Manufacturing is one of the state’s most dangerous industries, but Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean is hoping a new safety plan will help mitigate some of the sector’s hazards.
In NSW, manufacturing employs 263,000 people and contributed nearly $33 billion – or 6 per cent – to the state’s economy in 2015-16, according to figures from the Department of Industry.
However, Mr Kean also noted that more than 41,000 employees made workers compensation claims between July 2015 and July 2016, while 24 manufacturing staff lost their lives. These claims cost the state approximately $558 million over the one-year period.
“The rate of injury remains far too high, and that’s exactly why we’re launching a new safety plan to help protect every worker across this important sector,” he explained.
The plan aims to achieve three key objectives:
Mr Kean released a report highlighting which areas of manufacturing should receive the largest focus. These include leadership programs, contractor safety management, machine safety and mental health.
The leading causes of injuries will also be addressed, which are falls, muscular stress, being struck by or hitting an object, and noise. Each claim costs the workers compensation system an average of $13,669, according to the report. More than 218,000 weeks of work were also lost in 2015-16 due to injuries.
“Our priority is to make sure every worker who heads off to work in the morning returns home safely to their family each night,” Mr Kean stated.
Manufacturing consistently features near the top of Safe Work Australia’s most hazardous sectors. Serious workers compensation claims made within the industry for 2013-14 had dropped 49 per cent on 2000-01 levels, but manufacturing still sits second overall for the number of claims.
SWA research shows that younger workers are particularly at risk, with 15-to-24-year-olds recording 44 per cent more injuries than this age group across Australian businesses as a whole.
If you are a manufacturing employee and have recently been injured on the job, please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to see how we can help with your claim.