Industry leaders to promote safety in manufacturing
SafeWork NSW has engaged leaders from the manufacturing industry to use experience and new workplace tools to improve industry safety, and establish a culture where safety starts at the top of the organisation.
SafeWork NSW Director of Metro Operations Sarina Wise said the program aims to change perceptions about safety relating to some of the major risks the industry faces, including forklift safety and the importance of machine guards and their proper uses.
“This industry is one of the economy’s driving forces, but we have work and safety incidents at almost twice the state average due to falls, being hit by an object or muscular stress,” Wise said.
As part of the program, four ambassadors from the industry will help managers understand the role they play in safety, using podcasts, workplace tools and direct messaging. The ambassadors will also encourage those managers to be leaders in their workplace.
As one of the ambassadors, Videon Glass WHS Manager Mark Peagam will help educate and train manufacturing workers. Fellow ambassador Maria Hooker, National WHS Manager for Allied Pinnacle, will assist with consultation and optimisation in manufacturing. Tamara Scanlan, Yates Safety and Sustainability Business Lead, will be designing safer manufacturing workplaces, while Abby Ford, Bluescope Steel Health and Safety Manager, will address the value of safer manufacturing workplaces.
“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,” Wise said.
Wise noted that while the industry has embraced SafeWork NSW’s Manufacturing Work Health and Safety Sector Plan, activities like the Ambassadors will help build on the successes in safety on the factory floor.
In 2021, SafeWork NSW inspectors from across metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW will conduct compliance activities, including random inspections of manufacturing businesses.
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