Tuesday 30 January 2018

Two dead, one injured in horror 48 hours

Two young workers have died and a third has been seriously injured in three separate incidents in Victorian workplaces over the past two days.

WorkSafe is investigating after a man in his early 20s was seriously injured when he fell at an apartment construction site in Fitzroy this morning. Although there were no witnesses to the incident, it is believed the man fell about six metres.

Yesterday, a 29-year-old was electrocuted while working near a live switchboard at a factory in Dandenong.

On Sunday, a 17-year-old girl working as a stablehand died after falling from a horse at a property at Tyaak, near Broadford.  WorkSafe is investigating all three incidents.

The tragic two days has prompted WorkSafe to warn employers of the need to make sure employees returning from holidays or starting work for the first time fully understood the risks involved.

Head of Operations and Emergency Management Adam Watson said: “At this time of year many young workers are starting new jobs, or perhaps entering the workforce for the first time, and other workers are returning to work after taking a break.

“It’s important that employees starting at new worksites are properly briefed on how to perform tasks safely and that those returning to work are reminded of the risks.”

Mr Watson said young workers were particularly vulnerable and needed extra care and attention from supervisors.

“Young workers often lack experience and can be reluctant to ask questions,” Mr Watson said.

“They need to be educated about the risks involved in their jobs. Employers need to ensure they receive the correct training and supervision and feel comfortable about speaking up if they are uncertain about any task they are given.”

The deaths bring Victoria’s workplace fatality toll in 2018 to three, which is two more than this time last year.

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Peter Flaherty: 0478 881 663, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kathleen O'Dwyer: 0435 409 975, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.