WorkSafe campaign looks at safety of fish wholesalers

25 November, 2009

WorkSafe has commenced an inspection campaign to look at safety standards in fish wholesaling workplaces.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said the inspection campaign aimed to improve safety in an industry that presents some specific hazards.

"Campaigns like these aim to raise awareness of hazards in the targeted industries, and also to remind those involved of their responsibilities in minimising the risk of injury," Lyhne said.

"Like all our proactive campaigns, the aim is 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.

"Inspectors will be taking a general look at fish wholesaling premises, but there will be some specific areas on which they will also concentrate."

WorkSafe's inspectors will focus on the priority areas of manual handling, slips, trips and falls, electricity, new and young workers, mobile plant and machinery guarding, and will also be looking closely at emergency procedures, first aid and amenities, fire and emergency safety and housekeeping issues in general.

Major safety issues confronting the fish wholesaling industry include manual handling issues connected with the lifting of heavy cartons, hazards associated with mobile plant such as forklifts and the risk of slips, trips and falls due to contamination of floors by spillages.

Inspectors will also look closely at the systems of work in place for cool rooms and freezers, delivery areas and display and sales areas, along with the safe use of sharps such as knives used in the filleting of fish.

The inspection campaign will run throughout this financial year, with inspectors visiting fish wholesaling workplaces across the State.

"These proactive inspection campaigns aim to provide employers with the information they need to provide a safe work environment and comply with the laws," Lyhne said.

"The inspectors will also take the opportunity to encourage small businesses to take advantage of the ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program, which offers businesses with less than 20 employees a free three-hour assessment by an independent safety and health consultant.

"We firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related illness and injury, but inspectors will take enforcement action if they find breaches of the legislation."

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Source: WorkSafe