Proactive inspection program looks at machinery repair workplaces in WA

A WorkSafe WA proactive inspection program will look at safety issues in workplaces where machinery and equipment is repaired. The program will continue until the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

WorkSafe inspectors will visit workplaces where repairs are carried out on items such as agricultural and farm machinery, lawnmowers, outboard motors, pumps and compressors, mining equipment and material handlers.

WorkSafe Director of Industrial and Regional Chris Kirwin said there had been a high number of long-term injuries in the sector in the last five years.

“The long-term injuries we are seeing in the machinery repair sector are mainly body stress injuries resulting from manual handling, or injuries suffered when a worker is hit by an object,” Mr. Kirwin said.

“Long-term injuries are defined as injuries that will keep an employee away from work for 60 days or more, so these are quite serious issues.”

WorkSafe WA said the program would focus on priority areas including manual tasks, electricity, lock-out and tagging, the use of hazardous substances and slips, trips and falls.

Inspectors will also look at safety issues more specific to the industry such as the use of single-post hoists, pressure vessels and guillotines, and the induction and training of new and young workers.

The inspections will be conducted with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency across all workplaces.

“The primary focus of WorkSafe’s proactive inspection programs is education, but enforcement action is taken during these programs if breaches of the laws are found,” Mr. Kirwin said.

“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities and aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer.

“Proactive inspection programs aim to help employers to comply with workplace safety and health laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”

Further information on safety in machinery repair workplaces and the checklist for this inspection program can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.

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