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WorkSafe campaign looks at laundries and drycleaners

20 August, 2009

WorkSafe will begin a targeted inspection campaign looking at the laundry and drycleaning industry next month.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne has said that the campaign would focus on identifying any common safety risks.

“The campaign aims to identify risks to the safety and health of workers in the industry and to provide employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws,” Lyhne said.

“Over the next three months, WorkSafe inspectors will visit commercial laundries and drycleaning premises across the State.

"Apart from looking at WorkSafe’s priority areas such as manual handling, electricity, hazardous substances and slips, trips and falls, inspectors will focus on issues such as guarding of machinery, operation of pressure vessels and fire and emergency safety.”

Over the past five years, the number of reported injuries in laundries and drycleaners has increased significantly, with 46 WA workers seriously injured and not able to return to work within 60 days.

The majority of these injuries were muscle and joint sprains and strains sustained while handling or lifting or as a result of falls.

“The primary aim of this inspection campaign is to increase awareness of the hazards in the industry and to provide employers with the information they need to reduce the risk of injury,” Lyhne said.

“The industry has been contacted in advance so they are aware of the campaign and what will be expected when an inspector visits.

“A newsletter that includes a checklist will be issued to the industry prior to the campaign that will identify the main safety issues and provide information on how to comply with the requirements of WA’s workplace safety and health laws.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive campaigns is the best way in which to lessen the risk of illness and injury, but if the inspectors find breaches of the laws, enforcement action will be taken.”

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