We seldom hear good news when it comes to workplace health and safety, so it is encouraging to hear that the Tasmanian Minister has praised the reduction in workplace injuries in the state.
Tasmania’s Workplace Relations Minister says that workplace injury statistics prove that the many efforts of the government such as safety messages are making a positive impact.
Apparently the number of workplace injuries have dropped to an all-time low to below 9000 in 2012 as compared to previous years.
David O’Byrne announced the record low numbers at the launch on WorkSafe Tasmania month. He said that for the first time in history the number of injuries have dropped below 9000 in the state. He attributed the decline to a combination of factors including everyone working together to improve safety. Considerable effort has been put in by state government, workplace safety authorities, employers and employees who have all played a part in reducing the number of injuries among workers.
Some of the factors that presumably have contributed to this improvement in workplace safety in Tasmania include sufficient training and supervision of staff, commitment to safety by employers and employees, this is important for all states who want to also experience the same kind of improvement.
The unions believe the decline in workplace injuries have a lot to do with tougher fines under new workplace laws.
An article on Abc.net.au explained more about the latest injury figures,
Workplace Relations minister David O’Byrne says there were 8,934 injury reports last year, 378 fewer than the year before.
“For the first time we’ve dipped below 9,000 injuries per year,” he said.
Four Tasmanians have been killed at work in the past year.
New workplace laws came into effect this year.
Unions Tasmania’s Kevin Harkins says they are helping combat an alarming culture.
“Tight timeframes, tight profit margins…just pushing to get the job done,” he said.
But Mr Harkins says Tasmania is still the second worst performing state behind Queensland.
Most injuries and deaths occur in construction and farming jobs.
There has been a 4 per cent drop in the number of Tasmanians being injured at work, a positive trend, but more still needs to be done. Although 4 per cent doesn’t seem that significant of a change, even one injury is one too many, so any improvement is welcome. Tasmania still has the second highest injury rate after Queensland and has a long way to go before it is on par with other states such as Victoria in workplace safety.
Although the government has implemented the mandatory national white card, aimed at encouraging uniform safety on construction sites across Oz, the construction industry is still showing some of the highest injury rates in the country. While the construction industry is one of the most injury ridden, it is important that builders recognise the importance of training to reduce injuries and incidents on site.