New project to focus on safety of tree work industry

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SafeWork NSW has launched a new project with the tree work industry to improve safety and protect workers and consumers.

The Focus on Industry: Tree Work project is a Commerce Regulation Program initiative and involves working with tree industry businesses across NSW over the next six months to ensure that they are meeting work health and safety requirements, and workers’ compensation responsibilities.

It is a joint project of SafeWork NSW, NSW Fair Trading and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA).

“Each year, more than 150 workers are injured while undertaking tree work, and sadly, three workers were fatally injured last financial year,” said SafeWork NSW Director Operational Capability, Jodie Deakes.

“Injuries are often serious, including head and spinal injuries and severe lacerations.

“Major causes of incidents include the lack of planning related to working at heights and around powerlines; the unsafe use of high-risk machinery such as wood chippers; and the failure to assess tree condition and ground stability.

“Other issues include poor maintenance, untrained workers, and a lack of workers compensation and sun safety.

“Another problem is unqualified or unregistered businesses using unsafe work practices.”

The new project will give support and advice to businesses in making simple steps to plan work and ensure it is safe.

“This will include inspectors visiting worksites to assist with safety systems while also promoting the benefits of early recovery and return to work and, where necessary, take action to prevent dangerous work practices,” said Ms. Deakes.

“Every worker in the NSW tree work industry has the right to a safe and healthy workplace, and safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“By combining the services of three NSW Government agencies, both businesses and consumers will have the information and support they need to design solutions to their work health and safety, workers compensation, and consumer issues.”

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