Worksafe Victoria calls organization on the need for adequate safety measures
WorkSafe Victoria has renewed calls for employers to not ignore well-known safety measures to avoid joining the 123 companies and directors fined for flouting workplace safety laws in 2022.
Fourteen of those companies were hit with six-figure penalties for breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act, with the total of all fines imposed by the courts at $5,588,750.
Offences involving working at heights saw 35 duty holders prosecuted and fined, as well as inadequate or absent guarding (23) and unsafe, or unsafe use of, machinery (18) and forklifts (11).
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Narelle Beer said simply having the knowledge of safety measures was often not enough.
“Training workers in the safe operation of equipment, using a passive fall prevention device when working at heights, ensuring machines are appropriately guarded and maintained, and erecting physical barriers to separate pedestrians from mobile plant are all proven ways to reduce workplace injuries and deaths,” she said.
“Employers must actively implement measures to make their workplaces safe.”
Construction (47) and manufacturing (36) matters accounted for two thirds of WorkSafe’s workplace safety prosecutions, while these two industries also accounted for more than a quarter of all accepted worker compensation claims in 2022.
Dr Beer said the lack of care shown for some young workers was particularly shocking.
“It is vital that those who are new to the workforce are adequately supervised and presented with examples of what a safety-first attitude looks like from their employer and other experienced workers,” she said.
“Employers are also responsible for fostering a supportive environment where workers are encouraged to speak up or ask questions when they have safety concerns.”