Victorian safety inspection campaigns

Tuesday, 30 June, 2009

WorkSafe Victoria campaigns will target regional and metropolitan areas with teams of up to 10 WorkSafe inspectors visiting as many workplaces as possible over a week.

The program’s aim is to help small- and medium-sized businesses identify basic safety issues to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities, help people who have been hurt to return to work and ensure businesses have appropriate WorkSafe injury insurance.

WorkSafe’s focus over the financial year will be on the major risks to small businesses, including:

  • Improving the safety of hazardous manual handling, slips trips and falls, and plant, which make up around 60% of Victorian workers' compensation claims;
  • Equipment guarding;
  • Getting people back to work as safely and sustainably as possible; and
  • Ensuring small businesses have WorkSafe injury insurance to financially protect the business if someone is injured or killed.

WorkSafe’s Executive Director, John Merritt, called on employers and workers to join forces and put a stop to people being hurt or injured at work: “We tell people that inspectors will be in the area and what they’re looking for. Despite this, we frequently find people ignore the opportunity to make improvements. As a result they receive safety improvement notices or are prohibited from operating dangerous equipment or doing dangerous work.

“The aim of these campaigns is to help a small business community make improvements, together and at the same time, to build community capability so injuries and deaths are prevented rather than responding to issues after the event.”

WorkSafe inspectors visited nearly 2000 workplaces under both programs in 2008-2009 and issued 2030 improvement notices requiring small businesses to fix specific safety issues. Another 37 Prohibition Notices were issued, ordering work to stop immediately due to serious risks to health and safety.

WorkSafe has run Safe Towns and Safer Work Zones campaigns since 2004 as part of its strategic enforcement program and is one of many inspection programs WorkSafe will be undertaking during 2009-2010.

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