WorkSafe rolls out Safe Towns campaign in Bendigo

Source: Safe to Work

As part of the Safe Towns campaign, WorkSafe inspectors were scheduled to visit about 200 businesses in Bendigo to check on compliance with health and safety regulations and return to work laws.

Almost 2370 injuries were reported to WorkSafe from the Bendigo region over the past five financial years, with treatment and rehabilitation costs exceeding $41 million.

More than half of these claims came from the health care, social assistance, manufacturing and construction industries.

Bendigo was be the second regional area this financial year to receive a visit as part of the campaign. The first was Echuca in August last year, when inspectors visited 197 businesses and issued 198 improvement notices.

WorkSafe's operations general manager, Lisa Struzenegger, said inspectors targeted businesses that have never before been visited, as well as those with previous injury claims.

"It's in everyone's interest to make changes sooner rather than later. Don't wait until a WorkSafe inspector arrives, or a serious incident [occurs] to address health and safety matters," she said.

Struzenegger said WorkSafe often encounters cases were companies are fined for failing to address safety matters such as allowing workers to operate faulty machinery, not properly separating forklifts from pedestrians and other poor management of safety issues.

"Getting on top of health and safety issues in the workplace is good for business, good for morale and ensures workers return home safely at the end of the day," Struzebegger said in a statement.

WorkSafe has also found that 60% of all Victorian workplace injuries are the result of dangerous manual handling practices.

More visits will take place in South Geelong/Breakwater, Ballarat and Traralgon in coming months