New WorkSafe data released this week shows work-related deaths are on the rise, with three fatalities recorded in the Western District in the past financial year.
The data is from the 2020-21 financial year and includes Warrnambool City Council, Moyne, Corangamite, Glenelg and Southern Grampians shires.
Across the region there were 492 WorkSafe injury claims. Industries with the most claims included health care and social assistance with 98 claims, manufacturing (81 claims) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (80 claims).
This is an increase from the previous 2019-20 financial year when there was one work-related death and 472 injury claims. Industries included health care and social assistance with 95 claims, manufacturing recorded 75 claims and agriculture, forestry and fishing had 72 claims.
WorkSafe chief executive officer Colin Radford said the most common injuries in 2020-21 included musculoskeletal system with 164 claims, 80 claims for wounds, lacerations and amputations and 72 fractures.
Musculoskeletal system injuries were up from 132 in 2019-20, so too were wounds, lacerations and amputations with 103 claims in the previous financial year. There were 95 claims for traumatic tendon, muscle and ligament injury in 2019-20.
In 2020-21 the most common injury causes were 167 cases of body stressing, 133 incidents where a person was hit by moving objects and 103 falls, trips and slips.
The number of body stressing has increased from 157 in 2019-20, while the number of falls, trips and slips (122 claims) and being hit by moving objects (103 claims) have decreased from the previous financial year.
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WorkSafe Health and Safety Month runs throughout October and includes 20 webinars on various topics.
Mr Radford said it was an opportunity for employers and workers to stay connected in challenging times and keep up to date with the latest workplace health and safety information.
"As we all continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, it remains as important as ever that health and safety is front of mind, whether you are working out in the community or remotely from a home office," he said.
"We all have a role to play in workplace safety, so I encourage everyone to visit the website and register for sessions relevant to them," he said.
Former Camperdown Football Netball Club player/coach Dan Casey, who now lives near Colac, will share his return-to-work journey as part of the event.
In 2014, Mr Casey had his foot badly crushed in the grab of a bobcat bucket while working as a manager for a south-west transport company. The incident left him with a crushed foot that required 30 surgeries.
Mr Casey said his experience goes to the heart of why WorkSafe exists and he was looking forward to sharing his story.
"From lying in hospital to doing what I'm doing now, I think it's pretty incredible and people who have been through the journey with me are pretty chuffed they've been able to have a part in it," Mr Casey said.
"If one thing I can do is share my story and try and prevent the next accident from happening, well I've done what I wanted to do out of this accident.
"I don't want to see anyone else go through what we went through."
To register or for more information about the webinars go to worksafe.vic.gov.au/events
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