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The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Date: 
Wednesday, 8 November, 2017 - 09:45
Category: 
Industry news
Location: 
National News
Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria has trained and employed 22 more staff, including 18 inspectors and four investigators, to help improve OHS outcomes across the state.

The new recruits will be based in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Shepparton and Wangaratta, and will assist WorkSafe Victoria in its more than 40,000 visits to Victorian workplaces each year.

Their role will be to target unsafe activities, provide practical guidance on hazard identification and risk control, promote consultation between employers and workers on health and safety matters, and enforce OHS laws.

Following an intensive 14-week training course, the new inspector and investigator graduates come from a variety of backgrounds including health care, construction, motor sport, government and major hazards facilities.

If a business is found to have breached the 2004 OHS Act it may face prosecution and heavy fines.

In 2016/17, a total of 70 businesses were found guilty of breaching workplace laws and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling almost $4 million.

Victorian Minister for Finance Robin Scott said inspectors and investigators played a crucial role in keeping Victorian workers safe.

“The inspectorate is at the forefront of ensuring employers prioritise safety and do everything they can to prevent a serious injury or fatality in their workplace,” said Minister Scott.

“That is why the Government is committed to ensuring WorkSafe has the resources it needs to help Victorian workers return home safely every day.”

WorkSafe Victoria CEO Clare Amies said the new graduates came from a range of industries and would bring a broad range of expertise to their new roles.

“It’s pleasing to see such diversity in the backgrounds of our latest recruits, particularly as WorkSafe embraces the challenges that arise from an ever-changing workforce,” Amies said.

“While the number of workplaces in Victoria continues to grow, it is pleasing that the number of workplace injuries continues to decline.”