Release type: Media Release

Date:

Safe Work Australia Week puts the spotlight on OHS

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Minister for Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, encouraged all Australians to put the spotlight on safety in their workplace during national Safe Work Australia Week, launched today.

More than 134,000 Australians are seriously injured at work each year and more than 220 die as a result of work-related injuries.

“National Safe Work Australia Week, an annual initiative of Safe Work Australia, is an opportunity for all Australians to think about how to improve work health and safety in their workplace and in their community,” Senator Evans said.

“Each and every worker deserves to go to work each day and return home safely each night.”

Senator Evans said workers deserve the same decent safety standards across Australia.

“This is why the Gillard Government is committed to harmonising Occupational Health and Safety laws by January 2012,” Senator Evans said.

“The new laws will cut red tape and ensure that all workers have equal protections regardless of where they live and work.

“They will apply not only to employees, but also to contractors and their employees, subcontractors, labour hire workers, apprentices and volunteers.

“These reforms are vitally important for the safety of employees in an increasingly mobile labour force.”

During Safe Work Australia Week, Safety Ambassadors coordinate and promote activities in their workplace including ‘Take10@10’ ten minute safety talks at ten am, wellbeing walks and health and safety refresher training. Many more Australians will also take part in Safe Work Australia Week by attending activities and events run by state and territory work health and safety regulators.

“I am proud to join nearly 500 leaders from business, industry and the community as a national Safety Ambassador to actively promote the importance of the week and what it represents,” Senator Evans said.

“Shining the spotlight on safety during National Safe Work Australia Week reminds us that workplace safety is a priority every day of the year and helps build the knowledge workers need to work safely into the future.

“I encourage all Australians to make time to think about safety during National Safe Work Australia Week.”