Stay work safe this season

FESTIVE CARE: WorkSafe Victoria regional operations manager Trevor Butler has warned workers and employers to work together to stay safe this December.

FESTIVE CARE: WorkSafe Victoria regional operations manager Trevor Butler has warned workers and employers to work together to stay safe this December.

Ballarat’s healthcare industry had the most WorkSafe Victoria claims in 2015/16.

One hundred and twelve health care and social assistance workers lodged claims, compared to the next highest of 99 in manufacturing.

The major type of injury was musculoskeletal, with 179 claims, followed by 116 traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries.

The main cause of injury was body stressing, which accounted for 198 claims, and falls, slips and trips. 

However overall claims have dropped to 553 compared to 623 in 2014/15 and 620 in 2013/14.

WorkSafe Victoria regional operations manager Trevor Butler said poor manual handling, such as repetitive lifting of items above the shoulders or below the knees and the moving or handling of heavy or awkward items, was the single largest cause of claims in both healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

Mr Butler has also issued a plea for workers to be more careful at this time of year, with 25 per cent of all workplace fatalities occurring in November and December.

“While injuries are down across the state, tragically there has been an increase in workplace fatalities this year,” Mr Butler said.

“A workplace injury or fatality affects everyone – not just the person involved but their family, friends, colleagues and the business itself.

“It is important employers are meeting their occupational health and safety obligations by ensuring safe systems of work are in place, including proper instruction, training and supervision.”

WorkSafe executive director health and safety Marnie Williams said it was critical employers and employees understood the risks associated with the busy pre-Christmas period and worked together to prevent a workplace fatality.

“Last year we saw 19 workers lose their lives and eight of those alone were during this dangerous time of year,” Ms Williams said.

For more information about improving workplace safety, go to worksafe.vic.gov.au.