Inspection program looks at warehousing

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All announcements issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Announcements listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this announcement, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

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WorkSafe will soon begin a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues in warehouses.

The inspection program will involve inspectors visiting warehousing premises of all sizes in Perth and regional areas of the State throughout the remainder of the 2016/17 financial year.

The program will focus on premises including bond stores (secure storage facilities), refrigerated storage, wool stores, furniture storage and other miscellaneous storage facilities.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the inspection program had been prompted by a spike in injuries in warehousing over the past five years.

“Statistics show that injuries in this sector have risen quite dramatically over the past five years, and we need to try to find the reasons for this increase,” Mr Attard said.

“The injuries being suffered in warehousing mostly involve soft tissue injuries due to muscular stress, and they are mostly injuries to lower backs and shoulders.

“The vast majority of these injuries involve storepersons, and many are suffered by forklift operators, so inspectors will be taking a close look at procedures for lifting, carrying and putting down of objects such as crates, cartons and boxes.”

As part of this inspection program, inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas such as manual tasks, forklifts, falls from height, electrical safety and slips, trips and falls.

They will also focus on areas more specific to the industry, including:

  • Safe movement of vehicles and plant – including trucks, forklifts and other vehicles, especially where pedestrians share the space;
  • Materials handling equipment – including automated storage and retrieval systems;
  • Working in excessively hot or cold conditions;
  • Machinery guarding;
  • Lockout and tagout of equipment or machinery;
  • Pressure vessels; and
  • Hazardous substances.

Inspectors will work with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency, and will take enforcement action such as issuing notices if they find breaches of the workplace safety laws.

“These proactive inspection programs aim to provide employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws and help them to identify risks to the safety and health of workers,” Mr Attard said.

“The checklist and OSH Newsletter for this inspection program are available on WorkSafe’s website, so employers in this sector can make themselves aware of what to expect if an inspector visits.

“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 and the checklist and OSH Newsletter for this inspection program can be obtained on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au or by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877.

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
11 Jan 2017

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