West Warrnambool safer after week-long Safe Towns campaign

Wednesday, 28 November, 2007

West Warrnambool businesses have proved themselves among the state’s safest during the Safe Towns campaign, but two people were found working in a way that could have resulted in death or spinal injury.

Fewer than 50 improvement notices and two prohibition notices were issued to 106 businesses, one of the lowest since the program began at Swan Hill in 2004.

WorkSafe's executive director, John Merritt, said that while West Warrnambool was doing well, he was concerned that two Prohibition Notices were issued for working at a dangerous height.

One Prohibition Notice related to someone working 5.5 m above the ground without fall protection, the other involved work while standing on the forks of a telescopic all terrain truck at approximately 4.7 m.

“These are heights from which death, brain damage or paraplegia are real, instant and permanent possibilities.

“Fall protection is needed when working higher than two metres,” he said.

“The inspectors found many places where fresh safety work had been done. By letting businesses know we were coming, improvements were made across the community, not just the places visited.”

Merritt said businesses which received a notice should use the time before the return date for the WorkSafe follow-up visit to make the required improvements.

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