Trucking included in WorkSafe 'blitz'

Transport and logistics among eight sectors facing special attention from frustrated watchdog

July 6, 2011

WorkSafe has put the Victorian trucking and logistics industries on notice, including them in a "blitz" on the state’s eight most dangerous industries.

The campaign will focus on enforcement and potential prosecutions will be fast-tracked, WorkSafe warns.

Road transport, transport equipment manufacturing and warehousing and storage have joined food manufacturing and processing, wood product manufacturing, fabricated metal manufacturing, plastics and rubber manufacturing, and residential aged care services in the state safety watchdog’s sights.

The eight targets accounted for a quarter of all workplace claims in 2010, according to WorkSafe General Manager for Operations Lisa Sturzenegger.

"To have a quarter of all claims in Victoria come from fewer than 3000 businesses within these industries shows they need to do more to improve health and safety in the workplace," Sturzenegger says.

"Industries and individual businesses with the highest number of injuries don’t only disadvantage themselves and the people who work for them, but they drive up the insurance premiums of good operators within that industry.

"They are well aware of their obligations and they have the information needed to address health and safety risks."

WorkSafe inspectors will visit more than 4000 businesses in the target industries over the next year.

"Despite years of working with these industries, we are finding that we are not getting the traction we know is possible by addressing some basic safety issues," Sturzenegger says.

"More than 2,000 of the 7,000 injuries within this group relate to injuries caused by not having the right equipment to lift or move things as well as easily-prevented slips, trips and falls."

Sturzenegger adds that it is essential to change the way industry addresses basic safety issues including hazardous manual tasks.

Musculoskeletal injuries caused by manual tasks account for 60 percent of all workplace injuries across the state.

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