Manufacturing News

WorkSafe & VECCI team up to benefit small business

WORKSAFE and the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) are teaming up to help small businesses keep their workers safe and to provide them with support and practical assistance if a worker is injured.

A new rebate program launched today offers small businesses in the food and beverage, wood products manufacturing, and road transport industries, a rebate of up to $500 on a range of best practice lifting equipment, including pallet trucks and hand trolleys.

“We recognise small business can find it difficult to provide workers with manual handling equipment due to limited resources and the competitive nature of their business”, said WorkSafe’s Director of Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture, Ross Pilkington.

“Sprains and strains associated with manual handling account for half of all workplace injury claims reported to WorkSafe by small business.

“Simple solutions like pallet trucks and trolleys can drastically reduce the risk of injury while also improving productivity,” he said.

“At VECCI, we understand better than most the challenges facing small business,” said VECCI Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Kayler-Thomson.

“To make these businesses safer, they need practical assistance that is simple to access.

“Ultimately, the Small Business Rebate program delivers on the mandate that we have at VECCI to cut red tape and support innovation,” he said.

‘Small Business – Return to Work Essentials’ is another service launched today that provides small employers with advice and education about what to do when a worker is injured. The service also offers hands-on support to help them complete the necessary paperwork and plan for their worker’s return to work.

“Many small businesses have never made a claim before or make them infrequently,” said WorkSafe’s Director of Return to Work, Dorothy Frost.

“As a result, when a worker is injured it can be difficult to know what to do or what your responsibilities are.

“This service promotes early and safe return to work, so productivity losses are minimised and staff morale is maintained.

“It also empowers employers with practical information and support, so that they better understand the claims process and what they need to do,” she said.

“By working together with employers, our Agents and groups like VECCI, we’ve created a practical approach to help small business,” she said.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Small Rebate Program

The application process has been designed specially for time-poor small businesses and is simple and quick to complete.

Information on eligibility for the rebate and application forms is available from www.vecci.org.au or www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/rebate or by calling VECCI on (03) 8662 5333.

Small Business — RTW Essentials service

This service consists of a two hour face to face meeting with a consultant, which is conducted at the employer’s workplace. After the consultation, ongoing support is provided to the employer by their WorkSafe Agent.

To receive the service, a referral from the employer’s Agent is required. Participation in the service is voluntary.

For more information, please contact WorkSafe’s Advisory Service on telephone 1800 136 089 or (03) 9641 1835.

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