Almost 26,000 workers were injured seriously enough in Victoria during 2016 to make a claim, according to new WorkSafe data.
As a consequence, WorkSafe is urging all businesses and workers to put safety first and help drive down the number of workplace incidents across the state.
Manufacturing (4174 claims), health care and social assistance (3919) and construction (3284) were the industry sectors with the highest number of claims.
The main types of injury were musculoskeletal (8498), muscle or tendon injuries (4881) and lacerations or amputations (3367), while the main causes of injury were poor manual handling (9670), slips, trips and falls (5697) and being hit by a moving object (3932).
“Last year, 26 people lost their lives at work, and the youngest was just 21,” said WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies.
“No worker should ever lose their life simply because they were doing their job.”
While more workplaces are making a real commitment to safety, there is always more that can be done.
“It is a tragic fact that every workplace death and injury can be avoided so we need to ensure that safety is a priority,” Amies said.
According to WorkSafe data, while Victoria’s workforce has continued to grow, the number of people injured at work has fallen steadily. Since 2011, there has been a 12.5% drop in injury claims — from 29,567 claims in 2011 to 25,861 claims in 2016.
Amies said the fall in injury claims in recent years was heartening but more needed to be done.
“Safety at work is everyone’s responsibility and there are almost 26,000 reasons why we all need to do more to educate, inform and, where necessary, enforce good safety practices at work,” she said.
The 2017 WorkSafe Victoria Awards program has now been launched, honouring businesses and individuals who have shown excellence in health and safety, or helping injured workers get back to safe work sooner.
Amies encouraged businesses and individuals to enter.
“Many organisations and individuals are doing wonderful things to prevent workplace injuries, and help workers return to work after an injury,” she said.
“Their work deserves encouragement and recognition, and we hope that by promoting their ideas and passion WorkSafe can inspire other workplaces to do the same.”
The categories are Health and Safety Invention of the Year, Best Solution to a Specific Workplace Health and Safety Issue, Best Solution to a Manual Handling Issue, Health and Safety Representative of the Year, OHS Achievement, Commitment to Workplace Health and Wellbeing, Worker Return to Work Achievement Award, Return To Work Coordinator Excellence and Leading Return to Work Practice by an Employer.
Entries close on 31 May. For more information or to nominate an individual or business, go to www.worksafeawards.com.au.
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