The Safe Towns campaign which started on Monday involves a team of inspectors visiting a regional area to check on health and safety compliance as well as return to work laws. Businesses found to have not addressed workplace health and safety issues will be issued with a safety improvement notice requiring them to deal with the matter within a set timeframe.
WorkSafe’s General Manager for Operations, Lisa Sturzenegger said that it was in everyone’s interest to address issues sooner rather than later.
“In the course of our investigations we often find that businesses were aware of a safety issue, but failed to fix it. In many cases this has resulted in an injury and ultimately led to a conviction and a large fine if the matter goes to court,” said Ms Sturzenegger.
“Not addressing health and safety matters can have devastating effects for workers and businesses. We urge businesses to stay on top of potential hazards, no matter how small or large they might be.”
“Even if they have not had a serious incident in the past, we encourage businesses to look at their workplaces for known hazards and address basic issues.”
According to statistics, 1948 injuries were reported to WorkSafe from the Latrobe region over the past five financial years. Treatment and rehabilitation costs exceeded $ 64 million. More than half of these claims came from the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.
“These are basic issues that should have been attended to before WorkSafe’s intervention. Don’t wait for us to arrive before changes are made or wait for an incident to happen, make safety a priority.”
“The consequences of not doing so can be devastating for all involved.”
The Safe Towns Campaign visits businesses across regional areas which had high injury rate or which had not been visited before. More information can be found at WorkSafe’s website.