Oct 10, 2019

Award high note for ladder safety system

Award high note for ladder safety system

A product designed to prevent falls from ladders has been recognised at this year’s Queensland Safe Work and Return to Work Awards.

Brisbane-based Pole Grab won the category for best solution to an identified work health and safety issue.

The Pole Grab product is described as an innovative system that allows a ladder to be secured to a pole before workers take one step off the ground, with the worker also harnessed to a safety line, minimising the risk of a fall.

“We are completely overwhelmed and grateful that Pole Grab won the award,” Pole Grab director Shandelle Templeman said.

She hoped the recognition would increase public awareness of their ladder safety product – helping bring workers home safely to their families each night. 

Ms Templeman said the idea was sparked by continuous industry HSE alerts of ladder falls when climbing utility poles.


Justin and Shandelle Templeman.

“Pole Grab has gone through rigorous engineering and safety testing, and prototype revisions including the introduction of training modules and user competency, plus continuous meetings and user feedback with industry leaders (NBN Co) to make it the safety system it is today,” she said. 

She said the Pole Grab system had been commercially available since June and that NBN Co had run a pilot program using the system on technicians’ ladders in Adelaide.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace congratulated all of Queensland’s 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards winners at a ceremony in Brisbane.

She was joined by Queensland Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke at the Royal International Convention Centre (October 9) to announce the winners across 11 categories.

“From Jordan Williams’ courageous return to work after serious injury, to Ashley Rieck’s work health and safety initiatives in farming – these are all shining examples of what creative Queenslanders are doing around the state,” Ms Grace said.

Jordan Williams from Mackay (left) took out the injured worker achievement award (serious injury). Whilst repairing a conveyer, Mr Williams suffered severe injuries to his eyes, spine, and spinal cord. At 22, he was told he would never walk again. However, he defied the odds and, with the help of his employer, is training to become a draftsman/estimator.

Mr Rieck won the award for best individual contribution to work health and safety for his safety advocacy at agribusiness Greensill, in Bundaberg. He has also championed programs such as alcohol and drug education, fatigue management training, mental health support, suicide prevention and managing whole body vibration.

The 2019 winners across all categories are:

Category 1 – Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue – Pole Grab Pty Ltd – Clontarf

Category 2 – Best individual contribution to work health and safety -Ashley Rieck – Greensill Farming – Bundaberg

Category 3 – Best solution to an identified electrical issue – Energy Queensland – Hervey Bay

Category 4 – Most significant improvement to work health and safety performance – Eagle Alliance Earthmoving Pty Ltd – Murarrie

Category 5 – Best commitment to work health and wellbeingG&S Engineering – Mackay

Category 6 – Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety -CQ University – Rockhampton

Category 7 – Injured worker achievement award (serious injury) –Jordan Williams – Melco Engineering – Mackay

Category 7 – Injured worker achievement award (return to work) -Jessica McDowell – Churches of Christ – Mackay

Category 8 – Best rehabilitation and return to work system – Griffith University – Nathan

Category 9 – Best individual contribution to rehabilitation and return to work – Tracy Bignell – Townsville City Council           

Category 10 – Best demonstrated leadership in return to work – Skyline Landscape Services – Nerang

Category 11 – Best demonstrated healthy and safe work design -Buildsafe Queensland – Gold Coast

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