Slips, trips and falls in the residential construction industry have led to mounting medical costs for the community each year, WorkSafe Victoria says.
People who worked as roof tilers had accumulated $1.3 million in treatment costs due to slips, trips or falls in the last financial year. The payout is $1.1 million for bricklayers who suffered similar injuries, while it is more than $2 million for carpenters.
In an effort to improve residential construction site safety, WorkSafe has launched a new campaign to reduce the incidents of injuries in the industry.
“Slips, trips and falls at work are one of the leading causes of sprains and strains, also known as musculoskeletal injuries,” Acting Executive Director for Health and Safety Stan Krpan said.
“These injuries can have a long-term effect – which not only means paying for more time off work or treatment for workers; it also puts pressure on businesses through added business costs.
“Domestic construction companies have to think much more carefully about safety versus productivity.
“Losing a worker through a slip or fall will not only mean lost productivity for your business, you’ll also have to cover lost labour and maybe even train new workers.
“We’re urging construction workers and their employers to stop, step back, and think about safety when planning, working on and completing every job.
“This is about planning your projects and site layout, setting up your site, and ensuring your site is safe for each trade coming through.
“Improvising on the job, or taking short-cuts to get the work done, is only going to compromise your own health and safety,” he said.
The campaign gets the support of television host Scott Cam. Scott, who is a co-host of Domestic Blitz, started working as a carpenter and remains passionate about the industry.
“As a business owner and a tradie, I know how important it is that we all work together to keep each other safe,” Scott said.
“Simple things like keeping a clean site and not improvising with tools and equipment can have a big impact on safety.
“While I have seen safety standards improve since I started my apprenticeship, there are still too many tradies being injured at work. If I can play even a small role in lowering the number of injuries, I’ll be happy.”