Transport and storage working longer, harder

By: Jason Whittaker


Transport and storage workers are being forced to meet excessive demands and expose themselves to safety hazards, according to the

Transport and storage workers are being forced to meet excessive demands and expose themselves to safety hazards, according to the findings of a new survey.

The National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance (NHEWS) survey shows 21 percent of transport and storage workers are working more than 51 hours or more a week, with 14 percent of those surveyed saying they are pressured to work long hours.

Of those surveyed, 10 percent said they worked to unachievable deadlines and 13 percent complained of not being able to take sufficient rest breaks.

The NHEWS survey, released by the Australian Safety and Competition Council last week, involved 4500 workers across industry sectors including transport and storage, mining, manufacturing and construction.

The survey found 49 percent of the 391 transport and storage respondents dealt with vibrating tools, equipment and vehicles for an average of 6.5 hours a day.

A minority—20 percent—said employers did not give them equipment to prevent health problems caused by vibration, while another 20 percent claimed they did not receive gloves when dealing with chemical substances.

However, 62 percent of transport and storage workers reported employees were given training on how to safely handle chemicals.

The national survey is the first on exposure of workers to occupational disease causing hazards in Australia.

The findings are intended to be used to help decision makers develop prevention initiatives for occupational disease.

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