Worksafe Victoria Announces Owner Visit

In a recent bulletin Victoria WorkSafe’s Clarke Martin explains how the Owner Visit program is helping businesses reduce injuries and insurance premiums. The WorkSafe Owner Visit program identifies medium-sized organisations (payroll between $1m and $20m) that have considerably higher than average costs for workplace injury claims and premium, and works with them to proactively improve OHS and RTW performance.

Owner Visit program officers work in partnership with the organisations, meeting with directors and owners, WorkSafe inspectors and, in some cases, their insurance agents to discuss and agree on practical measures to improve OHS. The program encourages owners/directors to take a leadership role in improving OHS and RTW systems, and ensure they are incorporated into core business activities.

The program is producing positive results. For example, in regional Victoria a medium-sized manufacturer with over 200 workers have made significant savings in insurance premiums over a two-year period. The financial and safety benefits are continuing today. The company already had a safety system in place but it was ineffective. The company’s employer performance rating (EPR, a measure of performance against their industry peers) was 258 per cent, more than one and a half times above the manufacturing industry average. The company agreed to make significant changes to the way the business managed its OHS and RTW, and the financial management of premium costs. The business received six hours of free OHS consulting services arranged by WorkSafe.

WorkSafe worked with the company for two years and in this time the EPR dropped to just 34 per cent above average and work is continuing to further improve its performance. The company advised WorkSafe that savings achieved from reduced insurance premiums was equivalent to the profits on producing and selling an additional $16m of product. The company now has an effective safety system including a safe and sustainable RTW program and proactive intervention for non-work related issues. The safety and general culture has also improved. The changes demonstrate that safety and return to work are key elements in maintaining a sustainable lead position in a competitive niche market.


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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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