Monday 25 July 2011

Two dead and a few 'near misses'

The deaths of two men in work-related circumstances and a few “near misses” have prompted WorkSafe to renew calls of the importance of workplace safety.

A 44-year-old farmer died in a tractor incident in Yarrawonga last Tuesday and a 35-year-old man was electrocuted at Spotswood on 14 July, taking Victoria’s work-related death toll for the year to 10.

WorkSafe General Manager for Operations, Lisa Sturzenegger, said a couple of work-related incidences had also left a number of people with serious injuries.

Incidents include one involving a 20-year-old man who suffered burns to his body in the same Spotswood incident and a 25-year-old man who suffered a punctured lung after a trench collapsed on him in Templestowe last Wednesday.

“While investigations are at an early stage, these incidents are much more than a tragic reminder of the importance of workplace safety,” she said.

“To have two workplace deaths in one week is devastating and they are felt by not only the workplace but by family, friends and the wider community and last a lifetime.”

“What people don’t always appreciate is that the incident that you manage to walk away from, the so-called ‘near-miss’ is very often the one that in slightly different circumstances might have killed you or left someone with a major life-long injury.

“Take nothing for granted. The impact of serious workplace safety incidents on the families, friends and the communities around them is profound.”

Ms Sturzenegger said the number of workplace incidents WorkSafe dealt with in a week were way beyond what the community would hear about in the public domain.

“We urge businesses, no matter the setting, location or size, to stop and have a think about hazards in their workplace.”

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Rosanna Bonaccurso 0478 305 640

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.