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SafeWork NSW to visit transport industry to warn of falls risks

26 November 2019

SafeWork NSW inspectors will be visiting businesses in the transport, distribution and warehousing sectors across Sydney/Metropolitan area as part of Falls from Heights Advisory Program aimed at reducing injuries related to falls.

SafeWork Executive Director of Operations, Tony Williams, said the lead up to the Christmas was a peak time for the transport sector and other operators in the supply chain, and comes as a timely reminder to industry of the serious nature of working at heights.

“The transport and distribution sector operates in a working environment which includes tight scheduling and demanding customer expectations, which can cause impacts across the supply chain,” Mr Williams said.

“During this time of year, we see a large increase in the deliveries across the industry and one of the key risks is falling from a vehicle during loading and unloading.

“SafeWork inspectors will be visiting workplaces to promote a ‘work from the ground approach’ when loading and unloading vehicles, and the use of work platforms and rail systems where this is not reasonably practicable,” Mr Williams said.

In April 2019, SafeWork NSW visited over 200 transport businesses across regional NSW, where inspectors spoke to business about identifying and managing the risks of working at heights, while explaining employer obligations under WHS law.

“There are approximately 158,000 workers in the NSW road freight industry, 41 per cent of whom are employed in the road transport sector,” Mr Williams said.

“Workers continue to be placed at risk when working on the trays of trucks and trailers to restrain and or unrestrain loads which places them at significant risk of a fall from height – we simply want to talk to people about how to do things better and safer,” Mr Williams said.

Falls from Heights is a leading cause of workplace fatalities and serious injuries and is a key priority in the Transport WHS Sector Plan. For more information, call SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.

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