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ANMF congratulations WorkSafe HSR of the Year winners

ANMF congratulations WorkSafe HSR of the Year winners

Jen Gamble and Gaye Coles with their WorkSafe HSR of the Year award

In 2023, University Hospital Geelong nurses Jen Gamble and Gaye Coles were named the joint recipients of the ANMF (Vic Branch) HSR of the Year. On 29 February 2024, they were announced as joint winners of the statewide WorkSafe HSR of the Year award.

The Branch’s HSR of the Year award acknowledges the achievement of an ANMF member and HSR who has demonstrated their commitment to members in their designated work group (DWG) – and recognises their hard work with a $1500 award.

The statewide WorkSafe Awards recognise excellence in workplace health and safety across all industries: for Jen and Gaye to win this award against workers from agriculture, transport, local government and emergency service industries as well as healthcare shines a light on just how impressive their achievements have been.

Jen and Gaye have demonstrated outstanding commitment representing a designated work group of 270 staff across multiple healthcare professions. By raising OHS concerns and encouraging safety in their unit they have been instrumental in a number of improvements.

‘This includes safety advances for perfusionists, who operate equipment such as heart lung machines,’ WorkSafe said in announcing the winners. ‘The chemical used to clean the machines was changed, requiring the perfusionists to mix it themselves with no training or chemical handling awareness and when they were already dealing with a high workload.’

In their capacity as HSRs, Jen and Gaye issued a provisional improvement notice (PIN) and the chief perfusionist escalated the matter, resulting in an external solution being put in place for mixing and cleaning the equipment. Staffing has also been increased from three to four to help reduce fatigue risks.

‘We had staff suffering with respiratory symptoms from exposure to a dangerous chemical,’ Jen told ANMF. ‘It has been a long road to get that one fixed and it went all the way to the top of the management chain. But we persevered and we know that our department is safer for it.’

Jen and Gaye shared the award with Ambulance Victoria’s Jason Learmonth.

More than 100 nominations for the Awards were received, and the standard was exceptional according to WorkSafe.

ANMF congratulates Jen and Gaye for their extremely well-deserved win.