WorkSafe has begun a proactive inspection program looking at safety issues with cleaners in West Australian schools.
Inspectors will visit government and non-government primary and secondary schools in Perth and regional areas of the State throughout the remainder of the 2017/18 financial year.
WorkSafe Acting Director Sally North said the inspection program had been prompted by the high number of manual tasks injuries suffered each year by school cleaners.
WorkSafe WA has released a fact sheet on OSH requirements for reporting workplace injuries and diseases, as well as a bulletin on scaffolding, following recent incidents where damaged components and unsafe practices were used during the erection of scaffolds. The agency has also realised a removal checklist for non-friable asbestos (see website for more details).
WorkSafe WA inspectors will visit pubs, taverns and bar workplaces in Perth and regional areas during the next 12 months as part of a State-wide proactive safety inspection program.
“Currently, the sector is averaging 131 lost-time injuries per year, with 99 of these keeping employees off work for five or more days,” said WorkSafe WA Director Joe Attard.
As you would expect, focus areas for inspectors will include violence and aggression, beverage gas safety and movement of vehicles (through drive-throughs).
Bus inspectors will also look at WorkSafe priority areas including forklift safety, electrical, falls from heights, hazardous substances, machinery guarding; slips, trips and falls from water, oil and foodstuff on floors; handling cartons of liquor and beer kegs and storage of bags of food; cuts from knives, cutlery and glass.
“The primary objective of our proactive inspection programs is to help employers identify risks to the safety and health of workers, and provide them with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws.” Mr Attard said.
However, inspectors will take action on any breaches they find.
Further information is available at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe
WorkSafe WA has released a discussion paper on recommendations to amend the model Work Helath and Safety Regulations (WHS Regulations) for the WA working environment.
Submissions are invited from all Western Australians who are interested in work health and safety, with a particular focus on the costs and benefits the proposed regulations will have on businesses and workers.
While the focus of the discussion paper is on recommendations made to adapt the model WHS Regulations for WA, submissions are welcomed on any aspect of the WHS Regulations. People or businesses wishing to make submissions supporting the introduction of these features are asked to provide information about the costs and benefits of their proposal.
The public comment period ends on 31 August 2016. No further submissions will be accepted after this dates.
For information about how to make your submission, go to www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/work-health-and-safety-regulations-discussion-paper.
The WA State Government will improve electrical safety standards through amendments to licensing regulations and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (OHS Regulations).
WA’s Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said he would introduce a general prohibition on electrical work on energised electrical installations. This followed the 2015 transformer room explosion that killed two workers, and the electrocution of a worker in a roof space in 2013.
The new restrictions will be made under sections added to WA’s OHS Regulations and Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991. The restrictions will require buildings’ main switches to be turned off when installing insulation or performing other non-electrical work in a roof space.
The WA Government has announced building reforms for homes proposed to be built in bushfire-prone areas of WA. A map produced by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services highlights bushfire-prone areas across the State. Any home proposed to be built in one of these areas must first undergo a bushfire hazard assessment.
The assessment will identify the necessary construction standards for bushfire resistance, as outlined in the Building Code of Australia and AS 3959 – Construction of Buildings in Bushfire-Prone Areas. These construction standards could include using non-combustible or reduced-risk building materials, or sealing off walls, eaves and roofs.
These reforms take effect from 8 April 2016. For more information, go to www.planning.wa.gov.au/7958.asp