NSW steps up fatality-reduction targets, releases new WHS plan

NSW steps up fatality-reduction targets, releases new WHS plan

NSW’s Work Health and Safety have unveiled bold new plans as part of its refreshed ‘roadmap’ to reduce work-related deaths by 30 per cent, and serious work injuries and illnesses by 50 per cent, within five years.

Launched over two years ago, the roadmap was introduced with the aim of reducing work-related fatalities by 20 per cent and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2022.

NSW Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean has today spoken about the achievements of the plan, with fatalities fallen by 25% since the NSW Liberal’s first year in office in 2011, and that “with this refreshed roadmap, we can do even more to improve safety in the workplace”.

“With NSW in the middle of the biggest road and rail construction boom in the country’s history we need to continue to focus on keeping our workers safe,” the Minister said.

SafeWork NSW’s new plan echoed the minister’s sentiment, focused on improving safety practices for loading and unloading vehicles from the ground in the road freight transport industry; ensuring all businesses implement best practice traffic management plans; promoting the principles of “three points of contact” when getting in and out of vehicles; and improving workers’ physical and mental health.

“Despite an overall reduction in major claims for injuries in recent years, serious injuries and fatalities continue to occur. Those incidents aren’t just on the road, they also happen when vehicles are being loaded and during routine maintenance,” Minister Kean said.

Alongside NSW Work Health and Safety’s new plan, Safe Work Australia announced grants of $2,000 to $20,0000 for “great work health and safety projects” to reward innovative approaches to WHS best practices​. The entry criteria include that the projects focus on priority areas outlined in the 2012-22 Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy, focusing on high-order risk controls, while representing “good work design” that can be shared with the wider community.

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