More Recognition for Keeping Tasmanian Workers Safe Fri 15 March 2013 David O'Byrne Minister for Workplace Relations The Workplace Relations Minister, David O'Byrne, today launched a new program to help keep Tasmanian workers safe. The new-look 2013 WorkSafe Awards provide extra recognition and reward for employers who excel at workplace health and safety. "This is about much more than the feel-good factor of having awards. It's about saving lives and preventing injuries," Mr O'Byrne said. "The evidence shows recognition like the Worksafe Awards provides a major incentive for employers to focus on safety. "Being recognised for excellent safety standards helps workplaces attract and keep staff, and offers promotional benefits from being an award-winner. "While workplace safety's improved significantly under Labor, there's still more to do. Every life is precious, and every death or injury is still one too many," he said. The number of workplace injuries recorded in Tasmania fell by five per cent in 2011-12 (9,174 injuries). The number of workers compensation claims also fell by five per cent (9,825 claims), compared to the previous year. Claims have reduced significantly in the past 15 years. In 1996-97, there were almost 15,000 in a single year. However, the figures still equate to one Tasmanian being injured at work every hour, in the 2011-12 year. The new-look awards program's based on community feedback, and: • Makes it simpler for workplaces to enter and achieve recognition. • Offers an easy online entry process, and simpler entry criteria. • Provides more opportunities for finalists to network and share their health and safety initiatives, as well as receiving a free video of their entry. To enter the WorkSafe Awards, simply visit www.worksafe.tas.gov.au and explain the health and safety improvements in your workplace. Entries are accepted all year round, but need to be received by June 28th to qualify for the 2013 awards. There'll be an information booklet in the Advocate newspaper on March 16th, followed by the Mercury and Examiner on March 17th.