Safety must be top priority

Safety must be top priority

29 October 2014

A week after a 21-year-old worker was tragically killed at an Adelaide construction site after reportedly falling under a passing truck, Safe Work Week was launched. 

Last financial year approximately 20,000 South Australians were injured at work, while 14 people died as a result of work-related injuries.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch, Industrial Relations Minister John Rau said businesses, employees and government all need to work together to reduce the toll of work-related injury.

“These are people who left for work in the morning and never came home. We need to work together to make sure we do all we can to prevent this from happening,” he said.

According to St John Ambulance (SA), businesses and employers could be putting employees and customers at risk by failing to meet their first aid responsibilities.

The not-for-profit organisation and the state’s leading provider of first aid services and training has joined with SafeWork SA to highlight the importance of workforces being ready to save lives in a first aid incident or emergency. 

Chief executive Sharyn Mitten said that businesses need to meet some new requirements for first aid in the workplace following the state’s adoption of nationally harmonised work health and safety laws in January 2013. 

Meanwhile, a consultant for Health Safety Environment Australia, has suggested that noise limiters to head phones on portable music players and devices needs to be considered to prevent longer-term hearing loss among users.

Keith Wilmot, who will speak as part of Safe Work Week, believes discussions should be held with the manufacturers of such devices about limiting the volume from head phones. 

He said new legislation had recently been passed to monitor the hearing of workers in noisy workplaces – anywhere where the noise level of 85 decibels of more during an eight hour period. This required employees to be tested when they first began work and then retested on a regular basis to monitor their hearing enabling investigations to be undertaken to establish what was causing the hearing loss.


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