Ruralco’s commitment to the health and safety was applauded last night, as the co-operative was named winner of the 2019 ACC Champion Workplace Safety category at the prestigious Westpac Champion Business Awards.
Accepting the award on behalf of Ruralco, Group CEO Rob Sharkie was delighted, “this award cements the hard work we have undertaken, and it puts us with a group of businesses who also take health and safety seriously. The process of striving to achieve this award has given us confidence in how our systems function. This is recognition our people are doing the right thing, being led by Peter Jacob our Compliance Manager” said Rob.
Widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s largest and most respected awards ceremony of its type, the Westpac Champion Business Awards, held at Christchurch’s Horncastle Area, celebrates excellence, innovation, growth and the successes of Canterbury businesses. The ACC Champion Workplace Safety Award is the category which honours businesses which demonstrate excellence in health and safety systems and procedures. These businesses create a platform for health and safety to be owned by all, creating a positive health and safety culture.
Amongst the many best practices, the co-operative conducts audits, runs continuous training, reports scorecards, provides updates and offers wellness programmes like the recent staff walking challenge. It also offers farmer shareholders training on how to devise an on-farm health and safety plan. To date sixty farmers have completed the Ruralco Farm Safety Training in conjunction with local training partner Compliance Partners.
Ruralco is 100% committed to protecting its staff, members, shareholders, suppliers and the wider rural community. “With such a good health and safety record, and now with this recognition, we are focusing on keeping the ‘health’ in health and safety. We recognise that people are our main asset. They deliver exceptional customer service and having safe, healthy and happy individuals is absolutely integral” said Rob.
Peter Jacob, Ruralco’s Compliance Manager, was thrilled that Ruralco won the award. He said “It is very humbling. I want to make sure our staff get home safely every day. By keeping health and safety at the forefront of our business we send a reliable message about the importance of best practices.” He continued “I think that the key to a great health and safety culture is keeping it simple.”