WorkCover NSW has issued a warning to businesses to ensure plant and equipment safety because this is one of the greatest causes of injury on worksites in the state.
WorkCover NSW has reminded all businesses that the importance of ensuring plant and equipment safety cannot be forgotten. They have even gone so far as to offer $500 rebates to help local small business owners make the necessary safety improvements.
Builders should remember that plant includes any machinery, equipment, appliance or tool used in a workplace and is not just a piece of large machinery as many people incorrectly assume. However on a construction site the risks associated with plant can be greater than those you would experience on an ordinary work site not involved in construction.
Under NSW work health and safety laws, plant must be designed, produced, imported, supplied, constructed, installed and commissioned without any risks.
Read a little more about WorkCover’s warning below with an excerpt from www.noodls.com
General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson said WorkCover staff can assist businesses to prevent workers from being injured while using plant and equipment.
“Almost every workplace has some form of plant or equipment and there are many associated hazards, including entanglement or crushing, cuts or punctures, being struck by moving objects, electrical or explosive hazards, slips, trips and falls, and manual handling,” Mr Watson said.
“NSW businesses must provide information, training and supervision to workers and ensure plant and equipment is without risk to the health and safety of workers by ensuring it is installed correctly, operated by a competent person, not interfered with and that control measures are in place.
“In the three years to July 2012 more than 39,000 NSW workers were injured and 22 killed in incidents involving plant at a cost of more than $332 million to the NSW workers compensation system.
“Despite the risks, we believe injuries and fatalities involving plant and equipment can be reduced and that NSW businesses can do more to create safer workplaces.
“At WorkCover we recommend businesses follow three simple steps to ensure the safety of workers.
The warning goes on to explain that employers must review processes on the work site and identify any hazards (this should be done regularly as construction progresses and not just once before the job begins as the site changes and hazards also change).
In identifying hazards employers must look for processes, machinery, plant or any situations which could cause harm. They then need to assess the risks by considering how serious the risks are. Once the risk is determined, employers should eliminate or control them by making the necessary changes to protect workers. WorkCover has developed some practical tools to assist businesses in this regard to manage risks.
For more information on how to manage the risks associated with plant and equipment in your workplace or the Small Business Rebate, call WorkCover NSW on 13 10 50 or visit www.workcover.nsw.gov.au