Source: Gordon Rich-Phillips - Assistant Treasurer
Victoria is the safest state in Australia in which to work, a new comparison of the work health and safety schemes of every state and territory has found.
According to preliminary figures released by Commonwealth agency Safe Work Australia in its annual Comparative Performance Monitoring Report, Victoria had nine serious injury and disease claims for every 1,000 employees, far fewer than the national average of 12.2 claims.
It was also well ahead of the Northern Territory (11.2 claims), Western Australia (12), South Australia (12.3), Australian Capital Territory (13), New South Wales (13.7), Queensland (14.7) and Tasmania (15.6).
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said Victoria’s annual injury rate was now at a record low.
“This comparison provides compelling evidence that the Commonwealth’s proposed national occupational health and safety laws will take Victoria backwards,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“Our determination to improve workplace safety in Victoria has seen our state become the national leader in workplace safety.
“Victoria has the safest scheme, the most effective scheme, the lowest rate of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths and the lowest workers’ compensation premiums in the country.
“Despite all of this, the Gillard Government is seeking to introduce a national model which is likely to cost Victorian businesses more than $3.4 billion over the next five years.”
Mr Rich-Phillips said the Gillard Government should heed its own report by introducing national laws based on Victoria’s laws which were already best practice.
“Victoria is continuing to drive home the safety message, with current campaigns focusing on dangerous machines and manual handling,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“About 21,000 people have been seriously injured by machinery over the past five years - incidents that could have been avoided through simple, cost-effective measures.
“More than 15,000 workers are seriously injured every year from routine tasks such as moving, lifting and lowering objects and from preventable trips and falls,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
Media contact: Stephanie Ryan 0488 441 820