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Health and safety focus for self-employed workers

stick_figure_in_a_safety_vest_holding_a_saftey_sign_400_clr_9760In a recent article from Work Safe Connect, Safe Work Australia’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter urged all workers – whether employed by a business or self-employed – to make work health and safety a priority.

“While we have seen a 16 per cent reduction in work-related deaths since 2012 (228), this does not mean workers should become complacent about reducing and eliminating risks while working,” said Ms Baxter.

“In particular it is alarming to see the fatality rate for self-employed workers is so much higher than for employees.

“This report serves as a reminder that self-employed workers still have the same legal requirements as an employer to ensure their own health and safety is maintained while at work, as well as the safety of people entering their workplace.

“Even if a worker is conducting a business in their own right, they should not ignore their own health and safety.”

As a self-employed worker, keeping your own training up to date is as important as ensuring your employees are competent in their operations.

Taking time out for training is often not a priority for self-employed workers, as traditional methods can be time consuming, expensive and lead to downtime – which in turn costs your business money.

Blended learning, and in particular the online training element, is a time and cost effective way to update your knowledge. Your Licence offers several courses that are 100% free and 100% online that can be done in your own time, wherever you can access the internet. View free courses here.

Our V.O.C. Learners Guides are 100% online, and include comprehensive information about each job role, industry standards and regulations. You can view a preview of these Learners Guides in our Course Library.

Lowest number of work-related deaths in 11 years

Source: Word Safe Connect (view)

Australian workplaces have recorded the lowest number of fatalities in 11 years according to data released by Safe Work Australia today in the report Work-related Traumatic Fatalities, Australia 2014.

The annual report found that 191 workers died from injuries received at work in 2013.

Distressingly, the fatality rate for self-employed workers (4.39 deaths per 1000 000 selfemployed workers) was three times higher than the fatality rate for employees (1.31). This is partly due to the high fatality rates in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Transport, postal and warehousing industries, both of which also have a higher than average proportion of selfemployed workers.

In releasing the report Safe Work Australia’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter urged all workers whether employed by a business or self-employed to make work health and safety a priority.

“While we have seen a 16 per cent reduction in work-related deaths since 2012 (228), this does not mean workers should become complacent about reducing and eliminating risks while working,” said Ms Baxter.

“In particular it is alarming to see the fatality rate for self-employed workers is so much higher than for employees.

“This report serves as a reminder that self-employed workers still have the same legal requirements as an employer to ensure their own health and safety is maintained while at work, as well as the safety of people entering their workplace.

“Even if a worker is conducting a business in their own right, they should not ignore their own health and safety.”

The report is available at www.swa.gov.au.

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