Small businesses in Mildura, Victoria, were pulled up on more than 160 health and safety breaches during a five-day campaign by WorkSafe Victoria inspectors in September.

As part of WorkSafe’s “Safe Towns” campaign, which helps small businesses identify basic safety issues, inspectors issued 163 improvement notices, which required workplaces to make improvements on health and safety issues ranging from storage of dangerous goods, to forklift maintenance.

The campaign targets small businesses that may never have been visited by a WorkSafe inspector, or that have a high incidence of workplace injury or illness.

“Although we wrote to the businesses and told them we would be visiting, we still had to pull them up on a high number of health and safety issues,” said WorkSafe Victoria Manufacturing and Logistics director Ross Pilkington.

“We regularly find the same health and safety hazards during workplace visits – issues like overloaded or damaged storage and racking, unsafe storage of chemicals or fuel, exposed electrical wiring, and inadequate first aid facilities.”

Improvement notices, which are a formal direction to make a safety improvement within an agreed period, were issued for: incorrect storage of dangerous goods; damaged or faulty electrical tools and wiring; forklift maintenance; guarding on machinery, including lathes; poor housekeeping; manual handling (lifting, pushing and pulling); lack of perimeter guarding on mezzanine floors; and failing to display safe working load on shelving.

WorkSafe’s Return to Work Inspectorate also visited businesses, to check that duties under the Accident Compensation Act were being met.

<<< Source: Safety Institute of Australia >>>

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