A free breakfast briefing is scheduled for Thursday 5 May running from 7:30 am-9:00 am, at the Comfort Inn Riversleigh, 1 Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale.
The workplace visits are part of an intensive campaign to improve workplace safety in Bairnsdale and ensure injured workers have opportunities to get back on the job.
Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and those which have not been visited in at least 12 months will be targeted by safety inspectors while specialists from WorkSafe’s Return to Work Division are visiting businesses where there have been past injuries.
“We’re giving people notice that we’re coming which leaves it up to them whether they take action now, or risk receiving Safety Improvement or Prohibition Notices,” Return to Work Division Director, Dorothy Frost, said.
“Employers, the people treating injured workers and the injured person should be looking at the opportunities, not barriers, to a return to safe work.
WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture program Director, Ross Pilkington, said basic safety issues could generally be made at little or no cost and even improve productivity.
“It’s a good opportunity for employers, supervisors and workers to take some time-out to review their situation.
“Slips, trips and falls and manual handling injuries account for about 60% of all workplace injuries, they’re not high profile in the community, but have an enormous personal and community cost.”
Mr Pilkington said safety was not just about what WorkSafe did, but was about employers, workers and the wider community taking ownership of it.
In the East Gippsland Shire over the past five financial years more than 1000 injuries were reported to WorkSafe with treatment and rehabilitation costs for these workers - paid for through their employer’s workplace injury insurance – exceeding $22.4m.
“Other business costs such as staff replacement, reduced productivity, potential legal issues and management attention diverted to dealing with incidents or claims are also considerable,” he said.
Mr Pilkington said WorkSafe’s current advertising campaign was about a football club and the people who made it up.
“What it’s saying is that safety at work is more than about the individual; it’s about their families and the wider community.
“We need people in East Gippsland to stop and think about what is ultimately important to them, why safe workplaces are needed, and what they can do to prevent more individuals, families and businesses dealing with issues that can be easily prevented.”
Information on improving workplace safety can be found at www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.
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