A Local Government Health and Safety Success Story — LGW WHS Conference
The Local Government Mutual Services (LGMS) schemes enable Queensland Local Government to exercise control over and manage their liability, workers' compensation and asset-based risk exposures by providing tailored insurance covers and risk management solutions through the mutual schemes.
The local government risk landscape is continuing to evolve each year and it is no secret that improved risk management by our members councils in recent years has continued to benefit the mutual schemes. It is for this reason that the Local Government Workcare (LGW) scheme has recently focused on a number of Workplace Health & Safety initiatives to ensure our member councils are continually improving in this area.
In February, LGW Workcare hosted its inaugural LGW Workplace Health and Safety Conference in Brisbane. With over 150 people in attendance, it was exciting to welcome our senior management and health and safety professionals from Queensland councils to this landmark event. With the last local government safety conference having been held more than 10 years ago, councils resoundingly responded that they saw real value in the conference program and requested that it become a regular fixture on the LGMS calendar of events.
Considerable planning took place to arrange the LGW WHS Conference to ensure all COVID-safe guidelines were met and the conference was safe for our delegates, presenters and exhibitors. The conference gave members the opportunity to network, learn and connect with their fellow Queensland councils, and the conference program was specifically designed to address several critical areas of focus including compliance and audit strategy, safety culture and incident investigation.
The spotlight on mental health and wellness is certainly an area of heightened focus in recent years, and it is important for all employers and staff to increase their awareness of this topic. Highly regarded specialist speaker Linda Ray, from Neurocapability, provided a standout presentation for councils on psychological safety in the workplace, and was very well received. We had a dynamic duo from Urban Utilities discussing how they are doing safety differently, and DWF Law facilitated an interactive mock Coronial Inquest on a workplace fatality that focused on due diligence and legislative compliance for senior management and safety personnel at councils. LGW would like to thank all the presenters for their informative sessions and for the time and effort they put into preparing and presenting at the conference. Copies of various presentations are available on the LGMS website.
The final day of the event saw a sea of LGMS yellow safety shirts as all attendees donned their conference shirts provided by our sponsor, TradeMutt. Their vibrant work shirts are designed to start conversations about mental health in the community. The conference concluded with training sessions on contractor management and mental health and wellness for councils, facilitated by Safety Australia Group.
Councils particularly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with our trade exhibitors and catch up with members of Queensland’s local government sector, from CEOs through to the officers who manage and advise on the implementation of councils’ workplace health and safety programs.