27 September 2023

Workers urged to think about deaths at work

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Victorians are being encouraged to direct their thoughts towards the impact of trauma in the workplace and the community following the tragic loss of 66 lives last year.

Chief Executive Officer of WorkSafe Victoria, Colin Radford raised the issue saying that although the 2021 workplace fatality toll was less than the 73 lives lost in 2020, no one in the community was immune to the devastating consequences of a death or injury at work.

“Hundreds of Victorians have just spent their first festive season without a loved one by their side because of a workplace death,” Mr Radford said.

“Many others are themselves dealing with the pain and suffering from serious and often life-changing injuries suffered at work,” he said.

“We need every workplace to take the time to properly assess their health and safety risks and plan how to eliminate or manage them, because failing to do so can lead to tragedy.”

Mr Radford said manufacturing was the deadliest industry last year with 14 fatalities, followed by construction with 13 deaths and agriculture, forestry and fishing which had nine fatalities.

The Chief Executive Officer said high-risk sectors, including manufacturing, construction and agriculture, would continue to be targeted by WorkSafe inspectors, who made more than 39,000 visits to workplaces across the State in 2021.

“It’s simply unacceptable that we are seeing the same industries feature prominently in workplace deaths and serious injuries year after year,” he said.

“WorkSafe is committed to working towards a future where no one loses their life at work, including by taking strong enforcement action against those ignoring their health and safety obligations.”

Mr Radford said on top of the lives lost, more than 23,000 workers were injured seriously enough to have a claim for compensation accepted last year.

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