Inspection program confirms previous concerns

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A WorkSafe proactive inspection program looking at the safe movement of vehicles in manufacturing and wholesale workplaces has confirmed previous concerns in those industries.

The inspection program was conducted throughout the 2015/16 financial year in Perth and regional areas of the State, focusing on moving vehicles and their interaction with people at the targeted workplaces.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the inspection program was prompted by concerns about previous serious incidents involving mobile plant and pedestrians.

“There had been a number of serious injuries – and some deaths as well – involving mobile plant and pedestrians prior to this inspection program.

“This program targeted manufacturing and wholesale workplaces, but other similar programs have been conducted in other industries because concerns about moving vehicles and pedestrians are widespread throughout WA workplaces.

“WorkSafe inspectors visited 172 workplaces as part of this program and issued 79 improvement notices.  Of these 79 notices, 50 related directly to the safe movement of vehicles in workplaces.”

The majority of improvement notices issued during the program related to:

  • Risk assessment;
  • Warning signs;
  • Moving vehicles;
  • Duties of employers; and
  • High risk work licences required to operate some mobile plant.

“It appears that in many workplaces insufficient attention is being paid to spaces where vehicles and pedestrians interact,” Mr Attard said.  “Strict rules need to be in place in these spaces to ensure the work environment is kept as safe as possible.

“I urge employers to ensure the movement and speed of vehicles is managed to minimise the risk of injury and that workplaces are designed and maintained to ensure the safety of operators and others.

“In addition, safe systems of work, communication systems and signage need to be in place, and everyone at the workplace needs to be adequately trained in these safe systems.

“WorkSafe has published a Safety and Health Alert on its website that contains more detailed information on the factors that contributed to recent incidents, along with advice on the actions required in workplaces.

“There is also a Guidance Note on safe movement of vehicles at workplaces, and all relevant workplaces should ensure they are familiar with the contents of this publication.

“The majority of the notices issued related to the movement of vehicles and plant, so we plan to monitor the issue closely in the future to ensure that employers are assessing the risks in their workplaces and adequately addressing them.

“These proactive inspection programs are really all about providing employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws to make workplaces safer.

“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.”

Further information on safe movement of vehicles and the Guidance Note and Alert can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.

Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

caroline.devaney@commerce.wa.gov.au

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

WorkSafe
Media release
01 Nov 2016

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