Victoria seeks to reverse fatality trend

Thursday, 11 January, 2007

WorkSafe Victoria is calling for 2007 to be "the year of safety' following the second workplace death for the year.

The first incident occurred just hours into the new year. A man was crushed as he unloaded an excavator from a trailer.

The second occurred on 2 January. While the investigation is still underway, the death of the 54 year-old man is currently deemed to be electrocution.

Immediately following the two incidents, WorkSafe director (construction and utilities program), Geoff Thomas urged all Victorian employers and employees to make safety their number one priority after the holiday period.

"The first week back from holidays really is the most critical week of the year for workplace safety," he said.

"Machinery that hasn't been used for a month, safety procedures forgotten and thoughts of the holiday just gone can mean people in the workplace aren't focused on the dangers that exist."

The regulator is keen to reverse the trend that saw a dramatic increase in workplace deaths last year. Fatalities in metropolitan Melbourne doubled from five in 2005 to 12 in 2006.

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