[singlepic id=270 w=240 h=320 float=left]Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today emphasised the importance of workplace safety as part of this year’s Safe Work Australia Week, which runs from 24-30 October 2010.

Mr Pitt, who attended the Safe Work Week launch in Cairns this morning, appealed to North Queenslanders to get involved in the planned activities.

“Safe Work Australia Week is of vital importance in spreading the message throughout the entire community that workplace safety is for everyone,” Mr Pitt said.

“Going to work should mean coming home safe and sound to our loved ones, but the fact is that people die or are seriously injured doing their work and it can happen to anyone at any time.

“Each year in Queensland, there are about 100 work-related fatalities and nearly 30,000 cases where workers are either permanently impaired or seriously injured.

“In 2008-09 there were nearly 9000 workers compensation claims for the North Queensland region, and 20 fatalities – these workplace incidents cost the Queensland economy more than $5.2 billion each year.”

Also in attendance this morning was Work Safe Week Ambassador and football legend, Mal Meninga, who spoke of his father’s death after a workplace incident.

Mr Pitt said workplace safety was not just about employers and workers – it was an issue that impacted on everyone.

“Safety needs to become an integral part of the everyday culture in all Queensland workplaces and we must realise that safety is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.

“A range of activities have been organised in hundreds of workplaces across the state to highlight ways of improving safety.

“And Safe Work Australia Week is a perfect opportunity for employers, big and small, to take positive steps towards boosting safety in their own workplaces by holding a safety activity for their staff.

“A tool box talk on how to avoid sprains and strains, safety suggestion box or safety sausage sizzle can get workers involved and thinking about workplace safety – it doesn’t need to be huge or expensive to be effective.”

For more information on Work Safe Week visit www.worksafeweek.qld.gov.au or telephone 1300 369 915.

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