NSCA Foundation

WorkSafe WA to begin commercial kitchen inspections

Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

WorkSafe WA to begin commercial kitchen inspections

Western Australian (WA) commercial kitchens could soon get a visit from WorkSafe WA inspectors as part of a proactive program to examine workplace safety standards and issues. The program — which will run in the state’s regional and metropolitan cafes, food courts, accommodation premises and other workplaces during the 2019/20 financial year — aims to help employers comply with work health and safety laws and reduce the risk of work-related injury and illness.

WorkSafe WA Director Sally North said this part of the retail and service sector traditionally had issues with sharps (knives and other tools), hazardous substances, electrical equipment, guarding of equipment and manual task risk assessment and control. “The most common types of injury in kitchens include cuts and muscular stress injuries, with a high proportion of the muscular stress injuries being long term,” North said.

As a result, inspectors from the Retail & Service Industries Team will be focusing on manual tasks; electricity; slips, trips and falls; and use of hazardous substances during the program. However, they will also look at safety issues related to new and young workers, maintenance of first aid facilities, fire precautions, emergency procedures, burns protection, air temperature, meat slicer-guarding and provision of appropriate personal protective equipment, according to WorkSafe WA.

“The Retail & Services Team will inspect workplaces with a primary focus of raising awareness and providing information to employers and employees, but enforcement action will be taken if breaches of the laws are found,” North said. Inspections will be carried out with the help of a checklist to ensure consistency across workplaces.

The inspection program is one of many scheduled by WorkSafe WA and follows those carried out last financial year in the state’s service stations and machinery repair workplaces.

Image credit: © stock.adobe.com/au/highwaystarz

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