Victorian businesses and workers urged to make safety a priority

WorkSafe Victoria urges all businesses and workers to make safety a priority to help reduce the number of workplace deaths and injuries across the state.

According to new data released by WorkSafe, almost 26,000 workers were injured seriously enough in Victoria last year to make a claim. Manufacturing (4174 claims), health care and social assistance (3919), and construction (3284) were the industry sectors with the highest number of claims.

Main types of injury were musculoskeletal (8498), muscle or tendon injuries (4881) and lacerations or amputations (3367), while the main causes of injury were poor manual handling (9670), slips, trips and falls (5697) and being hit by a moving object (3932).

“Last year, 26 people lost their lives at work, and the youngest was just 21,” WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies commented as she launched the 2017 WorkSafe Victoria Awards program. “No worker should ever lose their life simply because they were doing their job.”

Ms Amies said that while many workplaces have now made a commitment to ensuring safety, there is always more that could be done.

“It is a tragic fact that every workplace death and injury can be avoided so we need to ensure that safety is a priority,” she said.

The data also shows that the number of workers injured had fallen steadily as Victoria’s workforce continues to grow with a 12.5 percent drop in injury claims – from 29,567 claims in 2011 to 25,861 claims last year.

“Safety at work is everyone’s responsibility and there are almost 26,000 reasons why we all need to do more to educate, inform, and where necessary, enforce good safety practices at work,” said Ms Amies.

Ms Amies encouraged businesses and individuals to enter the Awards.

“Many organisations and individuals are doing wonderful things to prevent workplace injuries, and help workers return to work after an injury,” she said.

“Their work deserves encouragement and recognition, and we hope that by promoting their ideas and passion WorkSafe can inspire other workplaces to do the same.”

Award categories include Health and Safety Invention of the Year, Best Solution to a Specific Workplace Health and Safety Issue, Best Solution to a Manual Handling Issue, Health and Safety Representative of the Year, OHS Achievement, Commitment to Workplace Health and Wellbeing, Worker Return to Work Achievement Award, Return To Work Coordinator Excellence, and Leading Return to Work Practice by an Employer.

Entries close on 31 May.

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