Workplace fatalities a wake-up call for employers and workers


Twenty-six Victorian workers died in the last financial year due to lapses in workplace safety, according to WorkSafe VIC.

All but one of these workers was male – a female vineyard worker in Woori Yallock died after being struck by a falling branch during heavy storms in June.

Four of the fatalities occurred in Melbourne, and 22 in regional VIC. 

Regional fatalities included the double fatality of a father and son at Rainbow, who were electrocuted when the windmill they were transporting struck an overhead powerline.

The workplace fatality toll for 2009/10 was one lower than the previous financial year, where 27 workplace fatalities were recorded.

“The workplace fatality toll serves as a continual reminder to employers and workers that health and safety can be a life or death matter,” WorkSafe’s Strategic Programs Director Trevor Martin said.

“We know the overwhelming majority of deaths and workplace injuries can be predicted and therefore prevented – however, complacency and simple mistakes are still killing people needlessly,” he said.

One third of the workplace fatalities for the 2009/10 year occurred on farms, compared to seven farming fatalities in the previous financial year. Of these nine fatalities, five involved tractors. 

The fatality toll also included three falls from heights ranging from a little over 2m to 20m. 

Five workers were electrocuted after contact with exposed wires on machinery, and striking underground and overhead power lines. 

A further four people died after being struck by sheets of glass, a bag of salt, computer equipment that fell from a forklift, and a tree branch.

Other fatalities included a lathe operator dying after being struck in the head by a metal rod he was shaping, and a man delivering beer kegs being overcome by a gas leak in a hotel cellar.

WorkSafe VIC
Ph: 1800 136 089

Related news & editorials

  1. 18.07.2018
    by      In
    3D printing with metals is affecting the way manufacturing occurs, and Australian distributor Raymax Applications reckons this is amply demonstrated by the application of SLM Solutions machines in metal manufacturing processes.
    SLM Solutions Group recently released its fourth generation 280 system... Read More
  2. 16.03.2018
    by      In
    In the 1960s, as much as a quarter of Australia’s workforce was employed in the manufacturing sector, and the industry fuelled 25% of the nation’s economy, according to the Productivity Commission. Half a century on, the closure of Toyota, Ford and then General Motors in October 2017 seemed to... Read More
  3. 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
  4. 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