Over the coming 8 months WorkSafe WA will be embarking on an inspection of workplace safety issues relating to scaffolding.
Workplaces around Perth and regional areas will be visited by inspectors, focusing on the priority areas of slips and trips, falls from height and manual tasks.
According to WorkSafe, falls from height are a major concern in the state. The safety watchdog Director Chris Kirwin said one of the highest number of work-related deaths in the state, of all industries come from the construction industry, with a large number of them being caused from falls from height, making this a priority issue.
“The injuries that result from falls from height can be severe, and long-term injuries bring with them all the direct and indirect costs of treatment and return to work plans, so it is definitely better to have a prevention plan in place.
“Our inspectors last took a close look at scaffolding back in 2009/10, so now we need to take another look at the area to ensure the improvements made since our last inspection program are continuing.
Employer and employee knowledge on safety issues involving scaffolding work will be a major part of the campaign,
“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer.”
He went on to explain that inspectors will be looking into scaffolding issues such as sole boards, base plates, ties, platforms, temporary ladders and mobile scaffolding safety.
They will also be looking closely at safety issues around the supply and hire of scaffolding. Inspectors will be using a checklist to conduct their inspections, ensuring that things are consistent across all workplaces.
While construction worksites will be the main focus, inspectors will be carrying the checklist to all workplaces where scaffolding is in use.
“The primary focus of this program is to raise awareness and provide information to employers and employees, but enforcement action will be taken if breaches of the laws are found,” Mr. Kirwin said.
“These proactive inspection programs aim to help employers comply with workplace safety laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”
Workplaces can get a copy of the checklist for the above-mentioned inspection program from WorkSafe. You can also get more information by calling WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or visiting their website www.worksafe.wa.gov.au