to get staff from all our locations in the one spot at our breakfast event to continue our ongoing conversation around WHS.”
A number of other Work Safe Month events are taking place at Council locations throughout the Huon Valley during the month of October, allowing more opportunities for all staff to get involved.
Feature image: (from left) Huon Valley Council Field Worker Callum Martin with Manager Works Implementation Malcolm Russell, GIS Asset Officer Brett Thompson, and 26TEN Adult Literacy Officer Lucy Whitehead.
Staff from Council locations throughout the Valley gathered in the Huonville Town Hall to show their support for Work Health & Safety while enjoying a barbecue breakfast.
The family breakfast had something for everyone: Shaun the Sheep with Pippa and Millie, proudly wearing their high-vis vests.
Practice nurse Jackie Brooker of Geeveston Medical Centre checks Huon Valley Council General Manager Emilio Reale’s blood pressure.
Huon Valley Council Leading Hand Capital Works Andrew Hext with TasWater’s Health Mayne at the fatigue management stall.
Huon Valley Council General Manager Emilio Reale with Deputy Mayor Sally Doyle, Mayor Bec Enders and Councillor Juarne Bird.
Field Worker Callum Martin with Geeveston Medical Centre practice nurse Jackie Brooker.
Julia Gandy from SPEAK UP Stay ChatTY gave a presentation on mental health awareness and suicide prevention.