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High fatality rates spark warnings for workplaces

Submitted on Thursday, 6th July 2017

A series of workplace fatalities and a sudden spike in the national death toll have highlighted the importance of effective traffic management, plant maintenance, controls for working remotely and other safety strategies, according to state and territory safety regulators and a coroner.

As of the end of the June, 94 Australian workers have been killed at work since January, Safe Work Australia's preliminary fatality toll for 2017 shows. (OHS Alert June 30 2017)

This is eight more than for the same period last year, and a staggering 18 more than when SWA last updated the tally three weeks ago.

Warehousing, Transport and Postal have been the most hazardous industry, with 38 fatalities (10 more than for the same period last year), followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing (20 fatalities this year) and construction (16)

In Victoria, a stablehand was killed in a fall from a horse and a carpenter died in a fall from a building site's first floor early in the last week of June, just days after two Victorian farm workers were killed in separate vehicle incidents.

These types of deaths and serious injuries are not only incredibly traumatic for the decades that follow for all concerned, but they are also often the trigger for a business to partially or collapse and cease to exist. No one at work should be exposed to and involved in these types of terrible workplace events.

The Victorian Chamber offers extensive services with regard to reviewing organisational arrangements that may or may not be in place in the workplace to effectively manage and control traffic streams and flow, vehicle utilisation and maintenance and a wide range of other high risk work practices. 

Our team of Health, Safety and Wellbeing Consultants can help you to understand where your staff are most at risk and how to eliminate or minimise those risks to an acceptable level. We can work with you to make changes to better manage Health, Safety and Wellbeing where necessary that are specific to your team and your concerns. 

We offer a free (no cost to the client) service, funded by Worksafe Victoria, called OHS Essentials that provide the ability for members of our experienced team to spend either 5 (up to 20 staff) or 10 hrs (up to 200 staff) with your business to identify where your key safety risks are and provide clear action plans to eliminate or minimise the risks. 

You can also get up to date on the latest in OHS and Workers’ Compensation by attending our state-wide briefing series in September.

Contact us to discuss how we can assist on 03 8662 5333 or hse@victorianchamber.com.au

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