Crackdown on workplace safety in VIC


WorkSafe VIC has issued a warning to Victorian employers and workers to ensure high safety standards are in place following a recent spate of serious incidents.

The incidents included a serious electrical burn victim, a man who lost a finger and suffered serious damage to two others while operating a circular saw and a man who suffered major head and upper body injuries after being crushed by machinery at a South Gippsland meatworks.

“These incidents are a reminder to everyone responsible for a workplace to identify and eliminate safety risks,” says WorkSafe VIC’s Executive Director for Health and Safety, Ian Forsyth.

“Medical science is terrific at helping to put people back together again, but as the incidents this week confirm, the outcomes could have been a lot different.

“There's not much difference between the incident which kills and the one from which you walk away saying, "That was close!" 

“Telling your workers to ‘be careful’ isn’t going to cut it.

Nearly 29,000 people – more than 550 a week – were hurt badly enough last year to make a workers compensation claim.

“This shows that much more must be done by employers and workers to prevent safety incidents, says Mr Forsyth.  

November-December was among the highest-risk period of the year for health and safety.

“Whether it is harvest season, warehouses and shops are flat-out and in the construction industry the pressure is on to get jobs finished before the long break in December and January, says Mr Forsyth. 

“Whatever the situation, work has to be well-planned so safety is a priority.

“Now is the time to ensure safe systems are in place for all your workers – experienced or beginners, particularly as young workers are flooding into the market with school and university finishing for the year.

“Getting on top of training and supervision issues, ensuring shortcuts aren’t encouraged or taken, is essential, as is making sure people have right equipment to do their job safely.”

“Even before you get to the issue of potential claims and WorkSafe’s involvement, no one wants to be in a position of facing the parent or partner of someone who’s been hurt, or worse.” 

Nineteen work-related deaths have been reported to WorkSafe VIC this year compared with 25 at the same time last year.

There were seven work-related deaths in Victoria in November and December 2009.

Related news & editorials

  1. 24.01.2018
    by      In
    According to Southern Cross CEO, Mark Ferguson, if Australian industry really wants to get serious about saving energy then it needs to take a close look at ‘two-stage’, air compressor technology. As energy costs continue to outstrip other business input expenses it is critical, more than ever... Read More
  2. Martin Chappell
    by      In
    With Australia’s manufacturing industry strengthening, leaders and heads of IT are weighing up which new technologies they should implement to gain a competitive edge. Martin Chappell from Motorola Solutions explains how a simpler and more focused use of data can be the best approach.
    Australia’s... Read More
  3. Sahara Force India F1
    by      In
    The pace of Formula One (F1) development is rivalled only by the speeds achieved on the racetrack. Each time the Sahara Force India F1 Team brings its car to a circuit, it represents the team’s top engineering; every time the team leaves, the car is just a baseline. Between races it must be... Read More
  4. capacitor reforming
    by      In
    The latest productivity enhancing service from Konecranes addresses the problem of keeping spare motor drives in shape so they can be relied on to enter service if required. The company’s new variable frequency drive capacitor reforming service uses a proprietary DC power source to reform stored... Read More