SafeWork NSW warns transport industry of fall risks

Thursday, 12 December, 2019

SafeWork NSW warns transport industry of fall risks

As part of the Falls from Heights Advisory Program, SafeWork New South Wales (SafeWork NSW) inspectors will be visiting businesses in the transport, distribution and warehousing sectors across the Sydney/metropolitan area, to reduce injuries related to falls. SafeWork Executive Director of Operations Tony Williams described the lead-up to Christmas as a peak time for the transport sector and other operations in the supply chain, and comes as a timely reminder about 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. 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,” Williams said.

SafeWork inspectors will visit workplaces and promote a ‘work from the ground approach’ when loading and unloading vehicles, and encourage the use of work platforms and rail systems where this is not reasonably practicable. “There are approximately 158,000 workers in the NSW road freight industry, 41% of whom are employed in the road transport sector,” Williams said.

SafeWork NSW visited more than 200 transport businesses across regional NSW in April 2019; inspectors explained employer obligations under WHS law and spoke to businesses about identifying and managing the risks of working at heights. Falls from heights cause a high number of workplace fatalities and serious injuries, and are a key priority for the Transport NSW Sector Plan.

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