WorkSafe WA inspectors will be visiting workplaces throughout Perth and regional areas over the next eight months to look at safety issues with scaffolding.
The safety watchdog says the inspection program will focus on the priority areas of slips and trips, falls from height and manual tasks,
WorkSafe Director Chris Kirwin said the construction industry had one of the highest numbers of work-related deaths of all industries, and many of these were from falls from height.
“The injuries that result from falls from height can be severe, and long-term injuries bring with them all the direct and indirect costs of treatment and return to work plans, so it is definitely better to have a prevention plan in place.
“Our inspectors last took a close look at scaffolding back in 2009/10, so now we need to take another look at the area to ensure the improvements made since our last inspection program are continuing.
“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer.”
Inspectors will look at safety issues more specifically related to scaffolding such as sole boards and base plates, ties, platforms, temporary ladders and the risks involved with mobile scaffolding.
They will pay particular attention to safety issues around the supply and hire of scaffolding and will conduct the inspections with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency across all workplaces.
Although the construction inspectorate will play a major part in the program, all inspectors will carry the checklist and use it in any workplace that contains scaffolding.
“The primary focus of this program is to raise awareness and provide information to employers and employees, but enforcement action will be taken if breaches of the laws are found,” Mr. Kirwin said.
“These proactive inspection programs aim to help employers comply with workplace safety laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”
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