Bundaberg man Ashley Rieck has been awarded for his commitment to health and safety in the Greensill Farming Group workplace at an event ceremony in Brisbane today.
The 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding examples of organisations and individuals doing great things when it comes to work health and safety, rehabilitation and returning to work.
Ashley took out top spot for the Best Individual Contribution to Work Health and Safety category for his role at Greensill Farming Group, where he manages the company's earthmoving team and the sugarcane area in Wallaville.
Ashley said he was passionate about his workplace and the people he worked with and over the past three years, had pushed for safety initiatives to help better the lives of others.
Ashley has championed programs such as alcohol and drug education, fatigue management training, mental health support, suicide prevention and managing whole body vibration.
“I have a family, everyone who works here has family, my children work here too … I want everyone to go home every day happy and healthy and with 10 fingers and 10 toes,” he said.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace congratulated Ashley and the rest of Queensland’s 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards winners at a ceremony in Brisbane.
“These organisations and individuals are doing great things for Queensland when it comes to work health and safety, rehabilitation and return to work,” she said.
“Clearly, they are champions and we are not only keen to celebrate their outstanding efforts, but also share their stories and ideas to help others.
“From Jordan Williams’ courageous return to work after serious injury, to Ashley Rieck’s work health and safety initiatives in farming – these are all shining examples of what creative Queenslanders are doing around the state.”
Minister Grace was joined by Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at the Royal International Convention Centre today to announce the 12 winners across 11 categories.
Ashley gets young workers educated in safety
As part of his achievements in keeping the Greensill team safe, Ashley has implemented the Young Workers Program.
“This program gets our young workers, 25 years and under, spending more time training for safety purposes,” he said.
“This is important because by keeping the education and training ongoing, we are keeping them safe and teaching them things that they will take on board all the way through their career.”
Ashley said he had also introduced defibrillators to the company as well as programs focused on mental health.
“I am big advocate for young people and mental health,” he said.
“I care a lot, I have concern for everyone and understand that no one ever has an easy road and it's important to get help when going through a tough time.”
Staff to combat heat thanks to Ashley
Working out on the land, Ashley said he was well aware of the dangers of heat and was always reminding his team of the importance of keeping hydrated.
“Being out in the hot weather can cause havoc if you don't look after yourself so I am always making sure people are drinking water,” he said.
“Earthmoving also means a lot of sitting down in a machine in the hot sun.
“It's important for staff to get up and move around so I like to get physios in to teach them the correct ways to keep active.”
Ashley said although he worked hard to ensure everyone was healthy and happy, he never expected to be rewarded for his efforts.
“I was excited but shocked when I heard I was nominated for the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards,” he said.
“When you do a job you just get in and do the job, you don't really think about what you have achieved until someone points it out.”
The local worker said it was the love for his job and a passion for people that had made him such a huge advocate for health and safety.
“Working at Greensill Framing Group is fantastic,” he said.
“I am part of a company that is achieving so many things and allowing me to achieve great things. The sky really is the limit.”