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WorkSafe inspectors to carry a week-long program of safety inspections in Campbellfield

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WorkSafe inspectors will carry out a week-long program of safety inspections in Campbellfield in the week beginning November 20. 

A team of inspectors will visit up to 100 businesses and work sites during the week.

WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Division, said that by giving plenty of notice, local business operators and workers have time to review their own safety arrangements and take whatever improvement steps were needed.   

Past experience with the safer work zones project has shown that significant safety improvement is made in a short period, across a large area.

WorkSafe has given plenty of notice and broad indications of where it will be going and what it will be looking for.  

Workplace injuries represent considerable pain and suffering for individuals, reduces opportunity and community capital and adds to business costs.

In the City of Hume over the past five financial years there have been nearly 7900 claims on Victoria’s employer-funded workplace injury insurance system. Treating these injuries has cost more than $115.5-million.

Forklifts, chemical and dangerous goods storage, guarding of equipment and general housekeeping will be among the targets of the campaign.

Many people who are killed or hurt at work are doing routine tasks. Employers and workers try hard to meet their health and safety obligations but they don’t always know what to do.

Through safer work zones, WorkSafe aims to educate workers and employers, so they can protect themselves, their workmates and business.

Developing a consultative process between management and the workforce, a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, is part of getting started.   

The first question people should ask themselves is, have the known hazards specific to my industry and workplace been identified and are they being eliminated? If we’ve had an incident before, even a near miss what have we done so it doesn’t happen again?

WorkSafe’s preference is to take the prevention is better than cure approach, but where the law must be enforced, that will be done. 

In some cases improvement or prohibition notices will be issued. A prohibition notice means a work practice cannot continue, or a machine be used until the immediate risk is remedied. Improvement notices require work to be carried out within an agreed period.

Both notices require a WorkSafe inspector to verify that the safety improvement work has been carried out. If the requirements of the notices are met, no further enforcement action is generally needed.

Ask yourself this:
* Are physical barriers and guards in use to isolate people from operating machinery?
* Are trolleys and other mechanical aids available to prevent manual handling injuries?
* Is the floor free of tripping hazards such as cords and debris?
* What can be done to reduce the chance of slips, trips and falls? 
* Is the workplace neat and tidy?
* Are chemicals appropriately used and stored?
* Is the racking suitable for the materials being stored?
* Do forklift drivers hold a certificate of competency?
* Is electrical equipment tagged and tested?
* Are fire suppression measures adequate?
* Do you have an up to date and effective safety evacuation plan?
* Is there a process by which the employer and employees consult on health and safety issues?
* Are refreshment and toilet facilities adequate?
* Do you have a return to work plan for injured employees?
* Is an "If you are injured" poster displayed?

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