Two new feature areas will keep Safety In Action, Australia's longest running workplace safety show, fresh when it returns to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from March 20 to 22 for its tenth anniversary.
Corporate health and training and technology will join the show's list of features, which include height safety, building safety and electrical engineering. The tenth anniversary will also bring added emphasis to the materials handling side of the event.
Now known simply as "Melbourne Materials Handling", this show complementing Safety In Action will be around 25 per cent bigger than Materials & Manual Handling 2006.
Melbourne Materials Handling is the first of three such shows, with Queensland Materials Handling and Sydney Materials Handling to follow in June and October respectively.
Organiser Marie Kinsella of Australian Exhibitions & Conferences said the growth of materials handling reflected the scale of the problems experienced by industry. Almost half (46%) of all workers compensation claims are for sprains and strains of joints and adjacent muscles, according to the most recent figures released by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council.
"The sprains and strains associated with manual handling take an enormous toll on Australia's workforce," Ms Kinsella said. "Naturally, our visitors are keen to explore how they can reduce the risk of those injuries and that's why a show dedicated to the field is warranted."
"While Materials & Manual Handling has been a big part of Safety In Action ever since the first show 10 years ago, it's exciting to see the show evolving with new areas like corporate health and training and technology emerging. It's a message that employers are looking beyond compliance to reap the productivity gains that come with a healthier workplace."
Safety In Action has also changed dramatically in size since the first 1998 event, Ms Kinsella said, when it attracted just 1500 visitors. In 2006, the show drew 12,129, bringing the total over its nine years to 50,880 visits.
One of the first visitors was occupational health and safety expert, Boorea Rudd's Neville Betts. "Ten years ago, I attended the first Safety In Action Trade Show," he said. "I was impressed that it was able to provide me with so many solutions to the hazards found in our Australian workplaces - ‘right up to the minute’ solutions that provided for both human factors and technology, making our workplaces safer and reducing the risk of injury."
"These impressions have stayed with me each year as I visit each new Safety In Action Trade Show. I am constantly amazed by the new products and innovative safety solutions that can be discovered at Safety In Action when talking with the representatives. For my money, this annual trade show is not to be missed."
The 10 year milestone will also be celebrated at the concurrently held Safety In Action Conference hosted by the Safety Institute of Australia and sponsored by WorkSafe Victoria.
The first of the conference's three days boasts a raft of high profile speakers offering their insights into the direction of workplace safety, including futurist Barry Jones and celebrity restaurant owner, Tobie Puttock of Fifteen Restaurant.
The tenth Safety In Action and Melbourne Materials Handling shows will run from March 20 to 22 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.