Regulator news

WorkSafe Victoria news

Safety Soapbox November edition

The latest edition of Safety Soapbox was sent out last week. In this edition, the editorial urges both employers and workers to slow down and put safety first as Victoria enters a traditionally dangerous time of year for workplaces. Between 2008 and 2017 in Victoria, 53 people died in the months of November and December as a result of workplace incidents. This two month period accounts for 22.3 per cent of all workplace deaths. "Busy workloads and tight deadlines that often occurred at this time of year were no excuse for workplaces to cut corners on safety," it warns.

The newsletter also announces an upcoming targeted blitz on falls from height & scaffolding safety. Two Victorian workers have been fatally injured this year due to a fall from height. There have been many other workers who have been seriously injured due to falls from heights.

Over the next few months WorkSafe inspectors will be checking construction sites to make sure that:

  1. fall risks are being controlled, and 
  2. scaffolds used on site are safe and fit for purpose

In October the construction industry reported 163 to WorkSafe. Of these, 63 per cent resulted in injury and there were 4 serious near misses. 14 incidents involved young workers.

Go to this page on the WorkSafe website for the November edition of Safety Soapbox.

Safety Alert issued reminding of dangers of falling objects

WorkSafe has issued a reminder about the risks associated with falling objects after a failed rock bolt section fell on to a working platform. A mine ventilation shaft was under construction with ground support being installed top-down through the use of a two level work platform. Ground support included split sets, resin rock bolts and mesh. A 450 millimetre rock bolt section failed and fell approximately 80 metres on to the work platform below. The failed section included a retaining plate and weighed approximately 2.7 kilograms. The platform had no overhead protection and employees were working on the platform at the time of the failure.
Read more here.

Safe Work Australia news

Fatality Statistics
SafeWork has updated its stats page since the last edition: as at November 21, the number of fatalities notified to national body was 144 - this is 6 more fatalities than the previous update on November 13. Three of these were in Transport, postal and warehousing, and two in Agriculture, forestry and fishing. The workers killed this year have come from the following industries: 

  • 54 in Transport, postal & warehousing (eight more since the last update)
  • 30 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 21 in Construction
  • 8 in Mining
  • 6 in Public Administration & safety
  • 6 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 6 in Manufacturing
  • 5 in 'Other services'
  • 3 in Arts & recreation services
  • 2 in Professional, scientific & technical services
  • 2 in Wholesale trade
  • 1 in Administration & support services

To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage and in particular, here.

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