News 29 August 2019

WorkSafe Victoria's new Enforcement Campaign

WorkSafe Victoria’s new workplace health and safety awareness campaign is targeting employers who risk workers’ lives and it is warning they face tough penalties if they do the wrong thing.

The new ‘More Inspectors. More Inspections.’ campaign highlights the consequences for employers who fail to protect the health and safety of their workers. It is viewed through the eyes of employers who experience the immediate trauma and aftermath when workers are killed or seriously injured while doing their job.

There have been 15 workplace deaths this year with each one leaving grieving families and friends behind. As a result, the Andrews Labor Government has announced that WorkSafe will employ up to 40 new inspectors over the next four years to focus on health and safety in the construction industry.

WorkSafe’s enforcement activity in the last financial year saw 48,652 completed health and safety visits last financial year and the issuing of 14,550 health and safety compliance notices. In addition, a total of 151 prosecutions for breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 were completed with court fines of more than $6.8 million imposed.

The new enforcement campaign began on Sunday August 25th and includes advertisements on television, on radio, in print, on billboards and also on social media. The television commercials focus on the construction, manufacturing and agriculture industries with a strong presence across metropolitan and regional stations.

A multi-industry 30 second radio spot has been created and will be heard across metropolitan and regional stations. Press insertions include one general and three industry specific adverts with full page press insertions secured within metropolitan and regional publications. Readership will dictate which advert variant is showcased.

To support the television, radio and press advertisements small and large format billboards within metropolitan and regional centres will be used as will an array of social and digital assets created including online video commercials, LinkedIn and Twitter posts along with digital display banners.

The Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy said: “Worksafe inspectors are out in force, cracking down on employers who do the wrong thing – because one death in a workplace is one too many.”  “This campaign is about reminding employers of their responsibilities, and that those who do the wrong thing will be caught and prosecuted.”

WorkSafe Victoria’s Chief Executive, Clare Amies said: “We want to remind employers of their responsibility to keep workers healthy and safe, and the pain, suffering and heavy legal consequences they face when they don’t.”

The Andrews Labor Government earlier this year announced a Workplace Manslaughter implementation Taskforce as the first step in developing new legislation to make workplace manslaughter a criminal offence.Under the proposed new laws, employers will face fines of almost $16 million and individuals responsible for negligently causing death will be held to account and will face up to 20 years in jail.


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