WorkSafe WA Set Sights on Retail

WorkSafe WA have begun a proactive inspection program that will focus on the safety standards of the state’s retail outlets. The program will continue throughout the remainder of the 2017/18 financial year, and will focus on selected franchise stores, as well as firewood suppliers, musical instrument stores and pharmacies. 

retail wa Acting WorkSafe director, Sally North, said that this part of the retail sector had a high rate of work-related injury and would benefit from the increased scrutiny. 

“The most common types of injury in retail outlets include musculoskeletal injuries, with a high proportion of these injuries being long-term. Long-term injuries of this nature bring with them all the direct and indirect costs of treatment and return to work plans, so it is definitely better to have a prevention plan in place.”

During the program, inspectors from the Retail & Services Team will be concentrating on the priority areas of manual tasks, electricity, slips, trips and falls, mobile plant and vehicle movement and use of hazardous substances. In addition, inspectors will look at the safety issues related to new and young workers – the rates of which are high in the retail sector. 

Ms. North said the program would hopefully be predominately education based, but that inspectors wouldn’t hesitate to enforce the law. 

“The Retail & Services Team will inspect workplaces with a primary focus of raising awareness and providing information to employers and employees, but enforcement action will be taken if breaches of the laws are found.” 

“These proactive inspection programs aim to help employers to comply with workplace safety laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”

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