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Safety focus a winning formula

A West Australian aged-care provider has been honoured for its commitment to workplace safety at state industry awards.

A unique program committed to preventing the rate of incidents in the workplace has seen a WA aged-care provider recognised in state-wide awards.

Amana Living, which has achieved an incident rate among the lowest in the industry, took home the inaugural Health and Wellbeing award at the recent ACSWA Excellence in Care Awards.

The organisation’s Injury Prevention Program has seen the number of workplace injuries plummet over the last five years, said Amana Living CEO Ray Glickman, who described it as a win-win for employees as well as the company.

Unique features of the program include matching competency to a physical job description, early intervention through prevention, reviews and monitoring, as well as a focus on support for a safe return to work.

“We are primarily concerned that people who work for us are looked after. Not only that, but staff are being supported in their rehabilitation and return to work, whether the injury is work-related or not,” Glickman said.

“However, the other side is that financially, this is a really critical strategic issue for all organisations.”

As a result of the drop in workplace incidents, the group has seen a 70 per cent reduction in compensation claims in five years, with claims for 2012/2013 less than half the industry average.

“The whole health sector is noticing that our employees are staying in the workforce for longer, so the demographic is getting older but the work remains very physically demanding,” said Jenny Williams, Amana’s general manager, human resources.

“So it’s important to address those issues [of] risk, as opposed to reacting to it when it becomes an injury and a problem. I think that it just translates to good business sense, when you deal well with your people.”

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