WorkSafe WA: Deal with vehicle movement issues


Inspectors issued 79 improvement notices, with majority linked to unsafe vehicle movement

WorkSafe WA: Deal with vehicle movement issues
WorkSafe's new safety and health alert offers advice on the actions required to make workplaces safe.

 

Western Australia safety watchdog is urging employers to effectively manage the movement and speed of vehicles to reduce the risk of injury and to design and maintain workplaces to ensure the safety of workers at all times.

WorkSafe WA conducted an inspection program in Perth and other regional locations throughout the 2015-16 financial year observing how vehicles move and how they interact with people at different workplaces.

While the program looked at many workplaces, its prime focus was the manufacturing and wholesale industries following concerns about previous serious incidents involving mobile equipment and pedestrians.

WorkSafe director Joe Attard says the team visited 172 workplaces and issues 79 improvement notices, out of which 50 were directly related to the safe movement of vehicles in workplaces.

Other notices were related to issues involving:

  • Risk assessment
  • Warning signs
  • Moving vehicles
  • Duties of employers
  • High risk work licences required to operate some mobile plant.

Attard says at "many workplaces insufficient attention is being paid to spaces where vehicles and pedestrians interact.

"Strict rules need to be in place in these spaces to ensure the work environment is kept as safe as possible.

"I urge employers to ensure the movement and speed of vehicles is managed to minimise the risk of injury and that workplaces are designed and maintained to ensure the safety of operators and others.

"In addition, safe systems of work, communication systems and signage need to be in place, and everyone at the workplace needs to be adequately trained in these safe systems."

WorkSafe has released a ‘safety and health alert’ that contains detailed information about the factors that contributed to recent incidents, along with advice on the actions required in workplaces.

"There is also a Guidance Note on safe movement of vehicles at workplaces, and all relevant workplaces should ensure they are familiar with the contents of this publication," Attard says.

"The majority of the notices issued related to the movement of vehicles and plant, so we plan to monitor the issue closely in the future to ensure that employers are assessing the risks in their workplaces and adequately addressing them.

"These proactive inspection programs are really all about providing employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws to make workplaces safer.

"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."

Worksafe WA had earlier noted that a number of property owners and managers are ignorant of their safety responsibilities, including those related to vehicles.

For further information on safe movement of vehicles and the guidance note, visit the WorkSafe WA website.

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