Federal minister for employment and workplace relations Bill Shorten has publicly voiced his support for National Safe Work Australia Week, which began on Sunday (October 21).
Employers may like to take note of this campaign and ensure that their workplace health and safety strategies are up-to-date, compliant and effective.
Accidents at work can result in catastrophic injury and even death, which is why it is essential to have firm safety protocols in place.
“Each year up to 300 Australians are killed at work and around 130,000 are seriously injured at work,” Mr Shorten said in a statement issued on Saturday (October 20).
“The human cost, the emotional cost, is immeasurable. We all need to work harder to reduce these horrific figures.”
This year’s Safe Work Australia Week marks the eighth anniversary of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness about occupational health and safety.
The theme for 2012’s week is “safety begins with ‘S’ but starts with YOU,” says Mr Shorten. This theme puts the onus on the individual to ensure that they are always aware of possible safety risks and threats.
It is about teaching people that they need to keep safety in the forefront of their mind at all times.
“The theme recognises that every worker across Australia can take small steps to improve work health and safety,” Mr Shorten explained.
Although employers have a particular (and legal) responsibility to ensure that work environments are as safe as possible, the campaign also aims to inspire everyday Australian workers to become ‘Safety Ambassadors’ – to stand up and spread the word about this important issue.
“Across our nation thousands of workers will use the week to promote and improve health and safety practices in their workplaces and encourage their colleagues to be leaders in work health and safety,” Mr Shorten said.
The minister is encouraging everyone to enter to win the Safety Ambassador of the Year Award, with registrations open until the end of the week (October 27). On October 31, he will announce the winner.
This is a great way to get involved and promote a positive message about workplace health and safety.
It may also be useful for people to know that if they are injured at work, they may be eligible for workers compensation.
Compensation can provide much-needed financial support for rehabilitation following an injury. There are lawyers in Sydney that can help you make a claim.