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WorkSafe Victoria to conduct machine maintenance safety campaign in Ballarat

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The dangers of failing to properly guard machines, particularly when they are undergoing maintenance and related work, will be highlighted at a workshop by WorkSafe Victoria in Ballarat on 1 April.

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

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

“In 2007, 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.”

“Only recently a young man’s arm was crushed at Seymour as he lubricated a conveyor.

“As a result of the incident, the worker spent several days in hospital while receiving treatment while WorkSafe Victoria Prohibition Notices caused the business to cut a significant proportion of its output while guarding and procedures were updated.

“This incident like so many could have been prevented. Getting safety right before someone is hurt is a good investment in your people and the business.”

Trevor Martin said safety must always remain a high priority.

“You need to ensure machines are properly guarded or isolated whenever MRISC work is carried out and you must take an active, imaginative and flexible approach to potential dangers including human factors.

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

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

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