Tougher Laws may be Reducing Workplace Accidents

It is the belief of Tasmanian unions that more expensive fine, introduced under new workplace laws, will support a decrease in injuries at work.

A 4% drop in the number of Tasmanians who are injured at work has been revealed in figures released as WorkSafe month was launched. According to Workplace Relations Minister David O’Byrne, 8934 reports of injury were made last year and this is 378 injury reports less than the previous year.

New workplace laws were enacted this year and, in the last twelve months, four Tasmanians were killed at work.

Most workplace deaths and injuries occur in the construction and farming sectors and, according to Unions Tasmania’s Kevin Harkins, Tasmania is the second worst performing state, ahead of only Queensland.

Just last year, Chris Dornauf had his arm stuck in the conveyor belt of a potato grader for ninety minutes. After eight surgeries (and more planned for the future), Mr Dornauf emphasises that recovery from a workplace injury is slow.

He still does not have use of his right arm.

Recently, a Hobart man injured at work was awarded $7.5 million – Tasmania’s highest ever compensation payout.


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