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2019 VICSES Safety Champions awardees

2019 VICSES Safety Champions awardees

Published 31/10/2019
Congratulations to Braden Verity from Bendigo Unit and Bronwyn Portes from Emerald Unit, who are our joint winners of the VICSES 'Be a Safety Champion' campaign for 2019!

Congratulations to Braden Verity from the Bendigo Unit and Bronwyn Portes from the Emerald Unit, who are our joint winners of the VICSES 'Be a Safety Champion' campaign for 2019!

What makes a Safety Champion?
Safety Champions are those who lead the way in health and safety, actively taking a role to support a strong health and safety culture and influencing those around them. Braden and Bronwyn were picked as winners by our panel of four judges from across VICSES, due to their proven ability to influence change and promote safety to those around them.

Congratulations to everyone who took part in our 'Be a Safety Champion' campaign, and thank you to all our unsung safety champions who are working hard behind the scenes to make our units and communities safer.

Bronwyn Portes

Bronwyn has been a part of Emerald Unit for just over six months. With a background in wellbeing, health and safety, Bronwyn took on the role of the Unit Health & Safety Representative, and spent time learning, practicing and observing the range of tasks undertaken by the unit before consulting with the members to understand what did and didn’t work. By firstly focusing on high risk tasks or areas, Bronwyn has led risk assessments and improvements around machinery and hazardous chemical management. As part of this process, Bronwyn introduced a tag out system for chainsaws to help reduce the risk of injury from faulty equipment. 

Bronwyn ‘s respectful, inclusive and understanding approach has raised safety awareness within the unit and established a more consistent approach to the topic, encouraging people to speak out about their concerns and learn from mistakes. She also strongly believes that safety isn’t just about risk and equipment, but also about improving mental and physical wellbeing. With this in mind , she was team captain for Step it Up and led her 16 person team through plenty of steps and dance activities, putting  a smile on everyone’s faces.

Braden Verity

Over the last 10 years Braden has worked in the mining industry whilst volunteering for VICSES. His safety consciousness stems from both environments, and has led to his keen focus on serious injury and fatality prevention both at home and in the workplace. 

Braden strongly believes that being proactive is key to safety, and that we should ensure change is implemented before an incident takes place. Braden leads by example, encouraging unit members to speak up when they see something is unsafe and reminding people about personal protective clothing and equipment, (PPC&E), standard operatiing procedures (SOP’s) and safety alerts. His inclusive, consistent and calm manner has had a big impact on his peers, empowering them to raise issues and promoting a culture of safety.