WorkSafe Victoria has announced a comprehensive programme of intervention activities to take place over the next 12 months.
The industries, suburbs and regional areas to receive added attention in the next year demonstrate WorkSafe Victoria’s transparent approach to compliance and allows everyone to take the necessary steps to prevent injuries.
The identified industries have been determined as being in need of improvement based on workers compensation claims.
The announcement corresponds with the launch of WorkSafe Victoria’s new advertising campaign which takes the safety message back to the workplace after the successful Homecomings and School Play campaigns of recent years.
The television advertisement is the story of workers who see a WorkSafe Victoria inspector getting out of the car.
Between them and the boss they run through known safety issues, forklifts, slipping and tripping hazards, everything is covered. But what about the safety guard on the machine?
“You said that could wait until next month,” one of the workers says to the boss.
WorkSafe Victoria's Executive Director, John Merritt, said while workplace death rates were dropping, the number of workplace injuries remains at almost 30,000 each year.
“WorkSafe is reminding the community that workplaces must be safe all the time, not just when an inspector is expected.”
“Improvements are being made in many areas, and most people try to do the right thing most of the time, but good work can be undone in an instant.
“Failing to address basic safety issues can add to business costs and impose unnecessary pain and suffering on individuals and families.”
John Merritt said WorkSafe Victoria would continue to provide extensive support and encouragement to businesses, while those chosing to ignore their legal obligations needed to consider the potential consequences.
“Even in tough times, going to the trouble to look for potential hazards, consulting and undertaking improvement activity will get results.
“Taking shortcuts or putting-off essential work plays with lives and commercial viability.”
WorkSafe Victoria’s inspection strategy for the next year will use advice and assistance, as well as Improvement and Prohibition Notices, as primary enforcement tools.
“In cases of intransigence or when there are clear failings associated with someone being hurt or even killed, prosecution is possible,” John Merritt said.
“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.
“The commercial and legal consequences of prosecution mean that even a modest fine of $20,000 can have an enormous impact on a business.
“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.”
2008/09 planned WorkSafe Victoria 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