WorkSafe warns of EOY issues
Authorities want employers and workers to take a step back and focus on safety as they head into a particularly dangerous time of year.
According to WorkSafe statistics, more Victorian workers die in the weeks leading up to Christmas than at any other time of year.
Over the past decade, almost 25 per cent of all workplace fatalities occurred in November and December.
WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said there are a number of reasons why November-December is such a dangerous time of year for workers.
“With Christmas just around the corner we know many employers and employees are rushing to meet deadlines and complete projects,” Ms Williams said.
“In agriculture, the grain and hay harvests are in full swing, the construction sector is hard at work as builders, contractors and tradies push to complete projects before the Christmas shutdown, and the manufacturing sector is busy finalising last minute orders.
“We also know that many people are eagerly looking forward to their upcoming holidays and Christmas celebrations, so maybe they are getting distracted from the tasks at hand.
“That is why it is so important for everyone to put safety first, to take care and stay safe at work.”
Ms Williams said it is important that employers and employees take the time to think about what needs to be done, and how it can be done as safely as possible.
“For employers, this may mean factoring in a little extra time to do the job, or paying for extra resources and staff to get the job done safely,” Ms Williams said.
“For workers, it may mean spending a little more time assessing each task before starting.
“The cost of rushing or taking shortcuts could be someone's life.”
A WorkSafe public awareness campaign will begin shortly to raise awareness of the dangers associated with working at this time of year.
“It is simply horrific to think that while Victorian families are preparing for their Christmas break, summer holidays and special time with family, the statistics suggest that, in the weeks ahead, some families will instead be mourning the loss of a loved one at work,” she said.
“Please focus on safety in your workplace and make sure everyone gets home safely, and gets to enjoy Christmas with their loved ones.”