WorkSafe's delivers a knock at the door

WorkSafe is taking a tougher approach to its calls for Victorians to value workplace safety with an emotional public awareness advertising campaign beginning on Victorian television screens tonight.
News article published

Sunday 02 Jan 2011

Industries and topics
  • Health and safety representatives

The state-wide campaign shows the "knock at the door" received by a woman and her daughter after a major safety incident at her husband's workplace.

"It's a tough story to tell - and for some it will be difficult to watch," WorkSafe's Executive Director for Health and Safety, Ian Forsyth, said.

"We've taken a tougher line because while death and injury rates are dropping over the long term, the improvement is not happening fast enough - and families, the wider community and businesses are paying the price.

"In 2010, 23 Victorians didn't come home from work at the end of the day.

"Dozens more received life-threatening injuries, and more than 29,000 suffered an injury that required extended time off work or extensive medical treatment.

"Over the past decade, 268 Victorians died at work. While we've come a long way in the last ten years, there's still much more that can be done to make workplaces safer.

"We want Victorians to stop and think about what is ultimately important to them, why safe workplaces are needed, and what they can do to prevent more families being put in this position," he said.

Mr Forsyth said while this campaign depicts the aftermath of an incident on a construction site, the same results were suffered in shops, factories, farms and other workplaces.

"We're challenging employers and workers to value safety, and stop and think before starting a job.

"It's cold-comfort to argue about the rights and wrongs after the event. The 'knock on the door' can be avoided," he said.

The 2010 fatality toll includes four electric shock deaths including the double electrocution fatality of a father and son at Rainbow in western Victoria; three falls from height; and three fatalities where workers were unloading trucks.

Over the past five years, 60 people have died at work in Melbourne, and 65 in regional Victoria.

Victorian workplace fatalities for 2010:

12 January: A 60-year-old man who died when computer equipment being removed from a truck by a forklift fell on him (Laverton, Melbourne)

15 January: A 37 year-old man died when the work platform he was working on fell 20 metres to the ground (South Melbourne)

17 February: A 73 year-old man died on a farm after being run over by a tractor (near Donald, North West Victoria)

26 February: A 27 year-old man died after being electrocuted while working on a press (Bayswater North, Melbourne)

28 February: A 24 year-old man died when the tractor he was operating rolled over (Bruarong, south of Yackandandah)

11 March: A 54 year-old man died from a gas leak in a hotel cellar (Birregurra, near Colac)

15 March: (Double fatality) A 65 year-old father and his 35 year-old son died when a metal windmill they were moving (using a tractor with a forklift attachment) made contact with a powerline (Rainbow, Western Victoria)

19 April: A 26 year-old man was struck in the head by a steel rod being shaped by a lathe, at a steel fabrication business (Thomastown, Melbourne)

11 May: A 33 year-old man died after a metal silo full of barley toppled over and on to him (Wyuna, Northern Victoria)

3 June: A 59 year-old man died on a construction site after falling from scaffolding (Northcote, Melbourne)

17 June: A female vineyard worker was struck by a falling tree limb (Woori Yallock, Yarra Valley)

14 July: A 41 year-old man was crushed under a three-tonne steel beam (Appleton Dock, Melbourne)

22 July: A 51 year-old man died when a vehicle rolled off a vehicle jack and crushed him (Dandenong South, Melbourne)

12 August: A 34 year-old man received fatal head injuries when he was crushed by a rotating chain mechanism at an abattoir, while carrying out cleaning work (Laverton North, Melbourne)

24 August: A 40 year-old man died after being thrown around 30 metres while attempting to secure a tarpaulin on a grain bunker in strong winds (North Shore, Geelong)

16 September: A 48 year-old man died after being thrown around 20 metres out of an elevated work platform as it tipped over (Wheelers Hill, Melbourne)

6 October: A 57 year-old male truck driver died from being struck by a log while unloading the truck (Docklands, Melbourne)

27 October: A woman on a farm was run over by a tractor loaded up with pallets (Towong, North-east Victoria)

12 November: A worker died from crush injuries sustained in an abattoir (Lance Creek, South Gippsland)

13 November: A 37 year-old electrician received an electric shock when a live cable came into contact with the metal frame of the switchboard he was working on. He later died in hospital (South Bank, Melbourne)

22 November: A man operating an excavator died when a quarry face collapsed (Nyora – South Gippsland)

2 December: A 44 year-old truck driver was crushed when a truck tipped on its side while being unloaded (Gannawarra, North-central Victoria).