Victorians lose 150 limbs, fingers at work

Victorian workers lost 150 limbs, fingers and thumbs in workplace accidents over the past year.

There were 137 claims accepted by WorkSafe for amputation injuries, with about a third relating to fingers or thumbs being caught or crushed in machinery or severed using a saw.

Forty-five per cent of amputation claims were in the manufacturing industry, while 15 per cent came from the construction sector.

Labourers made the most claims to WorkSafe (51 per cent), followed by tradies (37 per cent) and production and transport workers (31 per cent).

"The staggering number of workers who have lost limbs and digits from preventable incidents is simply unacceptable," WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Narelle Beer said.

"No one should suffer such horrific, life-changing injuries at work."

Employers needed to ensure there were safety measures in place to protect workers otherwise they would face charges, Dr Beer said.

WorkSafe prosecuted eight companies last year over worker amputations, with fines and court costs totalling $256,094.

Charges against nine other Victorian employers are still before the courts, while a further 24 matters are being investigated by WorkSafe.