Campaign aims to reduce musculoskeletal injuries in transport industry

Tuesday, 12 January, 2021

SafeWork SA has launched a safety campaign focused on reducing musculoskeletal injuries and slips, trips and falls across the road freight transport industry. As part of the campaign, SafeWork SA is visiting a number of road freight transport depots and conducting an audit of safety control measures that are required to be in place to minimise the risk of workers sustaining musculoskeletal disorders. The focus will also be on factors that contribute to slips, trips and falls, including training and safe use of correct manual handling techniques.

According to Safe Work Australia, musculoskeletal injuries account for 46% of injuries in the road transport industry, most commonly caused by muscular stress while handling objects (18%), followed by muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down an object (15%). Slips, trips and falls on the same level contributed to 13% of the injury statistics. Workers in the transport industry aged 55–64 years recorded the highest rate for serious injury claims, followed by workers aged 45–54 years. Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA), business owners are responsible for providing a safe work environment and safe systems of work, which include adequate training and supervision for all workers, ensuring equipment is in safe working order and appropriately managing risks to prevent injuries.

SafeWork SA Executive Director Martyn Campbell said compliance audits are a key way that SafeWork SA contributes to improving safety in South Australian workplaces and encouraged all businesses to be proactive about safety. “During our visits, we work with the business to identify the challenges and hazards unique to their workplace and discuss the best safety solution for the situation,” Campbell said. “Where we find a safety issue that breaches WHS requirements, our inspectors will issue a compliance notice.”

To comply with legislative requirements, businesses must identify all hazards specific to their workplace and have appropriate control measures in place to prevent or reduce the risk of harm to workers and the public. Safety plans must also ensure that all hazards have been identified, with control measures in place. All workers must also receive adequate training and supervision, and all safety control measures must also be reviewed regularly.

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