As Victoria recovers from its second wave and more people return to work, the Victorian Government is urging employers and workers to slow down, take care and put safety first ahead of the 2020 holiday season. In the return to work, employers must ensure their training is up to date, supervision is adequate, workplaces are free of risks and all plant and equipment is restarted safely. For many workplaces — including shops, warehouses and factories — there is an influx of new workers to meet a rise in demand as Christmas shopping increases. There can be a lot of pressure to get work done, which increases the temptation to cut corners and put the wellbeing of workers at serious risk.
This safety message is the focus of WorkSafe Victoria’s ‘Let’s put 2020 behind us’ health and safety campaign, which was launched on 22 November. Featuring print and radio advertising, the campaign urges employers and workers to slow down, be careful and ensure they reach the New Year safely. Victorian Minister for Workplace Safety Ingrid Stitt noted that workplaces across Victoria have had a challenging year. “As businesses continue to open up and we reach the end of 2020, maintaining the highest workplace safety standards is more important than ever,” Stitt said.
The campaign also emphasises the importance of ensuring that measures are in place to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). WorkSafe Victoria inspections include assessments of COVID-19 preparedness to ensure businesses have social distancing, good hygiene practices and a ‘COVIDSafe’ work plan. Since 2018, 19 workers have died in the last two months of the year, including, in November 2020, a farm worker who was electrocuted when the telehandler he was operating contacted the powerlines at Gerang Gerung. So far, 61 workers have died in Victorian workplaces in 2020 — 68 died in 2019. “Slow down, take your time and talk about health and safety with your employers, workers and health and safety representatives to ensure everyone can have a well-deserved holiday season,” Stitt concluded.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/littlewolf1989