Just 18 days ago, Victoria was on track to record one of its lowest workplace death tolls ever.
Within a horrific 24 hour period two workers had died, one was missing (later found dead) and another had been transported to hospital with life threatening injuries. The recent incidents bring Victoria’s workplace death toll for the year to 21, with five of those occurring within an 11 day period.
The latest fatality occurred last Thursday at a boat manufacturing business in Campbellfield when a 26 year old worker sustained fatal head injuries when a 150kg piece of machinery fell on him from an overhead crane. The man died in hospital.
Earlier that day a 37 year old man was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries after he was crushed while undergoing repair works on a dock leveller at a Laverton North company.
On the same day Worksafe investigators joined emergency workers at Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plan near Carrum after a 52 year old sub contractor carrying out routing sampling works failed to return from the tank area. After 8 hours scouring the massive network of pipes, tanks and drains rescuers found the mans body.
The night before, a road worker died after he was run over by a reversing street sweeping truck on Canterbury Road in Bayswater. It is understood the man was directing traffic when the sweeper hit him.
These tragic incidents follow the deaths of a 73 year old farmer gored by a bull, a 45 year old man who fell to his death from a cherry picker, and a 46 year old man who was crushed by a vehicle at a factory.
While Worksafe continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incidents, WorkSafe health and safety executive director Ian Forsyth warned employers against cutting corners to get jobs done ahead of Christmas.
“What we have is an influx of young workers about to start work, industries such as hospitality and retail entering their peak season and other businesses finishing off large amounts of work before long term breaks are taken,” he said.
“Unfortunately, when businesses are flat out trying to keep up with demanding workloads, health and safety requirements can sometimes be compromised.”
“We want employers and workers to question what is at stake if corners are cut. It’s simply not worth it.”
“We’re calling on Victorian workplaces to stop, think and take action about improving safety. Simple steps make a real difference to individuals, families and businesses.”
“We’re talking about general basic matters that can be fixed at little or no cost, but if left undone can have devastating consequences.”
To view the full WorkSafe media release click here