Workplace Deaths Continue Under New OHS Laws

New OHS laws in Australia are not working. More than twelve months after introducing new OHS laws we are still killing our workers with unsafe worksites and poor safety cultures.

 Already in 2013 over twenty-five worker fatalities have been reported and more are expected as we face another year where almost 4 people a week die at work.

 Most of the deaths this year are reported to have occurred in the construction industry (11), followed by transport, postal and warehousing (5), public administration and safety (3), agriculture, forestry and fishing (2), manufacturing (2), and mining (1) and wholesale trade (1).

 Last year, after the introduction of the new Harmonisation Laws in January, 192 workers died in work place incidents.

 Safe Work Australia has released these official estimates and issued a statement: “Work-related status cannot be confirmed until the death is investigated by the appropriate authority”.

 Meanwhile, another Safe Work Australia report states that “one in six workers killed over the past eight years was working on a farm at the time of the incident”. The findings are based on statistics collected between June 2003 and June 2011.

 Safe Work Australia chairperson Ann Sherry, AO, said in a media statement that the figure was “staggering considering only three per cent of workers are employed in the agriculture sector”.

 “On average, 44 farm workers are killed each year and another 17,400 suffer a work-related injury,” Sherry said.

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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