Canterbury disability employer is a health and safety winner

Christchurch Central Electorate
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I was delighted to see Kilmarnock recognized again for the great work they do. Kilmarnock Enterprises has surpassed expectations and added the ACC Workplace Safety Award to their list of accomplishments. Health and safety has always been a top priority for the disability employment provider and their efforts have been rewarded at the recent Champion Canterbury Business awards.

I caught up with the Kilmarnock team at The Press Summer Starter over the weekend.

Kilmarnock’s health and safety practices range from quirky yellow pool noodle hazard markers, to robust and extensive health and safety protocols, to hazard identification for all new contracts, and proactive rehabilitation for employees, as well as a comprehensive health and wellbeing programme and incident reporting.

Social enterprises and charities are rarely nominated in the business section of the awards and the Kilmarnock team are very pleased.

“We are exceptionally proud of this award” CEO Michelle Sharp says “It was so humbling to be counted among such incredible businesses and to have our efforts recognised.”

Stringent business practices, HACCP food safety systems, and ISO9001 accreditations have positioned Kilmarnock as a key player in the service industry. Gone are the days of assembling ANZAC poppies, they now hold a number of significant contracts including food packing for Murdoch’s Manufacturing and assembling test kits for the Gough Group.

Kilmarnock provides a range of services including assembly work, collation of goods, food repacking, shrink- wrapping, carpentry, and electronic waste recycling but Sharp says it is their adaptability and willingness to collaborate that sets them apart from other service providers.

Sharp discusses the impact of these business successes on the Kilmarnock team. “Success within the business sector gives our employees such a sense of pride; knowing these commercially focussed organisations value the quality of work our team delivers makes them realise that they can participate in society in the same way that anyone else can.”

Health and safety is a top priority for Kilmarnock now more than ever. “As we introduce more industrial contracts, the potential hazards increase and as a result, our safety systems become more robust and developed” says Sharp. She anticipates next year’s entry will be even more impressive.

Kilmarnock Enterprises is quickly becoming a commercial force to reckoned with, all whilst remaining true to their core purpose, to provide supportive and fulfilling employment to people with disabilities.

Kilmarnock Enterprises

Everyday people with disabilities struggle to find meaningful work, social inclusion, and the tools they need to succeed. They are so often undervalued, disadvantaged, and excluded by the wider community. Kilmarnock Enterprises is changing all that by helping people with disabilities develop lifelong skills and friendships in a work environment.

Kilmarnock is a place where people with disabilities can go to learn, grow, and develop in a supportive and enriching environment that gives them the skills, confidence and knowledge to participate in their community and carve their own path.