WORKPLACE injuries have cost Maribyrnong businesses millions of dollars over the past five years.
A WorkSafe report on musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) reveals Maribyrnong had 1982 MSI claims totalling more than $49million. Wyndham topped the western suburbs list with 2934 claims and Hobsons Bay was second with 2091.
The report reveals MSIs - which include slips, trips, falls and dangerous manual handling - are Victoria's leading employee compensation claim and cost the state almost $1billion every year in compensation, wages and medical bills.
The report states that almost 70per cent of workplace incidents occurred in the manufacturing, construction, warehousing, health, transport, postal and administration industries.
LeadWest business and projects manager Craig Rowley said the west was over-represented due to its large number of labourers and machinery operators. "This type of physical work has a lot more inherent dangers than other types of work," he said. "The high levels of cultural and linguistic diversity in the region could create occupational health and safety misunderstandings because it takes more time and care in ensuring people recognise how to stay safe at work."
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Ian Forsyth said MSI figures accounted for more than half of Victoria's 29,000 serious injury claims annually.
"Every week we hear about footballers who suffer similar injuries which put them out of action for weeks or months," he said.
"But when it happens to somebody who's just gone to work, it becomes an invisible issue."
WorkSafe safety operations general manager Lisa Sturzenegger said while the results did not represent an increase on injury rates from previous periods in the west, the number of claims remained steady.
"While there have been recent job losses we aren't seeing injury rates coming down just yet."