December is traditionally a time of festive cheer and celebration.
However the end of the year also marks a dangerous period for the workforce.
WorkSafe statistics reveal that more Victorian workers die in the weeks leading up to Christmas than at any other time of year, with almost a quarter of all workplace deaths occurring in November and December.
Across Brimbank there were 472 claims made to WorkSafe during the 2016-17 financial year. The leading cause of injury was body stressing, which typically comes in the form of strains and sprains, with 159 reported incidents.
Falls, slips and trips were also a leading cause of injury with 107 incidents, while 82 people were hit by a moving object.
The manufacturing industry logged the most injury claims, with 81, while construction (68) and Health Care and Social Assistance (66) were also high on the list.
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Marnie Williams said there are a number of reasons why the Christmas period is a dangerous time of year for workers.
“With Christmas just around the corner we know many employers and employees are rushing to meet deadlines and complete projects,” Ms Williams said.
“We also know that many people are eagerly looking forward to their upcoming holidays and Christmas celebrations, so maybe they are getting distracted from the tasks at hand.”
Ms Williams said it was important that employers and employees take a step back and put safety first as the year comes to a close.
“For employers, this may mean factoring in a little extra time to do the job, or paying for extra resources … to get the job done safely.
“For workers, it may mean spending a little more time assessing each task before starting.
“The cost of rushing or taking shortcuts could be someone’s life.”