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Safety blitz on most ‘dangerous’ industries

05-07-2011
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WorkSafe has launched a statewide safety blitz targeting Victoria’s most dangerous industries.

WorkSafe General Manager for Operations, Lisa Sturzenegger, says the hard-line approach targets eight industries, which accounted for a quarter of all workplace claims last year.

The campaign focuses on enforcement, sending a clear message that unsafe work practices will not be tolerated.

Worksafe inspectors will visit food manufacturing and processing, wood product manufacturing, fabricated metal, transport equipment manufacturing, plastics and rubber manufacturing, road transport, warehousing and storage and residential aged care services as part of the campaign.

“To have a quarter of all claims in Victoria come from fewer than 3000 businesses within these industries shows they need to do more to improve health and safety in the workplace,” Ms Sturzenegger says.

“Industries and individual businesses with the highest number of injuries don’t only disadvantage themselves and the people who work for them, but they drive up the insurance premiums of good operators within that industry.

“They are well aware of their obligations and they have the information needed to address health and safety risks.”

WorkSafe inspectors will visit more than 4000 businesses in the target industries over the next year.

They’ll issue notices to workplaces who fail to meet their health and safety obligations to improve outcomes in their workplace.

“Despite years of working with these industries, we are finding that we are not getting the traction we know is possible by addressing some basic safety issues,” Ms Sturzenegger said.

“More than 2000 of the 7000 injuries within this group relate to injuries caused by not having the right equipment to lift or move things as well as easily-prevented slips, trips and falls.”

Ms Sturzenegger says it was essential to change the way industry addresses basic safety issues including hazardous manual tasks.

Musculoskeletal injuries caused by manual tasks account for 60 per cent of all workplace injuries across the state.

“Nothing should be considered as a minor problem in any workplace,” she says.

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