Victorian workplaces claimed the lives of two workers for every month in 2014. A total of 23 people died in Victorian workplaces last year, according to provisional figures released by the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA).
Seven of those deaths occurred in the final two months of the year.
VWA Executive Director of Health and Safety Len Neist said families and fellow workers of those tragically lost in 2014 face a sad start to 2015.
“Our message to all Victorians as we head into a new year is a simple one – please make workplace safety a priority,” he said.
“While the number of injuries at workplaces is declining, fatalities are still occurring with tragic frequency. So let’s all aim for a fatality-free 2015.”
Neist said everyone had a part to play in making workplaces safe.
“Employers can improve safety by making sure staff are trained and supervised, they have the right equipment to carry out their work and that any risks are identified and managed appropriately,” he said.
“Approaching safety together to control exposure to hazards and manage risks is the best way to prevent serious injury or death in the workplace.”
The agriculture sector remains a priority for the VWA, claiming 10 lives in 2014. Eight of those fatalities occurred on farms.
Neist said farmers were overrepresented in workplace fatalities, highlighting the potential dangers of working in agriculture.
“Farmers often work alone and are exposed to other risks such as working with heavy machinery, so it’s important that they remain vigilant.”
Nine of the workplace fatalities occurred in metropolitan Melbourne and 14 were in country Victoria.
“We want all Victorians to come home safe every day. Make sure you put safety first and make sure your employees and your workmates do the same.”