Proactive safety inspection in sports and recreation activity workplaces

WorkSafe WA will conduct a proactive inspection program to check on safety issues in sports and recreation activity workplaces.

The program will be conducted until the end of the 2018/19 financial year and will include sports and recreation clubs and large sports and recreation grounds and facilities.

WorkSafe Director Sally North noted an increase in the number of long-term injuries in the sector in the last five years.

“Although we believe this increase is at least partly due to an increase in the number of sports and recreational facilities offering a diverse range of activities, we want to ensure that employers in the industry are aware of their responsibilities across the wide range of occupations they employ,” said Ms. North.

“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.

“The primary focus is education, but enforcement action will be taken during the program if breaches of the laws are found.”

Inspectors will be checking priority areas including manual tasks, electricity, slips, trips and falls, mobile plant and vehicle movement and use of hazardous substances. They will also be looking at safety issues that are more specific to the industry like training of new and young workers and the procedures the employer has in place for dealing with violence and aggression when interacting with the public.

A checklist will be used during the inspection.

“The evidence suggests that the rise in popularity of large sports and recreation facilities has led to a diverse range of employees from instructors and trainers, maintenance personnel, cleaners and security staff to customer service, administration and hospitality workers,” Ms. North said.

“We see a risk of employers not being aware of their obligations to all these different workers and possibly overlooking some of the important support roles.

‘These 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.”

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