Campaign targets musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace

WorkSafe Victoria has launched a state-wide campaign to minimise musculoskeletal injuries caused through falls and slips at industrial sites.

WorkSafe is urging managers and business-owners to provide training and supervision to lessen the likelihood of these sorts of injuries.

Musculoskeletal injuries are often the result of unsafe manual handling practices, particularly lifting, lowering and moving things. These sorts of injuries are reportedly the most common workplace injury in Victoria, accounting for about 68% of all Victorian workers’ compensation claims. 

Musculoskeletal injuries are also often caused by slips, trips and falls, which accounts for about 20% of workers’ compensation claims in Victoria, according to WorkSafe.

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips, who launched the year-long campaign on the weekend, said musculoskeletal injuries cost nearly $1 billion a year in medical costs, wages and other expenses.

“They affect the body's muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves, are easily prevented, often difficult to treat and can be long-lasting and a source of great pain,” Rich-Phillips said.

“Every day 43 Victorians are seriously hurt with these injuries, with an average workers’ compensation claim costing $55,000 medical costs, wages and other expenses.”

Rich-Phillips said Victoria has the lowest workplace injury insurance premiums in Australia, so there was no excuse for employers failing to provide insurance measures against these sorts of accidents.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has slashed WorkCover premiums by three per cent to 1.298 per cent in this year’s Budget saving employers $57 million a year,” he said.

“These injuries are largely hidden because they do not make the nightly news, but the impact on workers, their families and their employer’s business can be enormous and long-lasting.

“Ensuring people are properly trained and supervised, use the right equipment and clean up spills to prevent falls are no-cost or low-cost measures that will reduce workplace accidents.”

There are various exhibitions and conferences designed to provide health and safety tips for managers and business-owners across Australia.

Australian Exhibitions & Conferences will host the WA Safety Show from 7 to 9 August, showcasing the latest safety technology, giving visitors the opportunity to get an update on safety technology, services and laws.

Visitors will have the opportunity to ask questions about workplace health and safety laws, employer responsibilities, and employee rights, as well as prepare themselves for the upcoming Harmonisation change proposed to come into place 1 January 2013.

The team will also host the combined Safety In Action and Melbourne Materials Handling conferences at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 19 to 21 March 2013.