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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Statewide launch of Zero Harm at Work leadership program

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Statewide launch of Zero Harm at Work leadership program

    Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick will today meet with about 250 industry and union leaders to seek their personal commitment on a groundbreaking new program to reduce workplace deaths and injuries.

    Mr Dick said Zero Harm at Work aims to reduce the shocking number of deaths and injuries in Queensland workplaces.

    “Ensuring safety in the workplace is one of the most important challenges facing industry in Queensland,” Mr Dick said.

    “Every year around 100 Queenslanders are killed at work and 30,000 people suffer serious injuries or work related diseases.

    “The cost to our State of these tragic deaths and injuries is more than $5 billion a year.

    “And worst of all, mums, dads, husbands, wives and children are left mourning the family member that never came home from work.

    “My government wants to turn these shocking statistics around, to make it clear that workplace health and safety is everyone’s business,” he said.

    Mr Dick said Zero Harm at Work aims to build a positive safety culture in Queensland workplaces, to help reduce the number and severity of workplace health and safety incidents

    “The program aims to improve safety in all high risk industries across Queensland, by changing attitudes from the top down,” said Mr Dick.

    “We are asking our top business leaders, as well as union and public sector leaders, to join the forum and drive positive workplace health and safety changes in their organisations,” he said.

    Mr Dick said while industry is making progress in the area of Workplace Health and Safety, there is still an urgent need for change, to prevent death and injury in Queensland workplaces.

    “Dangerous industries including construction, transport and agriculture have been targeted by the program to reduce the high numbers of injuries and fatalities each year,” Mr Dick said.

    “Significant cultural changes need to occur within the industry to turn these figures around.

    “We want all Queensland workers to make it home to their families at the end of each day.”

    “Around 35 organisations have signed up already to the leadership forum after a pilot forum for the construction industry was held earlier this year.

    “In August, construction company Baulderstone was the first to accept the Zero Harm at Work challenge and I congratulate them for the leadership they have shown in their Workplace Health and Safety practices,” he said.

    Mr Dick said one of the key points of Zero Harm at Work is importance of the development of industry networks to spread the safety message to every section of industries.

    “The Zero Harm at Work policy not only needs to be adopted by companies – but also needs to be made clear to employees, suppliers, contractors and industry partners, that it is the expectation for anyone who plays a part in the business,” Mr Dick said.

    “The ideal model involves sharing knowledge, mentoring staff and providing assistance for smaller businesses, this will help to change the way people look at workplace health and safety.

    “The Queensland Government is committed to making our workplaces among the healthiest and safest in the nation, but we can’t do it alone.

    “Real and sustainable improvements in workplace health and safety can only be achieved by the engagement and unwavering commitment of industry leaders.

    “It is encouraging that 250 industry and union leaders have offered their personal commitment to this groundbreaking new program, “ he said.

    The Zero Harm at Work program is designed to motivate and encourage organisations to voluntarily strive for zero harm at work by:

    • providing an ongoing forum to foster and promote leadership in workplace health and safety in the construction industry;
    • providing examples of good practices and sharing lessons learnt that can assist other workplaces to improve;
    • promoting the adoption of a zero harm at work culture through cooperation and knowledge sharing;
    • providing practical advice, support, materials and tools to implement a zero harm culture.

    For further information visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au or call Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on 1300 369 915 and ask for the Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program coordinator.


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