WA proactive inspection reveals areas of concerns in workplace safety in accommodation sector

WorkSafe WA conducted a proactive inspection program revealing some areas of concerns with workplace safety in the accommodation sector.

The inspection was conducted throughout the 2016/17 financial year in Parth and regional areas of the State and focussed on smaller accommodation workplaces such as motels, caravan parks, lodges, chalets and bed and breakfasts.

According to WorkSafe Director Sally North, the program was prompted by the results of an inspection program conducted previously that looked into larger establishments such as major hotels.

“We’ve previously undertaken a similar program, and this resulted in high numbers of improvement and prohibition notices,” said Ms. North.

“Hence, we made the decision to expand our attention on accommodation to the smaller accommodation providers that may not have the corporate safety programs seen in hotel chains.

“WorkSafe inspectors visited 58 workplaces as part of this program and issued 257 improvement notices and two prohibition notices, along with 27 verbal directions.

Of the 257 improvement notices issued, 91 related directly to hazardous substances in the workplaces. A total of 27 notices related to risk assessment records of hazardous substances, and a further 27 to training records for hazardous substances.”

Several improvement notices were also issued.

“The earlier program, conducted during the 2013/14 financial year and focusing on larger establishments, saw the issue of 676 improvement and prohibition notices, a large number relating to manual tasks and slips, trips and falls,” said Ms. North.

“Proportionally fewer notices were issued during this inspection program than were issued during the previous one, but these workplaces had less employees and fewer had less employees and fewer than half included a commercial kitchen, an area that can present many hazards.

“The large number of notices relating to hazardous substances is an area of concern for WorkSafe – it is very important that the risks of all hazardous substances in a workplace are assessed and that everyone in that workplace is aware of the risks and how to minimise them.

“It’s also a concern that many accommodation sector workers are not being trained in and informed about infectious diseases to which they may be exposed in the course of their work.

“We plan to maintain contact with industry stakeholders in this sector and to carefully monitor the enforcement action taken during this inspection program.

“This program is part of a continuing series of proactive inspection programs looking at safety issues in a wide range of industries, activities and geographical locations.

“Their primary aim is to provide employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws, which we believe is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”

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