Sixteen new WorkSafe recruits have this week commenced an intensive fourteen-week training course as they prepare for their new roles as WorkSafe inspectors.
A total of 23 people died in Victorian workplaces last year, according to provisional figures released today by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA).
Two companies were fined a total of $450,000 in the County Court last week over the death of a worker who fell 40 metres when a piling rig collapsed on a Melbourne construction site in 2011.
Victorians are being urged by the Victorian WorkCover Authority to take extra care at work in the lead-up to the holiday period, following a tragic seven-week period.
Builders are being urged to pay special attention to site security when locking up for the Christmas break.
This is an exciting time of year as the Christmas holidays draw near and workplaces try to meet final deadlines so everyone can enjoy a well-deserved break.
The Victorian WorkCover Authority wants all Victorians to participate in Jobs At Home Day on 5 December by creating and wearing a special badge that highlights an important role they play at home.
Preventing falls from heights will be a key focus of a health and safety campaign being conducted at Echuca and Moama construction sites next week.
Victorian and NSW health and safety inspectors will be active along the Victoria and NSW border this week in an ongoing campaign to promote construction site safety in the region.
Inspectors from Victoria and NSW are visiting building sites in the Albury and Wodonga region this week as part of the Cross Border Project, which aims to alleviate confusion about construction site safety requirements on each side of the border.
Since the project began in June last year, inspectors have already been able to assist more than 150 businesses by clarifying obligations of both employers and workers and similarities of working between two states.
Victorian WorkCover Authority Executive Director of Health and Safety, Len Neist, said the visits would help provide certainty to domestic, commercial and civil construction companies that worked along the border.
“In practical terms, there are very few differences between the states when it comes to construction safety,” Mr Neist said.
“No matter which state you are working in, it’s important to have a systematic approach to worksite safety. The key is a proper plan, implementing that plan and then monitoring work to ensure it is being done safely.
“Some of the main focuses of the visits include ensuring employers understand the importance of developing Safe Work Method Statements that accurately reflect tasks, ensuring all electrical equipment is tested and tagged, and keeping worksites secure to prevent unauthorised access.
“Inspectors are also reminding employers and workers to pay particular attention to site house-keeping. Untidy sites can lead to trips and falls and increase the risk of workers suffering sprained ankles or manual handling-related injuries.
Mr Neist said the campaign would help encourage better site practices, safety planning and supervision, which has been demonstrated by a drop in injury claims across the Wodonga region since the project began.
“The aim is to help reduce any confusion about working across the border while ensuring construction sites make safety their number one priority,” he said.
WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division Acting Director, Operations, Tony Williams said this week’s visits aimed to continue the safety and productivity improvements that had been seen on Border construction since the project commenced.
“Inspectors will provide advice and assistance to local builders and sub-contractors about how to make their construction sites safer,” Mr Williams said.
“This project is addressing the misperceptions about the two state’s safety laws being significantly different and improving construction industry productivity throughout the border region, so that more construction industry workers are returning home safely to their families and friends at the end of the working day.”
The construction industry is one of the highest risk industries in NSW with 1209 injuries and illnesses, including three fatalities in south-west NSW in the three years to 2010/11 at a cost of $14.3 million to the NSW workers compensation system.
The Victorian WorkCover Authority and WorkCover NSW will visit Albury and Wodonga from 16-20 June. The project is supported by key construction industry stakeholders from both states.
Victorian WorkCover Authority: Kate Fawcett – (03) 9641 1809 or 0478 305 640.
WorkCover NSW: (02) 4321 5474 or 0413 186 799.
A project to raise the awareness with local construction businesses of the similarities and ease of working on either side of the border will begin in Echuca and Moama this week.
Dangerous winds across Victoria today and tomorrow are a warning to builders, sub-contractors, event organisers and outdoor workers to ensure loose materials at their worksites are secure.
Precast concrete panels have become popular for many types of building projects but the risks associated with their use should not be underestimated.
A 25-year-old electrician died while working on a house renovation in the Gippsland town of Yallourn North yesterday.
WorkSafe is on site of an incident in Caulfield South, where it appears that part of a building has collapsed.