Virtual events put workplace safety in the spotlight

Two Victorians who have made the challenging journey from injury back into the workforce will take centre stage at this month's WorkSafe Health and Safety Month.


Event ambassadors Dan Casey and Joanne Woodward will share their inspiring return-to-work stories as part of October's bumper online program.

WorkSafe is hosting 22 free webinars as part of the 2021 event and registrations are now open.

Mr Casey, who required 30 surgeries after suffering a crushed foot in a workplace incident in 2014, said his experience goes to the heart of why WorkSafe exists.

He said he was looking forward to sharing his story with audiences at a Health and Safety Month webinar on 20 October.

"From lying in hospital to doing what I'm doing now, I think it's pretty incredible and people who have been through the journey with me are pretty chuffed they've been able to have a part in it," Mr Casey said.

"If one thing I can do is share my story and try and prevent the next accident from happening, well I've done what I wanted to do out of this accident. I don't want to see anyone else go through what we went through."

Health and Safety Month will bring together experts from across WorkSafe and industry to share innovations, highlight current issues and spark conversations.

In line with this year's theme – "you learn something new every day" – experts will share advice on workplace health and safety topics including training for manual handling; preventing and responding to gendered violence and sexual harassment; silica controls and regulations; dangerous goods storage and handling; and welding fumes.

Other highlights of this year's program include:

  • A session for tradies and home renovators, hosted by former Geelong Cats captain turned commentator Cameron Ling, to learn about topics that can impact the safety of yourself and your mates at work.
  • A panel discussing remote and flexible work and what can be done to support the physical and mental health of staff who are working remotely more often due to COVID-19.
  • A webinar in which the investigator who heads WorkSafe's Fatalities Investigation Team will share prosecution case studies to outline what happens when employers fail to meet their health and safety obligations.

Mental health will be the focus in sessions on building mentally healthy workplaces; the impact of workplace culture on mental health; improving return-to-work outcomes for mental injuries; and sharing new insights on predicting workplace mental health risks.

The program also includes sessions aimed at young workers, health and safety representatives and the CALD community.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Officer Colin Radford said Health and Safety Month was an opportunity for employers and workers to stay connected in challenging times and keep up to date with the latest workplace health and safety 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."