New inspection programme introduced for abbattoirs

27 October, 2006

Concerns about the number of injuries in abattoirs have prompted WorkSafe to launch an inspection program in the industry.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said today there were concerns about the high rates of certain types of work-related injuries in abattoirs.

“The figures show the most common causes of injury in abattoirs to be manual handling problems,” Lyhne said.

“In fact, sprains and strains and musculoskeletal disorders account for 45 per cent of all injuries suffered in abattoirs, and are responsible for around two-thirds of time off work in the industry.

“As a result of these statistics, WorkSafe inspectors will be visiting the majority of abattoirs in the State over this month and next month.

“Inspectors and specialist ergonomists will visit the abattoirs to look at manual handling hazards, as well as other issues such as hazardous substances, electricity, new and young workers and machinery guarding.”

Inspectors have spoken to unions and employer organizations to inform them of the inspection program and what inspectors will be looking for when inspecting each of the premises.

“The primary aim of the inspectors will be to provide information to employers in the industry in an effort to reduce the number of work-related injuries being suffered,” Lyhne said.

“Abattoirs have been visited regularly over the past couple of years and many issues have been addressed, but manual handling still seems to be a cause for concern across the industry.

“This program is the latest in a series of targeted inspection programs in industries with high numbers of injuries to promote awareness of safety and health issues and knowledge of the legislative requirements.”