A recent inspection program conducted by WorkSafe WA in takeaway food outlets uncovered serious concerns with hazardous substances.
Inspectors visited takeaway outlets in Perth and regional areas in Perth and regional areas of the State throughout the 2016/17 financial year. The inspections were prompted by several reports of lost-time injuries in the takeaway sector, with mostly young workers being injured.
“At the time the inspection program commenced, the sector was averaging 163 lost-time injuries per year, with 115 of these keeping employees off work for five or more days and 30 of these keeping them off work for 60 days or more,” said WorkSafe Acting Director Grady Chaney.
Eighty-one of the 152 takeaway food outlets visited were larger chain fast food takeaways while 71 were smaller takeaways.
Three prohibition notices, 719 improvement notices and 41 verbal directions in the course of the inspection program were issued.
The greatest number of notices (237) were related to hazardous substances, which were predominantly due to a lack of risk assessment records and registers of hazardous substances and a lack of Material Safety Data Sheets and training records.
A total of 181 notices issued were related to emergency precautions.
Most common injuries in the sector included soft tissue injuries, burns, lacerations, bruising and superficial crushing and fractures.
“Takeaway food outlets mainly employ young people, so they are the workers who are suffering injuries that can affect them for a long period of time,” said Mr. Chaney.
“This inspection program uncovered some widespread problems with hazardous substances and emergency preparedness, so the industry now needs to pay more attention to these areas and ensure that risk assessments are carried out, emergency procedures are in place and that all workers are properly trained.”
Mr Chaney said they will continue monitoring the takeaway food industry and the enforcement action taken during the inspection program.
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