Rental and hire industry in Worksafe WA’s sights

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  • Plant & Equipment

Forklifts and loading docks are high on the WorkSafe WA watch-list. Forklifts and loading docks are high on the WorkSafe WA watch-list. Forklifts and loading docks are high on the WorkSafe WA watch-list.

WorkSafe WA has begun a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues in the goods and equipment rental and hire industry, including the safe movement of forklifts and the condition of loading docks.


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The inspection program will involve inspectors visiting goods and equipment rental and hire businesses of all sizes in Perth and regional areas of Western Australia throughout the 2016/17 financial year.

WorkSafe director Joe Attard says the inspection program has been prompted by concerns about injuries to employees of rental and hire companies.

"An important area of concern for us is the employees whose job it is to deliver the goods that are being rented or hired," he says.

"The statistics tell us that the injuries being suffered in the industry mostly involve muscular stress from lifting, carrying and putting down objects.

"The vast majority of these injuries involve the truck drivers and labourers who deliver the goods and equipment to homes and other places" Attard says.

"Hence, one of the important issues inspectors will discuss with employers is what assessments are being undertaken of the environment to which deliveries are being made.

"This could include access issues around steps, stairwells, lifts, the condition of driveways and ramps and so on."

Inspectors will look at WorkSafe priority areas such as manual tasks, slips, trips and falls from height, and also focus on areas more specific to the industry, including:

Safe movement of vehicles and plant – including trucks, forklifts and other vehicles, especially where pedestrians share the space;

Inspection and/or testing of rental and hire goods;

Storage racking and shelving – including correct installation, securing of shelves, display of maximum loads and stable stacking of shelves;

Trolleys, ladders, safety steps and pallet jacks – including maintenance, tagging of damaged items, safe workloads and training;

Loading docks – including prevention of wheels or pedestrians falling over edges, stable floor surfaces and that dock levellers are in place and in good condition; and

Other issues, including training, protection from noise, safety for employees working alone or remotely, appropriate workplace behaviours, emergency procedures and first aid provisions.

Attard says inspectors will work with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency, and will take enforcement action such as the issuing notices if they find breaches of the workplace safety laws.

"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," he says.

"The checklist and OSH Newsletter for this inspection program are available on the WorkSafe website, so employers in this industry can make themselves aware of what to expect if an inspector visits."

 

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