Inspection program looks at furniture retailing

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Employee / workerEmployer

WorkSafe is undertaking a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues in the furniture retailing sector.

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

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the significant number of soft tissue lost-time injuries in the sector had prompted the inspection program.

“Statistics show that injuries in the furniture retailing sector predominantly involve soft tissue injuries, mainly as a result of lifting of heavy products, scanning of goods, stacking of shelves and unpacking of pallets,” Mr Attard said.

“The sector has recorded 219 lost time injuries over the past five years, and more than 50 of these were classified as severe, keeping the injured worker away from work for 60 days or more.

“The most common bodily location for injuries in the furniture retailing sector is the lower back, followed by the shoulder.”

As part of this inspection program, inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas including forklift safety, falls from height and slips, trips and falls.

They will also focus on more specific areas such as:

  • Materials handling equipment such as automated storage and retrieval systems;
  • Order pickers and other mobile plant;
  • Hazards in showrooms such as overcrowding of the shop floor, trip hazards and access issues; and
  • Safety issues relating to racking and shelving.

Inspectors will check for hazards in both showrooms and warehouses attached or related to the showrooms.

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

”The inspectors will work with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency, and if they come across breaches of the workplace safety laws, they will take enforcement action.

“Employer associations have been notified of the inspection program so we anticipate employers will be aware of what will be required if an inspector visits, and the checklist and OSH Newsletter for the program are available on WorkSafe’s website.

“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 or by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877

Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

Media release
30 Aug 2016

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