Navy success at the 2014 Defence WHS Awards

Published on LEUT Nic Hawkins (author)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Topic(s): Honours, Awards and Trophies, Safety / WHS

Proud 2014 Defence Work Health and Safety (WHS) Award winner, Cadet Midshipman Christopher Pedlar (centre left) flanked by Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen (centre right), Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) National Commander, Captain ANC John Gill and Petty Officer Brendan Smith. (photo: Unknown)
Proud 2014 Defence Work Health and Safety (WHS) Award winner, Cadet Midshipman Christopher Pedlar (centre left) flanked by Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen (centre right), Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) National Commander, Captain ANC John Gill and Petty Officer Brendan Smith.

The Royal Australian Navy snapped up several prizes at the 2014 Defence Work Health and Safety (WHS) Awards event, held in Canberra on 24 March.

Senior Defence leaders are committed to supporting to the Defence WHS Awards which is a corporate recognition programme.

The awards aim to encourage the innovation of new safety methods, support responsibility to ensure a safe work environment and promote a positive safety culture in Defence.

This WHS Award is a significant milestone for individuals and teams who create safer working environments in their quest to compete for the penultimate COMCARE Work Health and Safety awards and be recognised as a WHS Industry leader.

HMAS Success received a Commendation for the ‘Tank Top Halo’ in the ‘Best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue’ category.

The Tank Top Halo is a physical barrier that greatly reduces the risk of personnel falling in confined spaces while ships are in refit. After successful trials, 12 new units are currently in production for use in Success.

The awards also recognised Cadet Midshipman Christopher Pedler in the ‘Creation of a safety element for Cadet training’ category. He won the award for proposing a process which now allows all 3200 Australian Navy Cadets members and more than 400 staff from 87 Training Ships around Australia to benefit from ‘laser tag’ as a team building activity, thanks to environmental controls and risk assessed conditions.

Navy Establishments weren’t left out of the honours either, with Leading Seaman Ben Wright and Leading Seaman Joel Heit, both Marine Technicians from HMAS Cerberus, receiving Commendations for ‘Electrical training safety’.

Leading Seaman Wright said it was a long road replacing the electrical facility and updating training elements at Cerberus, but well worth it in the end.

“Joel and I fell great that we were recognised for this hard work and I’m particularly proud of the team here,” he said.

For the Marine Technicians, it was a matter of hard work paying off. Aside from completing the work in their own training facility, they also worked with other departments throughout Cerberus to conduct a full audit of the electrical distribution system in the Radar Building.

Their work also highlighted a number of deficiencies which have since been resolved, thanks to their ongoing commitment to Health and Safety.

The 2014 ceremony was hosted by Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley, the Deputy Secretary Defence People, Ms Carmel McGregor and Director-General Work Health and Safety Branch, Mr Lindsay Kranz.

2014 Defence Work Health and Safety (WHS) Awards Commendation winners Leading Seaman (LS) Marine Technician Ben Wright and LS Joel Heit of HMAS Cerberus with Deputy Secretary Defence People, Ms Carmel McGregor, and Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley.

2014 Defence Work Health and Safety (WHS) Awards Commendation winners Leading Seaman (LS) Marine Technician Ben Wright and LS Joel Heit of HMAS Cerberus with Deputy Secretary Defence People, Ms Carmel McGregor, and Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley.