Inspection program looks at road freight transport
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A WorkSafe proactive inspection program will look at safety issues in the road freight transport industry.
The program will continue throughout the 2015/16 financial year, visiting road freight companies of all sizes in both metropolitan and regional areas of the State.
WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the program would focus on a wide range of safety issues in the industry.
“With regard to the road transport industry, WorkSafe looks at the specific issues of fatigue management and workers in isolated locations every year, and has done so for a number of years,” Mr Attard said.
“This inspection program aims to look at all the other workplace safety issues that exist in the industry, particularly those occurring at depots, warehouses and so on.”
Statistics show the road freight transport industry suffers a high rate of work-related lost time injuries, with 551 lost time injuries per year on average over the past five years.
Of these injuries, an average of 464 are serious enough to keep employees off work for five days or more, and 179 injuries lead to workers having to stay off work for 60 days or more.
Most injuries in the industry are the result of body stressing such as muscle strains, back conditions and tendonitis caused by manual tasks.
Also common are slips, trips and falls, including falls from truck cabins and from the back of trucks, and being hit by moving objects such as items falling from trucks during unloading or as a result of unsecured loads.
Four injury hotspots have been recognised in the road freight transport industry – back and shoulder sprains and strains from lifting and carrying, knee strains and sprains from kneeling, twisting and stepping on and off things, and hand and finger lacerations from handling metal or steel.
Inspectors will look at WorkSafe’s priority areas including manual tasks, slips, trips and falls, working at heights, noise, machine guarding and hazardous substances.
They will also look at safety issues in areas such as safe movement of vehicles, mobile plant, emergency procedures and new and young workers.
Mr Attard said the number of serious injuries suffered in road freight transport was a serious cause for concern.
“The fact that almost 85 per cent of all injuries in the industry result in five or more days off work and that almost a third (just under 33 per cent) result in 60 or more days off is a real worry,” he said.
“It indicates that if you work in this industry and sustain an injury, it’s very likely that it will be a serious or long duration injury.
“As with all WorkSafe proactive inspection programs, raising awareness is the main objective but inspectors will take enforcement action if they find breaches of the laws,” he said.
Further information –along with the inspection program checklist – 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)
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