Inspection program looks at accommodation industry

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WorkSafe is undertaking a proactive inspection program looking at safety issues in the accommodation industry.

The inspection program will continue throughout the 2016/17 financial year in Perth and regional areas of the State, and will focus on smaller accommodation providers such as caravan parks, motels and backpacker accommodation rather than large hotels.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the industry had recorded a high number of soft tissue injuries, and this is what prompted the inspection program.

“The industry has recorded an average of 197 lost time injuries per year over the past five years, with an average of 46 of these classified as severe, keeping the injured worker away from work for 60 days or more,” Mr Attard said.

“The most common type of injury has been soft tissue injuries to the lower back, and the most frequent occupation to suffer injuries is commercial housekeeper.”

As part of this inspection program, inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas including slips, trips and falls (e.g. wet or oily floors or falls from steps), manual tasks (from making beds, cleaning and lifting), electrical safety and machine guarding.

They will also focus on issues more specific to the industry, such as:

  • Control of infectious diseases – handling used needles and syringes;
  • New and young workers – training, instruction, supervision and reporting of safety issues;
  • Chemicals – risk assessments, labelling, storage and training in the use of hazardous substances;
  • Language and literacy issues;
  • Fire – prevention and evacuation plans;
  • Violence and aggression at work – prevention of violence and cash management;
  • Safety with knives and other sharp tools – maintenance and storage, training and instruction and personal protective equipment;
  • Protection from burns - from hot liquids, surfaces or steam;
  • Working in hot conditions – ventilation in hot kitchens, rest breaks in cool areas and consumption of fluids; and
  • Beverage gas safety.

“People working in the accommodation industry face a wide range of potential risks, and – as in all industries – risk assessments should be carried out and the identified risks minimised as far as is practicable,” Mr Attard said.

“During this program, inspectors will work with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency, and this checklist and the OSH Newsletter for this program are available on the WorkSafe website so employers can be aware of what to expect if visited by an inspector.

“The primary aim of these proactive inspection programs is to provide employers with information on how to identify risks to the safety and health of workers, but inspectors will issue notices if they find breaches of the workplace safety laws.

“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 workplace safety and health 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
16 Sep 2016

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