This week SafeWork NSW commences its machine guarding safety blitz focussing on at-risk businesses in the manufacturing sector as part of its ongoing commitment to improve work health and safety practices.
As part of SafeWork’s Manufacturing Sector Work Health and Safety Plan, the proactive blitz will focus on businesses located in the Sydney metropolitan area.
SafeWork Executive Director Tony Williams said that injuries in the manufacturing industry in NSW were higher than the state average compared to other workplaces.
“The manufacturing industry is integral to the economy of NSW providing a diverse range of products from food and beverages to wood, metal and plastic products.
“Injuries in manufacturing range from lacerations or open wounds, to soft tissue injuries due to trauma. There have been some serious and, in some cases, fatal but completely avoidable workplaces incidents involving machine guarding.
“It is vital that both businesses and employees are aware of these risks and their responsibilities in managing them. SafeWork has many tools including free events, workshops and online resources available to help keep workplaces safe.”
In 2018 SafeWork NSW prosecuted a Sydney-based baking products manufacturing company which was fined more than $150,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries when her hand became trapped in a machine.
“Working together with industry to prevent injury or death is SafeWork’s number one priority. This worker sustained severe crush and burn injuries to her right hand and was trapped in the machine until co-workers freed her.
“This was an entirely preventable injury. The blitz we are conducting now should serve as a strong reminder to all businesses that worker safety should always be the number one priority,” Mr Williams said.
SafeWork NSW has already met and exceeded targets for reducing fatalities and serious injuries and illnesses leading it to set higher targets in its Work Health and Safety Roadmap aiming to achieve more reductions in work-related fatalities, serious injuries and illnesses by 2022.