12:51 pm, Friday 21 May, 2010
Williamstown has recently received a visit from WorkSafe inspectors as part of Safe Towns, Safer Work Zones campaign.
Inspectors visited 167 small businesses in the area over a span of five days. With a total of 200 notices issued, some workplaces received multiple notices while others did not receive any.
WorkSafe will do follow up visits over the next six weeks to see if the businesses have made improvements in workplace health and safety.
Inspectors issued eight improvement notices on inadequate guarding of lathes, which can be dangerous for workers if their clothes get snagged into the equipment.
Other safety breaches discovered by inspectors include unsafe manual handling practices; forklift safety failings, incorrectly tagged or positioned electrical leads; unsafe racking; inadequately maintained air receivers; improper use, handling and storage of dangerous goods; and lack of suitable first aid facilities.
4859 claims for workplace injury or illness have been reported in the Hobson’s Bay area over the past five years. Acting Executive Director for Health and Safety Stan Krpan said this represents $82.52 million in treatment and rehabilitation costs.
“What these visits tell us is that Williamstown businesses need to go back to basics with health and safety, and take a closer look at their workplaces,” Mr Krpan said.
“These visits have brought to light a number of health and safety hazards which could cause serious injury to workers, but are easily remedied – such as repositioning electrical leads, fitting seatbelts on forklifts, and changing workplace layout to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries.
“Workers need to remember that if they speak up when they see safety issues, it will help make their workplace safer. It might even prevent someone from being needlessly injured.
“Our inspectors will be returning to these small businesses over the next few months, and we’ll be expecting to see some changes.”