Proactive inspection program to focus on safety issues in parks and gardens

A proactive inspection program evaluating safety issues with workers in Western Australia’s parks and gardens will soon commence.

The inspection program will involve inspectors visiting parks and gardens in Perth and regional areas of the State throughout the remainder of the 2017/18 financial year.

According to WorkSafe Acting Director Sally North, the inspection program was prompted by the high number of injuries suffered each year by parks and garden workers, especially injuries caused by manual tasks.

“Statistics show that manual tasks are the most common cause of injuries to park and garden workers,” she said.

“The most common location of injury is the lower back, and injuries are most often muscular stress caused by carrying and using tools and equipment.

“Also common are falls from the same level (such as tripping on uneven surfaces), being hit by moving objects such as tree limbs and vehicles, and falls from height.”

Inspectors will be focusing on priority areas such as manual tasks, hazardous substances, guarding of plant, falls from height, mobile plant and vehicle movement and slips, trips and falls. They will also be focusing on areas more specific to the industry like working with pesticides, working with soil, potting mix or mulch, outdoor work safety, working near power lines, using chainsaws and other tools, operating quad bikes, controlling infectious diseases, and controlling noise levels to avoid noise-induced hearing loss.

“These proactive inspection programs aim to provide employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws and help them to identify risks to the safety and health of workers,” said Ms. North.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive inspection programs is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”

A checklist and OSH newsletter for this inspection program can be obtained on the WorkSafe website.

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