SafeWork NSW Urges Manufacturers to Put Safety as Their Top Priority

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SafeWork NSW has released their Manufacturing Work Health and Safety Sector Plan to ensure manufacturers are keeping their workers healthy and safe. The plan provides strong leadership and direction for best practice in work health and safety.

“Be the leader your workers need. Safety starts with you.”

The Hon. Matt Kean, MP Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation commented that the manufacturing industry is one of the driving forces behind the states economy, producing a wide range of goods that are integral to NSW workplaces and households. Ensuring a safe workplace for manufacturers across the state is essential to its growth and the nations self-reliance.

SafeWork NSW director of WHS Metro, Sarina Wise, said with more than seven per cent of the state’s workforce employed in manufacturing, the rise in safety incidents needs to be addressed.

“From 2013/14 through to 2015/16 more than 40,000 workers compensation claims were made, resulting in a cost to industry of $558 million, and saw a loss of more than 218,000 weeks at work.

This program seeks to change perceptions about safety relating to some of the major risks the injury faces, including forklift safety and the importance of machine guards and their proper uses,” Wise said.

2018 saw the first Workplace Health & Safety exhibition hosted in Melbourne. The event focused on safety professionals and leaders in industries such as; manufacturing, construction, mining, local government, hospitals and transport. It showcased technology, ideas and innovative practices of the safety world. A first of its kind in Australia but a great initiative to promote safe workplaces.

In 2021, SafeWork inspectors across metropolitan Sydney and regional New South Wales are undertaking compliance activities, including random inspections of manufacturing businesses.

Manufacturing Work Health and Safety Sector Plan:

The SafeWork NSW Work Health and Safety Roadmap identified the following three key action areas: 

Action Area I – Embed the ‘Health and Safety Landscape’ in NSW workplaces 

Action Area II – Prioritise sectors, harms, workers and workplaces where the most significant WHS risks exist:

1. Forklifts

2. Machine safety

3. Muscular stress

4. Noise 

5. Falls

6. Chemicals

7. Electrical safety

8. Mental health

9. At-risk workers (young, culturally and linguistically diverse workers and migrant workers)

Action Area III – Build exemplar regulatory services

The vision for the plan is for all people working in the manufacturing industry to have healthy, safe and productive working lives.

How to achieve this?

Strong leadership and a firm commitment to continuously improve, back by action, are the foundations of a strong safety culture.

Are you certified in safety? ISO 45001: (Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management)

ISO 45001:2018 outlines the requirements for your organisation to develop efficient safety systems. It shows interested parties and stakeholders your organisation is committed to the safety of workers and providing a safe work environment. It is an important sign of your business’ capability to reduce costs through preventing workplace injury and illness, and requires top management to display evidence of your attempt to mitigate OH&S risks.

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