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WorkSafe’s warning in Portland pays off

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Prior warning of a WorkSafe Victoria inspection campaign in Portland has paid off with a high level of compliance with health and safety laws.

Eight WorkSafe inspectors based in Portland last week visited 63 businesses and issued 31 improvement notices during the three day project, Safer Work Zones. (20, 21, 22 November)

WorkSafe’s Phillip Ritchie said only one prohibition notice was issued during the project. A forklift was deemed too dangerous to be allowed to operate. Many businesses were expecting a visit, and it was clear that a lot of work had taken place. Prior warning of the possibility of a visit was taken seriously.

Safer Work Zones has been running around the state since 2003 and has been highly successful. It concentrates community focus on identifying safety hazards and putting them right. Safer Work Zones also reminds business operators and workers of their obligations and that Safer Work Zones is not just for when WorkSafe is in the area, it is every day.

What people found was that dealing with safety is not hard and that many issues can be dealt with quickly and with little or no cost. The inspectors found seven matters that could be dealt with on the spot.

Issues found at Portland:

  • People riding on the loads of earthmoving equipment
  • Blocked emergency exits
  • Manual handling issues associated with dangerous goods
  • Working at height without fall protection
  • WorkSafe inspectors will return to follow up on the improvement notices in about a month

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