WorkSafe is conducting an inspection program to look at safety standards and issues in the waste and recycling industry.
The program will continue through the financial year, and will be conducted in both metropolitan and regional areas of the State.
WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the sector was being targeted because of its wide range of hazards that could result in serious injuries.
“The management of waste products involves a whole range of risks, from safety issues with trucks and other vehicles to the risk of contracting infectious diseases,” Mr Attard said.
“Statistics show that the most common causes of injury to waste and recycling workers are muscular stress while handling objects, lifting, carrying and putting down objects, falls from height and on the same level and being hit by moving objects.
“The occupations that record the most injuries are truck drivers, waste and recycling workers and rubbish collectors, and the work activities that most commonly result in injuries involve trucks, bins and containers, loading plant, traffic and ground surfaces.
“We recently conducted an inspection program in the scrap metal industry which raised serious concerns about mobile plant and traffic management in those workplaces, so these similar workplaces are a logical follow-up to the previous program.”
Inspectors will look at the operational priority areas of manual tasks, machine guarding, mobile plant and vehicle movement, falls from height, electricity, hazardous substances and slips, trips and falls.
They will also look at the more specific issues of lockout and tagging, pressure vessels, forklifts, hot work, sun safety, noise levels and controlling infectious diseases.
They will work with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency, and this checklist can be accessed on WorkSafe’s website so employers will know what will be expected if they are visited by an inspector.
“We need to ensure that employers have the information they require to make their workplaces safer, so we have an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities aimed at raising awareness and providing information,” Mr Attard said.
“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive programs is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness, but inspectors will take enforcement action during the program if necessary.”
Further information and the checklist for this program can be obtained on WorkSafe’s website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au or by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877.