The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

WA Workers More At Risk in 2012

Graham Marshall - Friday, November 02, 2012

There has been a slide in Western Australian workplace safety performance after WorkSafe WA revealed it had investigated about 2,000 fewer workplaces in the last financial year compared to each of the previous four years.

The reduction in site visits was due to the shortage of WorkSafe inspectors, as the agency struggled to compete with resources companies in the booming minerals sector for skilled workers.

WorkSafe currently has 15 unfilled vacancies in its complement of 103 inspectors

WorkSafe WA investigated 7,600 workplaces in 2011, compared to 9,400 the previous year and a high of 10,000 in 2009.

Figures from the agency's annual report show the number of its workplace visits almost halved since 2008.

The report said the number of improvement notices dropped by 25 per cent and prohibition notices by 33 per cent in the same period.

And there are no doubts to the Risk Tool Box that safety standards are falling in WA.

Research shows the frequency of severe injuries at WA workplaces had risen to its highest rate in 11 years.

Figures show the total number of severe incidents in which a worker needs to take 60 days or more to recover from an injury or disease sustained in the workplace - was 2.65 for every million hours worked in 2011, compared with a frequency rate of 2.24 incidents in this category a year previously.

The lost time injury (LTI) rate also increased in the 2011 year to 9.51 from 9.07 per million hours worked in 2010.


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