WorkSafe Victoria inspectors will be visiting small and medium-sized businesses in Warragul as part of a major safety improvement campaign, Safe Towns, in late May.
Up to 10 WorkSafe Victoria inspectors will take part in the visits which run from 26 May-30 May.
Unmaintained and unguarded machines, dangerous electrical leads, inadequately trained workers, working at height and poor fire protection will be among the major targets.
“Expect a visit and review your safety improvement needs,” the director of WorkSafe Victoria ’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Program, Trevor Martin said.
“Identifying and fixing issues before the visit means everyone has a clear understanding of expectations. When an inspector comes, there should be few issues to deal with.
“Treatment and rehabilitation costs for more than 682 reported injuries in Baw Baw Shire over the past five financial years exceed $11.29m, but the impact of these and other injuries on individuals, families and the community can’t be measured.
“Inspectors can offer advice and provide information on how to make the workplace safe, but employers have to provide a safe workplace while workers have a responsibility to not put themselves or others at risk.
WorkSafe Victoria ’s website has information on a wide range of safety topics and occupations. The telephone advisory service is also available.
“Most injuries, including those that cause permanent damage and kill, occur when people are doing ‘routine’ work. Prevention really is better than cure,” Trevor Martin said.
Where a safety issues is identified, an improvement notice will be issued to ensure the matter is addressed within an agreed period.
Where there is an immediate risk to health or safety, a prohibition notice will be issued. A prohibition notice means a work practice or machine must stop until the risk is remedied.
Both notices require sign-off from an inspector before the issues are considered to be resolved.
While WorkSafe Victoria does not issue fines, where notices are ignored or in the case of serious injuries or other serious incidents prosecutions were possible.
Like other regional areas, West Gippsland’s high-risk occupations include farming, road transport, construction trades and manufacturing.