Queensland’s work health and safety and return to work high achievers have been recognised for their efforts to improve the state’s workplaces.


Individuals and organisations going that extra mile to create safer and healthier work as well as getting injured workers back to meaningful work as soon as they’re ready, were celebrated at the 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards ceremony.


The awards ceremony was a highlight of Safe Work Month, which featured strong turnouts at the Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference, masterclasses, regional safety breakfasts, as well as the King George Square community breakfast and industry hosted events throughout October.


Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace was joined by Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at Brisbane’s Royal International Convention Centre to announce 12 award winners in 11 categories. This year’s winners represented a wide cross section of industries from all over the state.


Ms Grace said the winners were champions who deserved to be celebrated for their outstanding efforts—and for sharing their stories and ideas to help others.


“From Jordan Williams’ courageous return to work after serious injury to Ashley Rieck’s health and safety initiatives for agriculture workers—these are all shining examples of what smart Queenslanders are doing to improve our working lives,” Ms Grace said.


Jordan Williams from Mackay took out the Injured worker achievement award (serious injury). While he was repairing a conveyer, Jordan suffered severe injuries to his eyes, spine, and spinal cord. At 22, he was told he would never walk again. However, he defied the odds, and with the help of his employer, is training to become a draftsman/estimator. Photo below: Jordan Williams with Shane Webcke and Minister Grace.



Ashley Rieck won the award for Best individual contribution to work health and safety for his safety advocacy at a Bundaberg agribusiness. Ashley also championed programs such as alcohol and drug education, fatigue management training, mental health support, suicide prevention and managing whole body vibration.

The 2019 winners are:

Category 1 – Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue

Pole Grab Pty Ltd – Clontarf
Category 2 – Best individual contribution to work health and safety

Ashley Rieck – Greensill Farming – Bundaberg
Category 3 – Best solution to an identified electrical issue

Energy Queensland – Hervey Bay
Category 4 – Most significant improvement to work health and safety performance

Eagle Alliance Earthmoving Pty Ltd – Murarrie
Category 5 – Best commitment to work health and wellbeing

CQ University – Rockhampton
Category 6 – Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety

CQ University – Rockhampton
Category 7 – Injured worker achievement award (serious injury)

Jordan Williams – Melco Engineering – Mackay
Category 7 – Injured worker achievement award (return to work)

Jessica McDowell – Churches of Christ – Maryborough
Category 8 – Best rehabilitation and return to work system

Griffith University – Nathan
Category 9 – Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work

Tracy Bignell – Townsville City Council – Townsville
Category 10 – Best demonstrated leadership in return to work

Skyline Landscape Services – Nerang
Category 11 – Best demonstrated healthy and safe work design

Buildsafe Queensland – Gold Coast