Rugby league legend Shane Webcke is a health and safety ambassador.
Rugby league legend Shane Webcke is a health and safety ambassador.

It's a very safe place to work

A RECENT audit has found Noosa Council to be a very safe place to work, where workplace health and safety quality has improved markedly in since de-amalgamation, the council has found.

An audit of its WH&S system was undertaken in May, returning a score of 74 per cent with no non-compliances, where the average score in local government is closer to 60 per cent, making Noosa a leader in the sector.

At the council's Services and Organisation committee meeting last Tuesday, a staff representative said at de-amalgamation time, the rule was "just get the job done”.

"The connection between the workforce and the council executive team has transformed,” staff told councillors.

"Workers could see the management cared about their safety. This has changed the mindset.

"There has been really good training. We had the [safety ambassador] Shane Webcke event, and people [confined to] wheelchairs have come in and told stories about how [their accidents] unfolded. That training hit home. People wanted to get on board.”

The representative said in the past two years only one other council achieved 70 per cent.

"All other councils previously audited were achieving less than 60 per cent.”

Higher-risk vocations in the council were in the parks and gardens maintenance sector, where a worker was recently bitten on the hand by a spider and the wound became infected, and engineering.

The council is now aiming for a future 85 per cent score.

"That's what we want to achieve,” the staff representative said.

The external auditor appointed congratulated the council for "one of the largest improvements in WHS he had ever seen a council achieve in two years”.


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