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WorkSafe is conducting a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues in workplaces where scientific testing and analysis is carried out.
Inspectors will be looking at safety issues in workplaces conducting non-destructive testing such as radiographic, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, electromagnetic and visual testing.
The program will continue until the end of the 2018/19 financial year, and will include testing facilities in metropolitan and regional areas of the State.
WorkSafe Director Sally North said today an inspection program was being undertaken in this area because there had been a noticeable increase in lost-time injuries classified as severe in this sector.
“Workers in testing facilities often suffer injuries associated with manual tasks, and these are frequently long-term injuries that keep them off work for 60 days or more,” Ms North said.
“Many of the injuries are caused when workers are required to handle heavy samples or to move heavy testing equipment when out in the field.”
During this inspection program, inspectors will be concentrating on priority areas including manual tasks, hazardous substances, electricity, guarding of plant and slips, trips and falls.
In addition, they will look at safety issues more specific to the sector such as pressure vessels, personal protective equipment, noise, emergency procedures and working alone and/or remotely.
They will also focus on the operation of mobile plant and equipment, including checking the high risk work licences required to operate particular plant and to perform dogging work where overhead cranes are used.
The inspections will be conducted with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency across all workplaces.
“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities and aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer,” Ms North said.
“The primary focus is to deliver information to employers, but enforcement action will be taken during the program if breaches of the laws are found.
“We firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”
Further information on safety and health in scientific testing facilities and the checklist for this inspection program 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)
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