WorkSafe WA examines equipment hire safety


New program looks at goods and equipment rental and hire industry

WorkSafe WA examines equipment hire safety
Worksafe inspectors will take appropriate enforcement action in case of safety breaches.

 

WorkSafe’s new inspection program is examining safety issues in Western Australia’s goods and equipment rental and hire industry.

It involves inspectors visiting rental and hire businesses of all sizes in Perth and regional WA areas to look Worksafe’s priority areas such as manual tasks, slips, trips and falls from height.

They will also focus on areas more specific to the industry, including:

  • Safe movement of vehicles and equipment, 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.
  • Other issues such as training, protection from noise, safety for employees working alone or remotely, appropriate workplace behaviours, emergency procedures and first aid provisions.

WorkSafe director Joe Attard says the inspection program is a result of concerns being raised about injuries to employees.

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

"A huge range of products can now be rented or hired, including appliances, large furniture items, staging and lighting equipment, function hire items such as marquees and large numbers of tables and chairs and other sizeable and heavy equipment.

"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.

"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 work through a prescribed checklist and issues notices or take appropriate enforcement action in case of safety breaches.

"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.

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

"We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive inspection programs is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness."

The initiative will run throughout the 2016/17 financial year.

For more information, visit the Worksafe website.

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