WorkSafe inspectors will visit workplaces as part of a six-month blitz targeting the way workers operate machinery in a bid to reduce hazardous manual handling injuries.
WorkSafe will visit up to 1000 Victorian manufacturers looking at all aspects of their work including:
- How materials are stored, transported and loaded into machines;
- Machine operators’ posture when using machines;
- How the product is retrieved from the machines.
WorkSafe figures show that injuries to machine operators resulted in more than 700 claims for manual handling last financial year. The average claim costs $52,000 in treatment and rehabilitation costs alone.
WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Director, Ross Pilkington, said slips, trips and falls and manual handling tasks – which involves handling boxes, bags and parts, production work and lifting – accounted for 53 per cent of all claims.
“Not only should workplaces have procedures in place so workers cannot be hurt, employers have the responsibility to ensure workers are supervised and are using safe systems of work,” Mr Pilkington said.
“If companies aren’t doing what they are legally required to do, we will take action.”
“That will mean issuing safety improvement notices and prohibition notices which can seriously disrupt operations, but they are designed to ensure safety standards are in place and being applied.”
“If there is non-compliance with notices there is a high likelihood of prosecution.”
“It’s in everyone’s interest to fix issues sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until a WorkSafe inspector arrives or a serious incident to address any concerns.”
For information on the safe handling of machinery, visit: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.