The Victorian Government is urging employers to prioritise safety this year after 23 people were killed in workplace incidents in 2018. Seven of the 2018 work-related fatalities involved workers aged 25 and under.
Government statistics show the number of work-related fatalities has decreased in the past twelve months.
Nine construction workers were killed on the job in 2018 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.
The Government is reminding workplaces to take care of their employees – particularly those who lack experience – and provide consistent and appropriate training and supervision.
The Government has started work on important workplace manslaughter laws and the establishment of an implementation taskforce.
A Workplace Fatalities and Serious Incidents Reference Group will be established to ensure that the families of those who have lost loved ones in workplace incidents can contribute to the reforms.
WorkSafe inspectors will this year continue to target high-risk sectors, including construction and agriculture. In 2018, WorkSafe inspectors made more than 48,000 visits to workplaces across the state.
“The lives of 23 families were forever changed by workplace deaths in 2018 – no one should die doing their job,” Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said.
“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.”