Hoist safety blitz for SA automotive industry
Inspectors from SafeWork SA have issued stop work notices against 11 automotive workshops for operating dangerous vehicle hoists and pressure vessels. During the first four months of a six-month campaign to improve worker safety in the automotive industry, SafeWork SA inspectors performed 51 compliance audits across metropolitan and regional automotive workshops, issuing 146 improvement notices.
The campaign targets high-risk plant such as vehicle hoists and pressure vessels. A prohibition notice is a directive issued to an employer instructing them to stop work immediately due to the severity of the risk until compliance measures are implemented to mitigate the workplace hazard. Improvement notices are issued when safety issues are identified — work can continue while the improvement notice is being actioned; however, the issue must be fixed within a specified time.
Vehicle hoists require workers to position themselves directly under suspended vehicles to carry out mechanical work. To ensure worker safety, all safety components must be operational and fit for purpose. The compliance audits identified several breaches, such as hoists and pressure vessels not being operated or maintained to manufacturers’ specifications; unregistered and poorly maintained pressure vessels; and vehicle hoists that had not had a major inspection at 10 years, as required.
SafeWork SA inspectors also provided advice and information in relation to vehicle hoists and pressure vessels as part of the campaign. The automotive industry reportedly provides direct employment to almost 30,000 South Australians. The majority of these businesses are small and family-owned enterprises.
The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) stipulates that business owners are responsible for providing adequate training and supervision for all workers, ensuring equipment is in safe working order and managing all risks to prevent injuries. SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell said the inspectors will continue to visit automotive workshops into the New Year.
“The failure or misuse of a vehicle hoist may have devastating consequences, so there is no excuse for complacency in the automotive industry for not managing this type of equipment appropriately,” Farrell said.
A vehicle hoist self-assessment tool provided by SafeWork SA can be accessed here.
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