Scrap metal inspection program reveals concerns with traffic management

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An inspection program looking at safety issues in the scrap metal sector has resulted in continuing concerns with safe traffic management.

The proactive inspection program, carried out by WorkSafe inspectors across the State during the 2014/15 financial year, focused on scrap metal premises and resulted in the issue of 376 notices.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today that scrap metal had been identified as a sector that had attracted a high rate of enforcement action over recent years.

“This inspection program was prompted by the fact that inspectors were finding plenty of reasons to issue notices when they visited scrap metal businesses, and this was a cause for concern,” Mr Attard said.

“Although injury statistics show that scrap metal workers face some specific injury risks in the course of their work, mainly injuries related to manual tasks, this program raised greater concern with traffic management and the movement of vehicles.

“A total of 125 improvement notices were issued during the program for problems related to mobile plant, most relating to maintenance of plant, records of maintenance and information, instruction and training.

“WorkSafe recently issued a reminder on traffic management, prompted by a number of recent incidents involving people being injured or killed by vehicles or parts of vehicles such as ramps.

“It had become evident by the number of recent injuries and deaths that insufficient attention was being paid to spaces where vehicles and pedestrians interacted.

“Wherever vehicles and people interact, strict rules need to be in place to ensure the work environment is kept as safe as possible and the movement and speed of vehicles is managed to minimise the risk of injury.

“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.

“We’re concerned about the number of notices issued during this inspection program, and have committed to conducting a program during this financial year to look at the wider waste remediation industry, taking in all types of recycling.

“The primary aim of this program was to provide employers with information on how to make their workplaces safer, but we now intend to maintain contact with the industry and closely monitor its compliance levels.”

The checklist used for this inspection program and 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
29 Oct 2015

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