WorkSafe Victoria has called on Victorian women to become more actively involved in workplace health and safety, and use their influence to help protect themselves, their workers, co-workers, families and friends.
Speaking at the Country Women’s Association’s State Conference in Swan Hill last week, WorkSafe General Manager for Operations, Lisa Sturzenegger said that safety improvements should begin at the workplace level.
“Whether you employ someone, work for yourself or have an interest in someone’s safety, we need your help to ensure they think about what they’re doing and what the ramifications would be if something went wrong.
“As women of influence in your community, and of course your family, you can play a big part in getting the message out. Getting the job done is important, but doing it safely and getting home at the end of the day is the most important thing.
“As employers, mums and grandmas, members of clubs and committees there’s a lot at stake if something happens to you or those close to you. Get a conversation started so that you, your members and families get to enjoy the quality of life living in regional areas brings.
According to Ms Sturzenegger, 27 people died at work in Victoria since this time last year including 10 from regional areas. Of the 10 regional deaths, six were on farms – ranging from a 94-year-old man to a four-year-old boy. Statewide, around 29,000 people are seriously injured yearly – enough to make a workers compensation claim. Ms Sturzenegger said that many other suffered lesser injuries, ‘soldiered on’ or if self-employed, had other insurance or used their own resources to cover the bills.
“Working together, we will maintain Victoria’s overall position of having Australia’s lowest workplace injury rate and employers will continue to pay Australia’s lowest average workers compensation premiums.
“Most importantly, families and communities won’t be torn apart by preventable incidents.”
Ms Sturzenegger further emphasized that WorkSafe offers a range of resources to help make regional businesses and their communities safer.
“If you don’t want to take advantage of these, talking to your workers and family about how a job can be done more safely, can make a real difference.
“Get a family member, friend or neighbour in to have a look at things. They will often spot something you may have missed or perhaps dealt with a similar problem before.”