Greater Effort Needed To Reduce Workplace Death Toll
The Andrews Labor Government is urging employers to make workplace safety a priority this year, after 23 people didn’t make it home from work in 2018.
The number of workplace deaths has decreased in the past twelve months, however seven of the 2018 deaths involved workers aged 25 and under.
Victorian workplaces are reminded to take care of their employees – particularly those who lack experience – and provide consistent and appropriate training and supervision.
There have been four workplace deaths in 2019, including one recently involving a teenager.
The Labor Government has started work on important workplace manslaughter laws and the establishment of an implementation taskforce.
As part of the implementation taskforce, the Government is establishing a Workplace Fatalities and Serious Incidents Reference Group to ensure that the families of those who have lost loved ones in workplace accidents can contribute to the reforms.
Construction sites were the state’s most deadly workplaces last year, with nine workers killed and despite a drop in on-farm fatalities, unsafe agriculture workplaces still cost the lives of eight people.
Although the circumstances of each fatality vary, a failure to identify and manage hazards remains a common theme throughout these tragedies.
WorkSafe inspectors will this year continue to target high-risk sectors, including construction and agriculture, after making more than 48,000 visits to workplaces across the state in 2018.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy
“The lives of 23 families were forever changed by workplace deaths in 2018 – no one should die doing their job.”
“While individuals have a role to play in keeping themselves and others safe at work, occupational health and safety laws are very clear that the safety of staff is the responsibility of every Victorian employer.”
“We’re working with unions, business and the community to implement critical reforms as soon as possible, to save lives and keep Victorian workers safe.”