A targeted digital campaign to promote safe tree work has been launched by SafeWork NSW today.

Over the next six weeks, the campaign will reach tree work industry businesses, workers, their families and friends through sites like Facebook, eBay and Gumtree.

SafeWork NSW Acting Executive Director, Operations, Tony Williams said the campaign aimed to raise awareness about safety in an industry that suffered too many serious injuries.

“Every worker in the NSW tree work industry has the right to a safe and healthy workplace, but each year more than 150 workers are injured, and sadly, three workers died in 2016/17,” Mr Williams said.

“Between 2013-2016 workplace injuries and occupational disease claims cost the NSW workers compensation system $19 million.

“Planning is key when conducting tree work and through the campaign, SafeWork NSW aims to raise awareness of a new online safety guide that has been developed to better protect workers and consumers.

Mr Williams said workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility but it also requires leadership from business owners.

“Whether you are a tree work business owner, worker or their loved one, we all need to ensure workplaces are as healthy and safe as possible,” Mr Williams said.

The campaign is part of a joint tree work safety initiative of SafeWork NSW, NSW Fair Trading and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA).  It involves working with tree industry businesses across NSW to ensure they are meeting work health and safety, and workers compensation responsibilities.

Mr Williams said the project aimed to raise awareness of the risks of tree work, and improve industry health and safety.

“An online safety guide has been developed to provide information, advice and materials to enable tree work businesses to take simple steps to plan safe tree work so that injuries can be reduced,” he said.

“Unfortunately, unqualified or unregistered businesses are also a problem in the industry, which is why Fair Trading and SafeWork inspectors will continue to crack down on any unscrupulous operators taking advantage of unsuspecting property owners.

Information on working safely with trees and how to select a qualified tree work business is available at safework.nsw.gov.au and fairtrading.nsw.gov.au. For further advice and assistance call 13 10 50.

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