Decline in Workplace Accidents attributed to Stricter Laws

Tasmanian unions have expressed their satisfaction with new workplace laws which they believe have had a positive impact on injury rates in the state and which they believe will continue drop in the future as a result of these laws.

Figures have been released in coordination with the launch of WorkSafe month which show a 4 per cent drop in the number of Tasmanian workers injured on the job.

According to The Workplace Relations minister David O’Byrne, last year we saw 8934 injuries as compared with the 9312 reported the previous year. It was the first year that our workplace injury rate dropped below 9000 in a year. And workplace fatalities in the state over the past year were just 4.

According to the Unions Tasmania’s Kevin Harkins, the new workplace laws which came into effect at the beginning of this year have helped to combat the alarming workplace culture of prioritising productivity over safety.

An excerpt from explains:

“Tight timeframes, tight profit margins…just pushing to get the job done,” he said.

But Mr Harkins says Tasmania is still the second worst performing state behind Queensland.

Most injuries and deaths occur in construction and farming jobs.

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The post goes on to provide a cautionary tale for readers about a worker injured on a potato grader conveyor belt. This incident highlights the importance of managing workplace hazards proactively before work on the site even begins. This involves anticipated the dangers and developing a safe plan to overcome the dangers.

Read what the post went on to explain:

Last year, Chris Dornauf spent an agonising hour and a half with his arm caught in the conveyor belt of a potato grader.

He says recovering from a workplace injury is a slow process.

Cut all five nerves, or five tendons and two of the main arteries,” he said.

After eight surgeries and with more to come, he still has not regained the use of his arm.

He is now able to drive trucks instead of working the farm, but says he is more aware of what might go wrong.

“When you stand back and look at it, you think about how dangerous things are,” he said.

“It’s a big, it’s a lot different now.”

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Despite the drop in injuries and fatalities in Tasmania, more still needs to be done nationally to enforce workplace safety. It is for this reason that the federal government has made general construction safety training (also known as White Card Training) a mandatory requirement for any worker in the construction sector.

Ensuring that each worker has completed this training is not only the law but will also ensure that workers are aware of the hazards presented by construction work, so as to not endanger themselves or their co-workers on site.

The White Card course is nationally recognised which means that once a worker completes the training in one state, they are able to work in any state in Oz without having to redo their training. This makes work across borders much easier and allows workers to choose where they want to live and work anywhere in the country.


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