Bass Coast businesses can expect a knock at the door later next month when teams of WorkSafe inspectors head to the region for a week to educate and encourage compliance with health and safety laws.
The visit, which forms part of WorkSafe’s ongoing Safe Towns campaign, will take place from 16-20 March.
While the number of workplace injuries has declined over the past three years, around 130 injuries from the region were reported to WorkSafe during 2013-14, at a cost of almost $8.9 million.
Almost 37 per cent of reported injuries came from the manufacturing and health care sectors. Musculoskeletal-related injuries – such as sprains and strains – were the most common injuries. They accounted for around 41 per cent of all reported injuries in 2013-14.
WorkSafe Victoria’s Regional Operations Manager, Phil Grimson, said despite increasing their education activities in the region, inspectors continued to see basic safety issues such as poor housekeeping, uncontrolled plant and equipment and chemicals stored inappropriately.
“Employers can manage the risk of musculoskeletal-related injuries by reviewing manual handling tasks and where possible, re-designing the work or implementing mechanical aids. Employers should also ensure workshops, offices and worksites are kept neat and tidy. This will reduce the risk of avoidable slips, trips and falls and unnecessary body-stressing,” Mr Grimson said.
“Inspectors will visit businesses in a wide range of industries, from agriculture to warehousing, as well as smaller employers such as health care centres, farms and retail outlets.
“The lead-up to Easter will bring with it an influx of visitors to the region, which means businesses such as hotels, motels and caravan parks are expecting a very busy period.
“Employers need to ensure safety is maintained during this period, and workers are appropriately trained and equipped to carry out their work safely.”
WorkSafe is inviting business owners to attend a free luncheon in Wonthaggi on 4 March to learn more about the visits and what inspectors are looking for. The luncheon will take place at noon at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club.
Mr Grimson said attending the luncheon was a great way to speak with inspectors and ask questions about how to manage any risks or issues identified.
“It’s also an opportunity to pick up guidance material to prepare for a workplace inspection,” he said.
The next Safe Towns will take place in Colac at the end of May. For more information about the Safe Towns campaign or download an inspection checklist, go to worksafe.vic.gov.au.
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.