According to new WorkSafe data, almost 7000 workers in regional Victoria were injured seriously enough last year to make a claim, which equates to more than 18 injuries every day. Health care and social assistance (1267 claims), manufacturing (1039) and construction (837) were the industry sectors with the highest number of claims.
WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies said that, despite the fact that Victorian workplaces had never been safer, the number of Victorians killed or injured at work remained “totally unacceptable.”
“Last year, 26 people lost their lives at work, and the youngest was just 21. Eighteen of these fatalities were in regional Victoria,” Ms Amies said. “No worker should ever lose their life simply because they were doing their job.”
Ms Amies said more workplaces were making a real commitment to safety, but there was always more that could be done.
“It is a tragic fact that every workplace death and injury can be avoided so we need to ensure that safety is a priority,” Ms Amies said.
According to WorkSafe data, while Victoria’s workforce has continued to grow, the number of workers injured at work had fallen steadily. Since 2011, there has been a 12.5 per cent drop in injury claims - from 29,567 claims in 2011 to 25,861 claims last year.
In regional Victoria, claims have fallen from 7,772 in 2011 to 6,932 in 2016, a fall of 10.8 per cent.
Ms Amies said the fall in injury claims in recent years was heartening but more needed to be done.
“Safety at work is everyone’s responsibility and there are almost 26,000 reasons why we all need to do more to educate, inform and, where necessary, enforce good safety practices at work,” she said.
Credit: WorkSafe Victoria (13/04/17)