A comprehensive programme of intervention activities to take place over the next 12 months has been announced by WorkSafe Victoria .
The industries, suburbs and regional areas to receive added attention in the next year demonstrate WorkSafe Victoria’s transparent approach to compliance ensuring everyone has the opportunity to do whatever is necessary to maximise safety.
The identified industries have been determined as being in need of improvement based on workers compensation claims and reported incidents.
WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director, John Merritt, said looking for potential hazards, consulting and undertaking improvement activity got results.
“Most employers believe WorkSafe should adopt a stronger stance toward those who breach OHS laws, because poor performance undermines those who are doing their best.”
WorkSafe Victoria takes a constructive approach to its enforcement work and provides a wide range of services and publications to help businesses and workers understand their safety obligations.
- A free three-hour safety consultancy which provides independent contractors to small and medium-sized businesses
- A wide range of publications show how to deal with common hazards in various industries
- The new industry Hotspots identify the main causes of injury in specific occupations help business operators and workers understand what’s at stake
- Information about improving safety can be found or by calling WorkSafe Victoria’s Advisory Service
Merritt said WorkSafe Victoria’s inspection strategy for the next year would use advice and assistance, as well as Improvement and Prohibition Notices, as primary enforcement tools.
“We take a constructive approach which allows every opportunity to get things right. In most cases people use the time given to do what they need to, but in some cases we’re left with no option but to prosecute.
“The commercial and legal consequences of a prosecution mean that even a modest fine of $20,000 can have an enormous impact on a business.
“Taking shortcuts or putting-off essential work plays with lives and commercial viability.
“Getting safety right before we visit and complying with any notices issued means the risk of prosecution is minimised.”
“It can be avoided by not cutting corners and by taking an active role in ensuring everyone gets home safely at the end of the day.
“It’s good for people and it’s good for business.”
Safe Towns and Safer Suburbs involves a team of up to 10 inspectors visiting a particular area for up to a week. These successful programs have been running for a number of years and resulted in a marked improvement in safety in those areas.
Common safety issues such as unguarded machines, forklifts, manual handling, chemical and other storage are among the issues targeted.
2008/09 planned WorkSafe intervention activities:
Targeted industries and regions:
- Moulded and fabricated metals
- Emergency services and prisons
- Food and beverage
- Road freight transport
- Chemical storage
- Vehicle and parts manufacture
- Welfare services
- Wood products manufacturing