With Bendigo Health staff tasked with patient care, who looks after staff if they suffer an injury and are unable to work? For the past 20 years, Jenny Arnold, from Occupational Health and Safety has.
“My role is injury management, reviewing incidents & safety, supporting staff to get back to work, and absence management for non-work related injuries too,” she said.
Over the years Jenny has assisted many staff to return to work with some really inventive tasks, even with staff learning different tasks and then being successful finding other roles in Bendigo Health.
“I worked with an injured gardener, who trained and became an administration assistant, it is just good to get people back to their own job. It was an honour to be a Finalist in 2011 in the WorkSafe Health & Safety Excellence Awards being acknowledged for Return to Work Excellence.”
During this time Jenny has also helped serve up over 19,000 meals for South Bendigo Football and Netball Club, where she is a lifelong volunteer.
Incidentally, there are a lot of Bendigo Health staff who play football and netball at South Bendigo. “We’ve got physios, exercise physiologists and nurses. Recently one of our boys broke his thumb, I assisted returning him back to work at Bendigo Health under absence management,” she said.
She has seen a lot of changes at Bendigo Health since 2002 when there was only around 1800 staff.
As part of the OH&S team Jenny participated in the working parties in the design stage of the new Bendigo Hospital build looking at work areas, equipment and set-ups within the hospital precinct.
“We were in many meetings during the development and design stage of the new build; over one three month period in the design stage the then OHS Director Graham Olsen and I attended 144 individual meetings, it was really hectic.” she said.
“It was great to be involved and consulted looking at the safety requirements within the new build and to work with all the staff on the move to the new hospital.”
When donning her “Women Watching Football” apron as a lifetime volunteer during footy season, Jenny also supports and represents on the committee for the Bendigo FIDA Suns, the two all abilities football teams who are affiliated with South Bendigo.
“It’s great there are so many facilities here in the country, and we’ve been really successful with the Suns. It’s rewarding to see the participants enjoy the footy and develop. A player who collected the ‘Suns award’ a few years ago said ‘this makes me so proud, when I was at school I never got picked.’ And his skills now allow him to play mainstream footy, it is great to see people achieving their goals,” she said.
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