Ten tradies are injured badly enough every day to make a compensation claim, according to statistics released today by WorkSafe.
In the past five years, more than 17,000 injury claims from the construction industry were reported to WorkSafe, costing almost $1 billion in treatment, wages and other expenses.
Tradies and labourers made up almost 80 per cent of those injured workers. Tragically, two construction workers lost their lives last year.
WorkSafe Chief Executive Denise Cosgrove said while the construction industry understood the importance of safety, more needed to be done.
“Inspectors visit almost 40 construction sites across Victoria every day and, on average, they find almost 6500 health and safety breaches every year. And that’s just not acceptable,” she said.
“The number of deaths, injuries and safety breaches prove that everyone – builders, contractors and workers – must do more to make sure workers get home to their families safely every night.”
Ms Cosgrove said the majority of construction site injuries were caused by inadequate planning, poor site housekeeping and a lack of supervision.
“The injuries caused on sites are not always life threatening, but are often painful, costly and result in long periods off work,” she said.
Ms Cosgrove said the statistics were released to draw attention to the launch today of the Top Tradie Cup, which is designed to get tradies and others in the construction industry talking about safety.
“Top Tradie Cup will help to create a culture of safety on site, and encourage workers to speak up when they see safety breaches occurring,” she said.
“We know that creating a safety culture encourages behaviour change which will ultimately lead to fewer workers being injured on site.”
The Top Tradie Cup is a six-week competition that tests tradies on their football and safety knowledge. It is designed specifically for smartphones to make it easy for tradies to compete and discuss safety on site.
There are weekly prizes, including footy tickets, Xboxes and vouchers, and a grand prize that includes corporate hospitality tickets to one of the biggest footy games of the season.
Brian Welch, Executive Director of the Master Builders Association of Victoria, said safety is an important issue on any worksite.
“There is still scope for improvement when it comes to safety in the building sector,” he said.
“Tradies will be keen to win the big prize knowing the answers to this quiz will get them there and, coincidentally, improve their safety awareness in the process.”
To find out more about the competition and to register for the Top Tradie Cup, visit: www.toptradie.com.au
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.