ARARAT - Grampians Region Prisons' Phyllip Bix has been awarded the 2013 WorkSafe Award for excellence in health and safety management.
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.
He said it was an honour to receive the acknowledgement with support for his nomination coming from the very top of the organisation.
"I'm only doing my job but it is good to get recognition and reinforces the work we do here at the prison."
Mr Bix who is part of the operational interface commissioning team at Hopkins Correctional Centre has been instrumental in overseeing safe work practices during the major expansion works at both prisons which has involved hundreds of extra construction workers on site from many different agencies.
Mr Bix has been heavily involved in identifying potential risks during the construction phase.
"Here it isn't just the staff and employees we need to be looking out for but we also have a duty of care to the prisoners and that number will rise to 700 by the end of the year," he said.
"This makes things interesting because the primary reason for people being imprisoned is because they didn't follow rules and regulations on the outside so you have to work closely with them to achieve this on the inside."
Some initiatives Mr Bix has introduced into the work locations have been healthy meal choices, smoke free work environments and promoting participation in the global corporate challenge.
He most recently successfully presented a business case to purchase defibrillator machines and training for the region.
"It is really important to get everyone on the same wave length to ensure they go home the same way they came to work - safe."
Mr Bix said increasing workplace occupational health and safety requirements were necessary and didn't go too far.
"It is totally warranted, it is very important everyone shows due diligence which is that we are all deemed to have knowledge of and are all accountable for ensuring safe work practices," he said.
"Everyone needs to act on it and if not they can face fines and imprisonment."
Mr Bix said incidents of industry related accidents were very low with sporting and recreational injuries accounting for much of the concern at the regional prisons.
Businesses from across Victoria were recognised for their achievements in health and safety, return to work and health and wellbeing across all industries at the 25th annual Victorian WorkCover Authority WorkSafe Awards in Melbourne.
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips congratulated the 10 winners, from 323 entries, for being recognised as industry leaders by making health and safety, return to work and health and wellbeing a priority.
"Whether it is coming up with solutions to safety hazards, implementing a wellbeing program or helping an injured worker get back to work, the contributions and commitment of our finalists and winners contribute to safer workplaces," he said.
"I congratulate the award recipients and commend them on their dedication, their innovations and their hard work in workplace safety.
"The WorkSafe Awards showcase innovative approaches to health and safety, return to work and health and wellbeing and also represent an opportunity for businesses to follow the example of leaders in this field."
WorkCover chief executive Denise Cosgrove encouraged all Victorian businesses to take the initiative and improve safety at their workplaces to prevent injuries and fatalities.