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WorkSafe Victoria launches manufacturing safety campaign

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Businesses in Melbourne’s eastern and south eastern suburbs will be the first to learn about a major safety campaign being launched by WorkSafe Victoria.

The campaign targets the need to plan and properly supervise people involved in the maintenance, repair, installation, servicing and cleaning of machines (MRISC).

A briefing on the MRISC project, which will involve targeted workplace inspections across the eastern and south-eastern suburbs is to be held on Wednesday 12 December from 9am - 1pm at the Quality Inn Baton Rouge at 1233 Stud Rd, Rowville.

A number of other workshops will be staged across the state early next year.

WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Program Director, Trevor Martin said just because a machine is risk-assessed to be safe for day-to-day use, a separate review was needed to ensure safety during MRISC work.

“In the past year nearly 5000 people were seriously hurt and nine people died in machinery-related MRISC work in Victoria’s manufacturing industry.”

“This work is often the most dangerous, because guarding might be faulty, removed or otherwise exposed, particularly when testing is underway or when the machine is running while routine cleaning is done.

“At this time of year when people are getting ready for a Christmas shutdown or major maintenance period the risks increase as many people begin focusing on things other than the job at hand.

Despite the pressures of business, Martin said safety must always remain a high priority.

“As one judge once said, you need to take an ‘active, imaginative and flexible approach to potential dangers in the knowledge that human frailty is an ever-present reality.’

“Excuses like ‘there isn’t time’, ‘we’ll take the short cut just this once’ or ‘we’ve always done it this way’, are no use after someone is hurt.

“You have to know it will be safe, not simply assume it will be.”

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