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New program for prefabricated building manufacturing industry

13 October, 2008

WorkSafe is currently undertaking an inspection program in the prefabricated building manufacturing industry with a view to reducing injuries and disease in the sector.

The campaign will involve inspectors visiting around 20 companies that manufacture prefabricated buildings to identify any common safety risks and provide employers with information on how to comply with the requirements of occupational safety and health laws.

The sector is involved in the manufacture of temporary or transportable structures such as dongas and transportable houses, offices, classrooms and so on.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said today the industry had been informed of what would take place during the campaign.

“A letter has been sent to the companies to inform them of the upcoming inspections and to let them know what inspectors will be looking for,” Lyhne said.

“The campaign is part of an ongoing program of proactive inspections in industries that – due to particular injury risks – are considered worthy of special 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.

”These inspections will not look at the safety of the structures themselves – that falls under the Building Code of Australia and is an issue for the installing engineers and the local government authority in the area in which the structure will be placed.

“However, it should be noted that employers who provide accommodation for workers have a duty of care to ensure that the buildings they provide are safe for their employees.”

The inspections will be conducted with the aid of a checklist to ensure a consistent approach. Some areas that will be looked at are machine guarding, working at heights, hazardous substances and manual handling.

Lyhne said that raising awareness was the primary objective of WorkSafe’s proactive inspection campaigns.

“Campaigns such as this one aim to make everyone more aware of the hazards in their workplaces so the risk of injuries is lessened,” she said.

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