Worker safety is improving in Australia, according to a recent study from Safe Work Australia*, with the number of serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace dropping considerably.
In fact, the most recent figures available show a significant drop in the number of injuries sustained by Australian workers. In these findings, the number of injuries has declined by 26 per cent over the last 12 years.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia Michelle Baxter suggested that further improvements in this area would require a robust approach to workplace health and safety training.
"To continue to see a decrease in injury and disease in the workplace we must stay committed to work health and safety and set high targets to ensure safer workplaces for all Australians," said Ms Baxter.
"It is through raising awareness of work health and safety and encouraging workers to speak up about hazards that these figures will continue to drop."
While injuries have decreased, an even larger drop was recorded in workplace fatalities. Compared to the 2002 results, fatalities have reduced by 41 per cent, easily surpassing the goal for that time period, which called for a 20 per cent decrease.
Although this is a considerable reduction, there is still a need for companies and individuals to continue looking for ways to improve these figures, according to Ms Baxter.
"While this is a good result, there were still 178 compensated injury and disease fatalities recorded in Australia for 2012-13. More work is needed to improve work health and safety and reduce this figure even further."
For companies looking to implement a robust health and safety program, one of the first steps will be the employee induction process.
Implementing a practical workplace health and safety training solution which includes generic job/industry information and outlines the hazards of their role is a good start. Employees will also need to know how to minimise these hazards, what to do if the individual sees a hazard or is injured and undergo a practical work- and job-specific WHS training that will help to reduce the likelihood of a serious injury on site.
WorkPro offers a comprehensive induction solution for companies of all sizes that are looking to build a strong workplace health and safety process.
*Safe Work Australia, Comparative Performance Monitoring report, October 9 2014.