Coorong District Council wins safety award

The Coorong District Council was one of four South Australian councils to be announced as winners of the 2012 Local Government Association’s Mutual Liability and Workers Compensation Schemes Awards.

President of the Local Government Association of South Australia, Mayor Kym McHugh, the Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Russell Wortley, and the Chairperson of the Mutual Liability and Workers Compensation Schemes, Councillor John Ross, presided over the award presentations.

Coorong Council won the LGA Workers Compensation Scheme Best Practice Award (regional) for their revised system that ensures contractors understand OH&S requirements.

Mayor McHugh said the LGA Workers Compensation Scheme had saved councils over $40 million over the past three years, including $13.2 million in the 2012 financial year.

“More importantly for workers and their families, injury claim numbers have fallen by 67 percent in the past 20 years — from 2200 claims to 730 claims in 2012,” he said.

The scheme had also undertaken 27,642 skin screenings over the past 13 years with 3677 staff referred to skin specialists and 77 melanomas detected and treated. “Shared services, shared successes,” commented Mayor McHugh.

“This awards program provides the opportunity to demonstrate local government’s strong commitment to safety, efficiency and innovation with ratepayers being the ultimate beneficiaries,” he said.

The Coorong District Council’s Human Services Coordinator, Desma Fraser said, “The development of Council’s Approved Contractor system was the result of a gap analysis that identified that contractors were not meeting legislative safety requirements when engaged by Council.

“A process to address the shortfall was introduced immediately and has been continually developed to meet the unique needs of a regional council. 

“Council’s Approved Contractor system has resulted in a streamlined process that has seen the Approved Contractor register grow from 13 contractors to 52, and the development of the system has required no capital outlay.

“This award is recognition of the hard work of Council staff and the OHS Committee with the support of the Leadership Team,” Ms Fraser said.