25th July 2013…WorkSafe is conducting an inspection program to look at safety standards in automotive repair workplaces.

The program will continue throughout the 2013/14 financial year, and will focus on workplaces that carry out automotive body, paint and interior repairs.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the sector was being targeted because it had a high rate of work-related injury.

“Workers in the automotive repair industry suffer a relatively high rate of injuries from being hit by objects, manual handling tasks and slips, trips and falls,” Mr Attard said.

“There is also potential for them to be exposed to hazardous substances in the course of their work, especially workers carrying out spray painting activities.

“Hence, the inspectors will be looking closely at awareness of hazard identification and at whether risk assessments are being carried out for manual handling tasks.”

Inspectors will be concentrating on the priority areas of hazardous substances, electricity, manual tasks, training of new and young workers, machinery guarding and slips, trips and falls.

In addition, they will look at issues more specific to the industry such as spray booth safety, personal protective equipment, emergency procedures, mobile plant, health surveillance and pressure vessels.

Inspectors will undertake the inspections with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency across all workplaces.

“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities or specific geographical areas aimed at providing employers with information on how to make workplaces safer,” Mr Attard said.

“The Transport Team will inspect workplaces in metropolitan and regional areas over the financial year with a view to raising awareness and providing information.

“A letter and a copy of the checklist have been sent to employers in the industry, so they should be aware of what will be expected when an inspector visits.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive programs is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness, but inspectors will take enforcement action during the program if necessary.”

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