Seventeen recruits have completed an intensive training course and graduated as Occupational Health and Safety and Return to Work inspectors.
The new inspectors - 10 men and seven women - have backgrounds across health care, construction, manufacturing, transport, agriculture and chemical engineering.
Three Return to Work inspectors will be based in Melbourne while 14 OHS Inspectors will move into roles across Melbourne, Geelong and the Latrobe Valley.
WorkSafe inspectors make more 40,000 visits to Victorian workplaces each year. Inspectors provide practical guidance on hazard identification and risk control, promote consultation between employers and workers on health and safety matters and assist businesses in complying with Victoria’s health and safety laws.
If it is found that a business has breached the 2004 OHS Act it may face prosecution and heavy fines. In 2015/16, 108 businesses were ordered by the courts to pay fines and costs totalling almost $5.56 million.
Minister for Finance Robin Scott said the work by inspectors was critical to reducing the number of workers injured in Victorian workplaces.
“The health and safety of Victorian workers is paramount,” Mr Scott said. “Victoria is proud to be the safest state in Australia in which to work and the Government is committed to ensuring WorkSafe has the resources it needs to keep Victorian workers safe.
“We all need to prioritise workplace safety so everyone can get home to their loved ones at the end of the day.”
WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies said the new inspectors had come from a diverse range of industries and would bring their expertise to workplaces across the state.
“Our inspectors are WorkSafe’s critical frontline,” Ms Amies said.
“We know that workplaces are changing and new challenges are arising, so each and every inspector has an important role in bolstering our reach and impact in workplaces across Victoria.”
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.