WorkSafe inspection program looks at safety in scrap metal industry

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WorkSafe is conducting an inspection program to look at safety standards in the scrap metal industry.

The program is being conducted in both metropolitan and regional areas.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today this sector was being targeted because of the high level of notices issued.

"Inspectors are finding plenty of reasons to issue notices when they visit scrap metal businesses, and this high level of enforcement action is a cause for concern,” Mr Attard said.

“Statistics show that scrap metal workers face some specific injury risks in the course of their work, particularly injuries incurred while performing manual tasks while handling, lifting, carrying or putting down objects.

“They also risk injury from falls, both from height and from the same level, and being hit by moving objects.

“The most common location of injury is the lower back, followed by the shoulders and knees, and the occupations that record the most injuries are truck drivers, followed by recycling and rubbish collectors.

“The work activities that result in injuries are diverse, but mostly relate to trucks, bins and containers, loading plant, traffic and ground surfaces.

“We need to ensure that employers have the information they require to make their workplaces safer, so inspectors will look closely at manual tasks and falls, and also look at machinery guarding, mobile plant, electricity, hazardous substances and personal protective equipment.”

Inspections will be conducted with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency, and this checklist can be accessed on WorkSafe’s website so employers will know what will be expected if they are visited by an inspector.

“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities or specific geographical areas aimed at raising awareness and providing information,” Mr Attard said.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive programs is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness, but inspectors will take enforcement action during the program if necessary.”

Further information can be found in the checklist for this program 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
17 Apr 2015

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