11:58 am, Tuesday 8 January, 2013
2012 has been the safest year for Victorian workplaces, with only 18 deaths, down from 25 in 2011.
According to figures released by WorkCover, workplace injuries was low in 2012, with only 7.77 people injured for every million hours compared to 7.9 workers in 2011.
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips through Fairfax Media said inspection and enforcement action by the Victorian WorkCover Authority as well as cooperation from workers and businesses helped reduce fatal accidents.
“In 2012, national data confirmed Victoria’s position as having the safest workplaces of any state to territory in Australia, and that’s a credit to employers, workers and the efforts of the WorkSafe team,” said Mr Rich-Phillips.
He also said more work needs to be done to protect workers from workplace injuries and deaths.
WorkSafe Health and Safety executive director, Ian Forsyth said safety campaigns helped reduce workplace injuries and deaths.
“The campaign has positioned public safety in the people’s minds. They are very high-profile and have a very strong level of awareness and recall. This improvement is a combination of enforcement, education and public awareness campaigns.”
According to a Fairfax Media report, fatalities in the construction and agriculture industries continue to be a cause of concern, with three fatalities on farms in 2012.
Mr Forsyth said seven of the 18 deaths recorded last year happened in November and December.
“That’s a pattern we saw the previous year. We think that’s a time where people are rushing to get jobs done, or their mind is focused on upcoming holidays.”
Around 28,300 Victorian workers claimed an injury claim last year – the lowest on record.
The Victorian Government also reiterated that it would not introduce the proposed new work health and safety model.
“Victoria’s occupational health and safety laws are recognised as best practice and these results support that,” said Mr Rich-Phillips.
“Julia Gillard’s national OHS model would impose $3.4 billion in additional costs on Victorian businesses without any evidence that workplace safety in Victoria would be improved.”