11:54 pm, Saturday 25 February, 2012
Around 200 businesses will be visited by a WorkSafe inspector as part of the Safe Towns campaign which involves a team of inspectors visiting a regional area to check on health and safety compliance and return to work laws.
According to WorkSafe’s operations General Manager, Lisa Sturzenegger, inspectors will check on businesses which have never been visited before as well as those with previous injury claims.
“It’s in everyone’s interest to make changes sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until a WorkSafe inspector arrives, or a serious incident to address health and safety matters,” said Ms Sturzenegger.
WorkSafe data reveals that almost 2370 injuries were reported from the Bendigo region over the past five financial years. Treatment and rehabilitation costs exceeded $41 million. More than half of these claims came from the health care and social assistance, manufacturing and construction industries.
”We constantly come across cases where companies are fined thousands of dollars for not addressing safety matters such as allowing workers to operate faulty machinery, not properly separating forklifts from pedestrians and other poor management of safety issues.”
“Getting on top of health and safety issues in the workplace is good for business, good for morale and ensures workers return home safely at the end of the day.”
“We also find that 60 per cent of all Victorian workplace injuries are a result of dangerous manual handling practices. Businesses may not even be aware that their existing work methods put a strain on their workers.”
“We encourage businesses to look at their workplaces from a fresh perspective and to find new ways to address basic issues.”
WorkSafe inspectors will also visit South Geelong/Breakwater, Ballarat and Traralgon in the months to come.