WorkSafe Victoria's latest figures for injury claims within the Central Highlands area reveal an increase in total claims over the last year.
The release of the statistics coincides with the commencement of the body's annual health and safety month.
In the 2020-21 financial year, there were four work-related fatalities in the Central Highlands area, which includes the City of Ballarat, Golden Plains Shire, Hepburn Shire, Pyrenees Shire, Moorabool Shire, and Ararat Rural City.
The number of fatalities was up from three deaths in 2019-20.
In the total, there were 845 injury claims, stemming from the Central Highlands area and accepted by WorkSafe, in 2020-21.
The number of claims was an increase from 807 in the previous year.
The industries most heavily featured in the new statistics were the health care and social assistance field with 229 claims; the manufacturing area with 109 claims; and construction with 77 claims.
The most common workplace injuries experienced within the region in the last financial year included wounds to musculoskeletal system (263); traumatic tendon, muscle, and ligament injuries (157); and mental injuries (124).
The majority of injuries in the area in 2020-21 stemmed from stress to the body. Such pressure resulted in 284 cases accepted by WorkSafe. 230 cases were the consequences of falls, slips, and trips. Moving objects significantly impacted on employees in 158 instances.
IN OTHER NEWS
WorkSafe's health and safety month is bringing together experts to share innovations, highlight current issues, and spark conversations.
The theme for the month is 'you learn something new every day'. Experts will provide advice on a range of areas, including training for manual handling, predicting workplace mental health risks, and preventing and responding to gendered violence and sexual harassment
Given the psychological challenges posed by the pandemic, a number of sessions will focus on mental health. Topics will feature building mentally healthy workplaces and the impact of workplace culture on mental health.
Further programs will include a session for tradespeople and home renovators, hosted by AFL identity Cameron Ling, a panel discussing remote and flexible work, and a presentation in which the investigator of WorkSafe's fatalities investigation team will share prosecution case studies to outline what happens when employers fail to meet their health and safety obligations.
Ongoing restrictions across the state mean all forums will be online.
WorkSafe chief executive officer Colin Radford said health and safety month was an opportunity for employers and workers to stay connected in tough times. In addition, participants can keep up-to-date with the latest relevant information.
"As we all continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, it remains as important as ever that health and safety is front of mind, whether you are working out in the community or remotely from a home office," Mr Radford said.
"We all have a role to play in workplace safety, so I encourage everyone to visit the website and register for sessions relevant to them."
"The simple-to-use online format means people can join the session from anywhere and save on the time and travel costs that can come with attending these sorts of events."
For the event program and to register, visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/events.
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