Days of horror in Victorian workplaces

TWO men are being treated in hospital after the hand of one was amputated and a hand on the other was badly crushed in a machine at a Tullamarine factory early yesterday.

TWO men are being treated in hospital after the hand of one was amputated and a hand on the other was badly crushed in a machine at a Tullamarine factory early yesterday.

The two men were carrying out maintenance work on a press at Willow Ware Australia in Annandale Road when the machine activated around 1.30am.

WorkSafe is investigating the overnight incident which happened less than a day after the death in hospital of an 18-year-old man who was hurt at a Thomastown box manufacturer on Tuesday.

WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director, John Merritt, said the two serious safety incidents reinforced his concern that many employers and workers had to do much more to create safer workplaces.

“The reality is that in too many Victorian workplaces, workers are still exposed to the things that were killing and maiming people at the start of the industrial revolution.

“Unguarded machines along with inadequate training, poor supervision and dangerous work practices lead to many amputations, crushings and other serious injuries and deaths each year.

“The obligations on employers and workers under Victoria’s health and safety laws are very clear and they’ve been in place a long time,” Merritt said.

“Waiting until someone was hurt before safety problems are fixed is not an option.

“It’s not good enough to rely on good luck or the fact that someone is experienced or hope they will always do the ‘right thing’.

“Legally and commercially no one can afford to take a punt with safety particularly in tight economic times. If you are, you’re asking for trouble.”

Fr information on how to make your workplace safer, call WorkSafe Victoria’s advisory service on 1800 136 089 or go online to www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.