25th February 2014 WorkSafe is undertaking an inspection program to look at safety issues relating to manual tasks in WA’s floor covering retail premises.

Continuing throughout the remainder of the financial year in both metropolitan and regional areas, the program will look at independently-operated businesses that are not part of larger organisations.

WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the inspections would focus on manual tasks that could potentially result in injury.

“Workers in the floor covering retail area face a number of specific risks,” Mr Attard said.  “Foremost among these are manual handling injuries suffered when handling heavy items or performing repetitive tasks.

“With regard to floor covering tasks, common risk factors arise from activities such as handling heavy, awkward or bulky loads and repetitive actions such as loading and unloading stock.”

Risks can be minimised by using automated equipment or by redesigning or modifying the workplace or tasks, or by substituting safer systems of work.

“Other causes for concern in this industry sector include training, especially of young workers, and the use of mobile equipment such as forklifts,” Mr Attard said.

“This inspection program is part of an ongoing series of proactive inspections aimed at providing employers with information on how to make workplaces safer, but inspectors will take enforcement action if they find breaches of workplace safety laws.

“Our main objective is to raise awareness of potential safety risks and ensure that employers have the information required to comply with the laws.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive campaigns is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”

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