One worker is injured every 18 minutes at workplaces in Victoria. This is according to a new data released by WorkSafe, which highlights the launch of a new public awareness aimed at making safety a priority in the minds of businesses and workers in the lead-up to Christmas.
The new campaign focuses on the impact that a near-death experience at work has on a worker and his family.
“Only a worker who has suffered a near miss, an injury or – worse still – seen a colleague die at work fully understands the impact that this has on themselves and the people around them,” said Assistant Treasurer, Mr Gordon Rich-Phillips.
“This time of year is a dangerous one for workplace fatalities, but we should never lose sight of the fact that injuries and near misses can also be extremely traumatising.”
According to Mr Rich-Phillips, 28,478 workers had made an injury claim after being hurt at work in the past 12 months. This equates to 1 injury per 18 minutes.
“While Victoria is the safest state to work in Australia, it has the lowest number of injury claims per hours worked – campaigns such as this remind everyone that we can do more to keep workplaces safe,” he said.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety, Ian Forsyth said this was the most dangerous time of the year. According to him, nine workers died in just a six-week period prior to Christmas.
“No one wants to see such a terrible toll ever again,” said Mr Forsyth.
“Organisations rushing to finish jobs before their Christmas break and peak periods for farming – such as the grain and hay harvests – can mean that corners are cut and safety becomes less of a priority.
“At this time last year, 23 people had been killed at Victorian workplaces; fourteen people have died so far this year but that’s 14 too many. Everyone should return home safe at the end of the day.”
The statewide campaign includes radio and TV advertisements, billboards across Victoria and a strong social media focus.