Inspection program in wholesale raises concerns about racking

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A proactive inspection program looking at safety standards and issues in the wholesale industry has raised serious concerns with the safety of racking.

The inspection program – carried out over the 2015/16 financial year in both metropolitan and regional areas of the State – looked at a wide range of hazards faced by workers in the wholesale trade.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the wholesaling area involved a number of activities that were potentially hazardous and could result in serious injuries.

“The work activities in wholesaling that result in injuries most commonly involve muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects, and the occupation most at risk is storepersons,” Mr Attard said.

“In the course of this inspection program, inspectors visited 127 workplaces and issued 206 improvement notices, two prohibition notices and 39 verbal directions.

“The greatest number of notices issued related to pallet racking.  Many serious incidents have taken place that involved racking, and it is an area with which we already had concerns.”

The three main areas concerning racking for which notices were issued were:

  • Safe working loads not displayed – no provision of information on how much weight the supports are manufactured to hold;
  • Racking not secured or bolted down – leading to the potential for racking to move or topple over if bumped by a forklift or other mobile plant; and
  • Missing safety locking pins – no safeguard against the pallet racking supports being knocked out of place.

“It’s crucial that the wholesale industry understands the importance of ensuring the stability of racking in their workplaces and that racking is designed for easy access and use to minimise the risk of injury to workers,” Mr Attard said.

“This inspection program also resulted in a number of notices concerning hazardous substances, fire precautions, warning signs and guarding of machinery – all very important areas with risks that need to be assessed and minimised.

“The notices issued covered a wide range of issues, so we plan to monitor the wholesale industry closely in the future to ensure employers are making use of the information we have provided to make their workplaces safer.

“These proactive inspection programs are really all about providing employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws and helping them to identify risks to the safety and health of workers.

“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 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 92 7563 (media enquiries only)

caroline.devaney@commerce.wa.gov.au

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

WorkSafe
Media release
14 Oct 2016

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