IN the past five years south-west residents have made almost 2000 WorkSafe claims for musculoskeletal injuries, amounting to more than $50 million in medical costs, wages and other expenses.
Glenelg Shire Council region residents topped the list of the six south-west municipalities with payments of $13,540,878 from 333 claims, leading Warrnambool City Council residents with $13,121,529 from 615 claims.
Claimants from Colac-Otway council region had payments of $9,945,413 from 456 claims, Southern Grampians $6,881,702 from 221 claims, Corangamite $4,426,478 from 164 claims and Moyne shire residents $2,959,118 from 153 claims. Total claims made from the six council areas in the south-west were 1945 involving $50,875,118.
The figures were released when state Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips launched a new WorkCover campaign targeting musculoskeletal injuries at the weekend.
“Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common workplace injury, costing nearly $1 billion a year in medical costs, wages and other expenses,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“They affect the body’s muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves, are easily prevented, often difficult to treat and can be long-lasting and a source of great pain.
“Every day 43 Victorians are seriously hurt with these injuries, with an average workers’ compensation claim costing $55,000 medical costs, wages and other expenses.”
Mr Rich-Phillips said Victoria had the lowest workplace injury insurance premiums in Australia.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has slashed WorkCover premiums by three per cent to 1.298 per cent in this year’s Budget, saving employers $57 million a year,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“Dangerous manual handling, particularly lifting, lowering and moving things, account for about 68 per cent of all Victorian workers’ compensation claims, while about 20 per cent are the result of slips, trips and falls.
“These injuries are largely hidden because they do not make the nightly news, but the impact on workers, their families and their employer’s business can be enormous and long-lasting.
“Ensuring people are properly trained and supervised, use the right equipment and clean up spills to prevent falls are no-cost or low-cost measures that will reduce workplace accidents,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.