Inspection program looks at safety in airport operations

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EmployerEmployee / worker

WorkSafe will soon begin a proactive inspection program to look at safety and health issues in airport operations and other support services to air transport.

The areas being looked at as part of the program include baggage handling, airport terminal operations, aircraft support services, air passenger transport services and air freight transport services.

WorkSafe A/Director Sally North said today the inspection program had been prompted by the high number of work-related injuries recorded in the sector.

“Statistics show that workers in the airport operations area sustain quite a high number of sprains and strains that predominantly arise from manual tasks such as lifting, carrying and pushing objects,” Ms North said.

“Injuries from falls, slips and trips are also quite frequently sustained by workers in the airport operations sector.

“The majority of these injuries involve aircraft baggage handlers and airline ground crews, with flight attendants also figuring prominently in the injury statistics.”

As part of this inspection program, Inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas such as:

  • Manual tasks – baggage handling, pushing cargo loads, moving ground support equipment, moving wheelchairs;
  • Slips, trips and falls – baggage handling in wet weather, movement around ground support equipment;
  • Falls from height – during aircraft access and egress or cleaning;
  • Machinery guarding – equipment maintenance, conveyors, ground support equipment, maintenance shed;
  • Safe movement of vehicles and mobile plant – tugs, forklifts, catering and refuelling vehicles;
  • Hazardous substances; and
  • Electricity.

Inspectors will also look at issues such as the risk of infectious diseases from aircraft cleaning, waste removal, livestock and baggage and freight handling, along with more general issues such as training and supervision, noise, first aid and storage racking.

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.

“WorkSafe’s proactive inspection programs aim to assist employers to improve the standard of safety and health in their workplace by providing information on how to comply with workplace safety laws,” Ms North said.

“The OSH Checklist for this inspection program is available on WorkSafe’s website, so employers 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 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
20 Jan 2017

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