WorkCover NSW launches mentor safety program

Date: Jan 31, 2015

WorkCover NSW has launched its 2015 Mentor Program, which is an initiative aimed at improving employee safety at organisations of all sizes.

The scheme pairs medium-sized and large companies with small firms to identify and overcome key hazardous areas in the workplace.

Accidents are a common occurrence in businesses across the state, with both employees and the general public at risk if enterprises fail to put adequate safety measures in place.

People who sustain injuries may be entitled to compensation if they pursue a public liability claim, which is why many businesses take health and safety extremely seriously.

Peter Dunphy, acting general manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, said small employers often find it difficult to concentrate on these issues due to time restraints.

“Mentors understand the work health and safety challenges mentees face on a daily basis and can suggest innovative solutions to safety, injury management and workers compensation issues,” he stated.

“Together they participate in one-on-one discussions and onsite visits as well as free WorkCover advisory and educational sessions across a variety of safety and injury management topics.”

The Mentor Program has been in place since 2006, with 520 businesses taking part over the last nine years. According to WorkCover, nine in 10 small firms improve their safety record as a result of participating.

Workplace risks

Accidents in the workplace are most common in certain industries, including construction, mining, transport and warehousing, and agriculture.

Statistics from Safe Work Australia show there have already been six deaths in the country since the beginning of the year, while 186 fatalities occurred in 2014.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures in November that showed the most dangerous occupation in 2013-14 was machinery operators and drivers, with 88 injuries per 1,000 staff.

Community and personal service workers came second at 77 per 1,000 employees.

Mr Dunphy said the WorkCover mentor campaign hopes to ensure NSW employees return home safely, with fewer families experiencing the “devastating impact” of serious injuries.

“If you are a large or medium-sized business with an interest in proactive workplace safety, or a small business that wants to learn more about it, gain a competitive advantage and boost productivity, register for the 2015 WorkCover Mentor Program today,” he added.

The scheme runs for six to eight months at most companies, but is flexible to accommodate the timetables of participating firms.

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