The AWU’s Guard It or Ban It policy came about because of the terrible destruction caused every year by unguarded machinery in the workplace. In the five years between 2007 and 2012, almost 450 body parts were amputated in Victoria as a result of industrial incidents.

It is a shocking statistic, but the bad news doesn’t stop there. WorkSafe Victoria figures show that incidents involving dangerous machinery accounted for almost 11,000 injuries in the same period, with a bill of $220 million for medical treatment, rehabilitation services and income support.

The expense to the community is tremendous, but of course, for injured workers, their friends and families the cost is inestimable.

The answer is a simple one. If it’s not guarded, don’t use it.

If you are asked to use an unguarded machine, refuse to do so and talk to your HSR immediately, or ring your Organiser or the AWU Victorian Branch Safety Unity on 03 8327 0888 or 1300 362 298 (from anywhere in the state for the price of a local call).

Click here to download the Guard It or Ban It Safety Alert for your safety noticeboard.

Click here to watch an excellent film from WorkSafe Queensland which spells out the dangers of unguarded machinery. 

Click here to download the new Guard It or Ban It Safety Poster