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Workplace Safety in the Manufacturing Industry

There are requirements, issues and pitfalls to consider when running any business, but especially if your business is in manufacturing. Manufacturing is a broad industry that involves turning materials or components into physical products. According to the Australian Government’s Manufacturing Industry Fact Sheet, these products can include everything from metals and plastics, machinery and equipment, food and furniture to chemicals. While manufacturing is a necessary industry, there are many factors to consider: the safety of workers, the safety of the product for users, the relevant legislation and even the environmental impact.

There are many laws that impact the manufacturing industry. With its inherent risks, the manufacturing industry has a high number of work-related injuries and fatalities.

Safety risks and how to address them

Some of the workplace safety risks in the manufacturing industry include:

Body stressing: Safe Work Australia states that body stressing represented 41% of worker’s compensation claims between the years of 2007-08 to 2011-12. It can be caused by manually lifting and carrying heavy objects. Your workplace can help prevent this with the use of mechanical aids (forklifts, conveyor belts etc) or changes to the nature of the work, such as repackaging a large, heavy box into smaller and lighter boxes.

Being hit by moving objects: Safe Work Australia claims that collisions with moving objects, such as materials or substances, accounted for 18% of claims during the same period. The risk of this can be minimised by employing tools such as safety cones and signage and alarms and sensor devices.

Slips, trips and falls: Safe Work Australia’s suggestions for eliminating these hazards include considering the design of floors, stairs etc., developing procedures that reduce risks like clutter build-up and conducting a risk assessment then making appropriate footwear mandatory.

Exposure to hazardous chemicals: The risk of this can be reduced by training employees in appropriate handling and safety procedures plus the use of personal protection equipment. In the event of a work-related injury or illness the employer has a duty to provide first aid, worker’s compensation and rehabilitation to help employees return to work.

Statistics and figures

Safe Work Australia states that from 2003 to 2015 manufacturing had the fourth number of injuries of all industries and represented 9% of worker fatalities.

Young workers (15-24 years old) in the industry had an injury rate 44% higher than young workers in the Australian workforce overall.

Shine Lawyers – Contact Us

If you’ve been injured while working in the manufacturing industry you may have a claim for worker’s compensation. Shine Lawyers can help you to make a claim for compensation and seek the justice you deserve. A qualified expert can help you to access the compensation you’re entitled to in order to get your life back on track. Shine Lawyers are experts in worker’s compensation claims and work on a no win, no fee guarantee.

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Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: April 1, 2019.

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