Safety 'first' at Colac Otway

Following an audit by the WorkCover Authority this year, Colac Otway Shire Council has become one of the first Councils in Australia to achieve Initial Level SafetyMap accreditation for all areas of its operation.

SafetyMap is a risk management system for occupational health and safety. Colac Otway's Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Patterson, said that recognition by an outside body that what Council has achieved in occupational health and safety is of a sufficient standard to be accredited is something of which all staff should be proud.

"This is an outstanding achievement to be the first Australian Local Government to achieve accreditation for the entire organisation," he said. "Colac Otway has achieved this through consultation with employers/contractors and their representatives, employees and unions, and health and safety professionals.

"It is one more indication that this organisation strives to achieve excellence at all levels, and in all Council areas."

Human Resources Manager, Adrian Buckley, said that achieving accreditation for all areas of operation is a considerable achievement for a Council because Local Government includes so many different areas of operation. These include office administration, supervising animal sale yards, tree lopping and management of tourist areas.

The program encourages workers to have a say in their own health and safety requirements and requires employers to go beyond legislative requirements to search out ways to do things better. Adrian Buckley said success was due to teamwork displayed by people across the organisation. Changing the culture of the organisation and encouraging all to accept responsibility for safety in the workplace has paid off.

"The real value of Safety Map is to make changes in the way organisations go about preventing injury and saving lives in the workplace," he said.

For further information contact Adrian Buckley, telephone (03) 5232 9400.