WorkSafe accepted 772 claims from construction workers in the regions in 2021, an increase on the 715 claims in 2020 and 654 in 2019. Tragically, three construction workers lost their lives due to workplace incidents in regional Victoria last year.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows a 52 per cent rise in building approvals in rural and regional Victoria last financial year to 18,072 in 2020/2021. Demand has continued into this financial year, with 9,882 building approvals in regional Victoria from 1 July 2021 to 28 February 2022.
WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer said it was important that employers and workers maintained a strong focus on safety, even as the sector faced increasing demands and challenges.
"Every worker has the right to get home safe at the end of the day, and yet each year, hundreds of construction workers across rural and regional Victoria are injured at work," Dr Beer said.
"We know that the industry continues to face pressure on supply and building material costs, as well as a shortage of qualified trades to keep up with high demand, but it’s imperative that safety remains a priority for employers and workers."
Falls from heights, contact with electricity, being hit by powered plant, structural collapses and trenching incidents are among the most common serious injury and fatality incidents in construction. Body stress (35.9 per cent), falls, trips and slips (28.8 per cent) and being hit by a moving object (22.8 per cent) were the leading causes of injuries among regional construction workers in 2021.
Young workers remain particularly vulnerable, with 35.7 per cent of accepted claims in regional construction coming from workers aged under 30.
"Young workers are particularly vulnerable as they have less experience and can be reluctant to speak up if something feels unsafe, so it’s really important that apprentices receive appropriate training and supervision," Dr Beer said.
"WorkSafe inspectors will continue to work with employers and construction workers across regional Victoria to help duty holders understand their obligations and encourage workers to put safety first."
For information and guidance on preventing injuries in construction visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/construction
Crane antics land truss maker $40,000 fineNews
15 Feb 2021
Construction company fined for unsafe worksiteNews
23 Apr 2021
WorkSafe investigates fatal fallNews
21 Sep 2021
Construction company fined $50,000 after worker crushedNews
04 Oct 2021
Developer fined for multiple safety breachesNews
18 Aug 2021
Border construction sites under the microscopeNews
04 Mar 2015
Border inspections targeting unsafe construction workNews
18 May 2015
Man dies after fall at Doreen building siteNews
06 Jul 2012
Two dead and one injured in horror weekendNews
20 Feb 2017
Safety blitz targets mobile plant on building sitesNews
10 May 2017
Worker dies after 4.3m fall from ladderNews
23 May 2017
Housing sites on notice to reduce the risk of fallsNews
01 May 2018
Man dies after fall from factoryNews
13 Jun 2012
Crane fails and sends 32-tonne concrete structure crashingNews
09 Feb 2018
11 falls prompts warning about working safely at heightsNews
14 Feb 2018
Safety Inspectors to blitz construction sitesNews
21 Mar 2019
Demolition company fined $75,000 after worker’s fallNews
07 Aug 2019
Company, director fined after fall deathNews
10 May 2019
Apartment developer fined $80,000 for unsafe worksitesNews
15 May 2019
Developer fined for serious safety failuresNews
06 Feb 2020