Inspection program looks at safety in parks and gardens
WorkSafe has begun a proactive inspection program looking at safety issues with workers in WA’s parks and gardens.
The inspection program will involve inspectors visiting parks and gardens in Perth and regional areas of the State throughout the remainder of the 2017/18 financial year.
WorkSafe Acting Director Sally North said today the inspection program had been prompted by the high number of injuries suffered each year by parks and gardens workers, especially injuries caused by manual tasks.
“Statistics show that manual tasks are the most common cause of injuries to park and garden workers,” Ms North said.
“The most common location of injury is the lower back, and injuries are most often muscular stress caused by carrying and using tools and equipment.
“Also common are falls from the same level (such as tripping on uneven surfaces), being hit by moving objects such as tree limbs and vehicles, and falls from height.”
As part of this inspection program, inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas such as manual tasks, hazardous substances, guarding of plant, falls from height, mobile plant and vehicle movement and slips, trips and falls.
They will also focus on areas more specific to the industry, including:
- Working with pesticides – preparation, mixing chemicals, applying pesticides and cleaning up;
- Working with soil, potting mix or mulch – precautions against Legionnaire’s Disease;
- Outdoor worker safety – including working in hot conditions and bites and stings from snakes and insects;
- Working near power lines;
- Using chainsaws and other tools;
- Operating quad bikes;
- Controlling infectious diseases – including handling needles, syringes and other sharps; and
- Controlling noise levels to avoid noise-induced hearing loss.
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 workplace safety laws.
Key stakeholders in the parks and gardens sector have been notified of the inspection program, and detailed information is available on WorkSafe’s website so employers can be aware of what will be expected of them if an inspector visits.
“These proactive inspection programs aim to provide employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws and help them to identify risks to the safety and health of workers,” Ms North said.
“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 www.worksafe.wa.gov.au or by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877.
Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)
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