New and Improved Safety Laws Coming Soon Sun 30 September 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Workplace Relations The Minister for Workplace Relations, David O'Byrne, has urged employers and workers to pay special attention to Worksafe Month 2012. October is Tasmania's last official Worksafe Month before new model workplace health and safety laws take effect next year. Mr O'Byrne officially launched the month of activities today. "Workplace health and safety is a key priority all year round - but Worksafe Month is about making a special effort to learn and take action," Mr O'Byrne said. "As the key message reminds us - the most important reason for making your workplace safe, is not at work at all. "A workplace accident affects many people in painful ways - including family, friends and workmates. "Taking the time to learn about safety and improve your workplace could be one of the best gifts you can give them. "Worksafe Month offers lots of free and interesting events around Tasmania, to help boost people's knowledge and skills," he said. WorkSafe Month 2012 is an ideal chance for employers and workers to prepare for the new model laws starting on New Year's Day, 2013. "Businesses and workers need to know how the new legislation may benefit and affect them. Attending a free information session in the month ahead is the ideal way to find out," Mr O'Byrne said. This year's Worksafe Month also offers a special focus on small business health and safety. New figures show 9,312 people were injured in Tasmanian workplaces in 2011. 1,294 worked in small business. The main type of injuries in small businesses were traumatic joint, ligament, muscle or tendon injury (613 injuries), followed by wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage (308 injuries). There were 574 small business injuries in southern Tasmania, followed by 389 in the north, and 246 in the north-west. The top three industries for injuries were construction (285), retail trade (209) and manufacturing (180). WorkSafe Tasmania Month runs from October 1st until November 2nd. For a program of events, (or to register for events), go to www.worksafe.tas.gov.au or phone the Helpline on 1300 366 322.