REGION - Grampians Region Prisons' Phyllip Bix has been nominated as a finalist for the annual WorkSafe Victoria awards for excellence in health and safety management.
The award recognises individuals who have made an exceptional difference to workplace health and safety.
Mr Bix's role as the Occupational Health and Safety Officer involves providing support services at both Hopkins Correctional Centre and Langi Kal Kal Prison and promotes a safe working environment for all persons entering the property.
It is also his responsibility to monitor potential risks and recommend best practice solutions to problems.
While in the role Mr Bix has promoted workplace safety through a range of mediums, working with staff and stakeholders to conduct risk assessments, job safety analysis and compiles safe operating procedures.
He conducts workplace inspections and has become a major asset to both prisons over the past couple of years.
He is seen as having led the way with regard to ensuring safe working practices.
Both prisons are currently going through major expansions, which have involved hundreds of extra construction workers on site from many different agencies.
Mr Bix was also heavily involved in identifying potential risks during the construction phase.
He has ensured all contractors follow stringent health and safety processes prior to and during any construction work including providing job safety analysis. Along with the expansion some new industries have been developed.
Mr Bix has assisted the industry staff to set up all working processes and practices to ensure industry standards are compliant as well as meet the needs of the organisation.
Some initiatives Mr Bix has introduced into the work locations have been the healthy meal choices, smoke free work environments and promoting participation in the global corporate challenge.
Recently he successfully presented a business case to purchase defibrillator machines and training for the region.
Mr Bix has also presented business cases for a personal trainer to attend the local gym and assist staff to improve and maintain their fitness and wellbeing.
He recognised that the regional offices need support and engaged others to complete risk and hazard inspections of areas that weren't even his responsibility.
A total of 30 finalists from a wide range of industries and workplaces have been chosen across 10 categories for their outstanding commitment, leadership and innovation in workplace health, safety and return to work.
WorkSafe Chief Executive, Denise Cosgrove, said this year's awards attracted a record 323 entries - up 13 per cent from last year's total of 286.
"The awards are an important opportunity for businesses to showcase and receive recognition for the fantastic work they're doing in keeping workers safe or getting them back to work as soon as it's safe to do so," she said.
"It's great to see the strong commitment among Victorian employers and employees to make their workplaces safer and healthier."
The winners will be announced at a presentation on October 23, during WorkSafe's annual safety event, Work Safe Week.
Ms Cosgrove said every award entrant was helping to spread an important message about health, safety and return to work to others.