WorkSafe is partnering with the Hawthorn Football Club to sponsor the inaugural Emergency Services Match at the MCG on July 5.
The match will be played in acknowledgment of the important work emergency services do to keep the community safe.
It will use the power of football to celebrate the incredible commitment of the men and women who do extraordinary things, risking their lives every day, to protect and support Victorians.
The Round 16 match will bring together Emergency Management Victoria, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Country Fire Authority, Life Saving Victoria, Forest Fire Management, Victorian State Emergency Service and ESTA (Triple 000).
Before the game, footy fans will be given an opportunity to celebrate emergency service workers with a moment of applause.
WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said Victoria’s emergency service workers deserved community respect.
“Emergency service workers are often dealing with members of the public in high-pressure, potentially dangerous situations which can put their physical and mental safety at risk,” Ms Nielsen said.
“This match is an opportunity to acknowledge that and to reinforce WorkSafe’s expectation that our emergency services workers are treated with respect.”
In the past five years WorkSafe has received more than 220 claims referencing injuries from acts of occupational violence and aggression.
“Occupational violence and aggression can range from gestures and verbal abuse through to physical assault and in more extreme cases violent acts like punching, kicking or even strangulation,” Ms Nielsen said.
“Attacks on emergency service workers are an unnecessary hazard that should not be part of the job, and WorkSafe is very clear that violence and aggression against frontline workers is never ok.”
The Round 16 Hawthorn v Collingwood match will be played at the MCG this Friday night.