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Inspection campaign looks closely at seafood processing sector

18 March, 2009

WorkSafe has launched an inspection campaign into the seafood processing industry with a view to reducing injuries and illness in the sector.

The campaign will involve inspectors visiting seafood processing facilities in metropolitan and regional areas to identify common safety risks and provide employers with information on how to comply with occupational safety and health requirements.

WorkSafe WA acting executive director John Innes said that the industry had been informed of the campaign and should be prepared to be visited by an inspector.

“Seafood processing companies have been sent a newsletter outlining the safety issues on which the inspectors will concentrate, so employers in the industry should be aware of their responsibilities,” Innes said.

“This campaign is part of an ongoing programme of proactive inspection campaigns in industries that – due to particular injury risks – are considered to warrant further attention.

“These proactive campaigns aim to provide employers with information on how to comply with the laws, but if inspectors find breaches of these laws, they will take enforcement action.”

The inspections are being conducted with the aid of a checklist to ensure a consistent approach.  Some of the areas included are:

  • Working hours – avoiding fatigue, impaired performance and increased exposure to hazards resulting from extended working hours;
  • Manual handling – ensuring that repetitive movements are minimised and that manual handling is performed in a safe manner;
  • Forklifts – inspectors will look at safe systems of work and ensure that licensing requirements are being met;
  • Machinery guarding – ensuring that moving parts of machinery are adequately guarded; and 
  • Language or literacy issues – providing safe systems of work for workers who have issues with language or literacy.
“The campaign will look at the priority areas common to most workplaces, but will pay particular attention to specific areas of concern within the seafood processing sector,” Innes said.

“Both employers and workers need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities under occupational safety and health legislation, and these inspection campaigns aim to provide this information.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of injuries.”

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