Vic: four regional workplace deaths in less than a month


WorkSafe Victoria has renewed calls for regional Victorians and workers to pay more attention to workplace safety after four deaths since the start of a major safety awareness campaign around a month ago.

The latest fatality occurred on an almond plantation in the state's north-west, where an 18-year old-woman died after tipping a four wheeled farm utility vehicle on its side.

"Of the seven traumatic work-related injuries this year four have been in the past month and of these three were on farms. All but one of the deaths this year have been in regional Victoria," said WorkSafe's executive director of health and safety, Ian Forsyth.

"Safety's not just about what WorkSafe does. It's about employers, workers and the wider community taking ownership of it not just for themselves, but the wider community."

On 2 February, a 53-year-old man was crushed by a large metal panel that fell and hit him as a shipping container was being unloaded in Melbourne's south-east.

In March, a man died on a farm at Tallandoon in the state's north east when a tractor rolled over while a teacher also drowned at Torquay while on a school excursion.

In April, a farm worker died from crush injuries when a cow pushed him against a wall on a farm near Inverloch, while an excavator operator also died at Apsley when a tree he was working near fell on to the cabin of his machine and a 94-year-old farmer also died in a quad bike crash on his property at Hedley in South Gippsland.

During 2010, 23 Victorians died while on the job, and twelve of these deaths were in regional Victoria, including seven people working in agriculture.

Dozens more received life-threatening injuries and more than 7500 regional Victorians lodge workplace injury insurance claims each year with many more suffering other injuries.

"It is imperative that regional Victorians, whether they are employers, self-employed or workers to stop and think about what is ultimately important to them and what they can do to prevent more tragedies affecting them and their communities," said Forsyth.