Take Workplace Safety Seriously This Easter

The Andrews Labor Government is urging Victorian employers and workers to be vigilant about their safety practices over the Easter break.

With the tragic deaths of four workers since 7 April, the Labor Government is reminding employers to make sure they do everything they can to protect their workers always but particularly over the Easter period.

This includes ensuring staff have appropriate training, instruction and supervision, especially for those asked to undertake tasks to which they are not accustomed.

Workers in fill-in holiday roles are particularly vulnerable because of their lack of knowledge, skills and experience.

Holiday periods are never an excuse to relax safety procedures, and all tasks should be planned and undertaken with health and safety as the first priority.

The Government’s call follows a tragic period in Victorian workplaces:

  • On Tuesday a man in his 60s died when he was impaled on a metal picket after falling from a verandah roof at a property at Neilborough, north of Bendigo.
  • On Monday a man in his 70s working inside a makeshift cage attached to a forklift in a Clayton factory died when the cage fell about 4.5 metres to the ground.
  • Last week, a 56-year-old man died after he was crushed between a gate and the garbage truck he was operating in Koonwarra in South Gippsland.
  • Last week, a 28-year-old man died after being buried in a trench he was working in at a property in East Gippsland.

The four deaths take the number of workplace fatalities to 11, two more than at the same time last year.

Builders across Victoria are also urged to secure their worksites to make them safe before heading off on their Easter break.

Falls from partially-built structures and scaffolding, live electrical power, open excavations or building waste and rubble all pose risks to members of the public who may access construction sites which are not adequately secured.

A safety check, a thorough clean-up and appropriate security measures could protect the public and the business over the holidays.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy

“Four families will suffer the heartbreak of spending Easter without a loved one because of a workplace incident that should never have happened.”

“This terrible loss of life is a tragic reminder of the need for all Victorians to make workplace safety a personal priority.”

“WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute employers who fail to keep their workers safe.”