05 Dec 2014
Victorian Workcover Authority has started with the usual practice of reminding employers and employees, to pay attention towards workplace safety during this festive season sale period.
VWA safety inspectors have already started visiting retails stores across the entire state, having discussions with management and staff to analyse the current situation and making improvements to prevent any kinds of risks during Christmas and new year. The major area of concern, in particular, would be paying careful attention to poor manual handling practices, which accounted for an alarming 56.4 percent of workplace injury claims in the retail sector in 2013-14.
Regional Director, East Health & Safety Operations, Work Safe Victoria, Melinda Collinson, addressed retailers that the message is to make safety, utmost priority over the busy sales period.
“Handling boxes, cartons, and other materials, and using ladders, is a normal part of a retail employee’s day,"Ms Collinson said". But this sort of work accounts for many injuries, such as back complaints, joint, muscle, and soft tissue problems and bone fractures.
So in this context, VWA safety inspectors will keep their main focus on proper housekeeping, ladder safety, stock management and storage and last not the least, the importance of staff training.
According tp the statement of Ms Collinson, almost eight retail workers are getting injured daily in Victoria only and young and new employees are most vulnerable to the workplace injuries at this time of year.
As most of the businesses put on christmas casuals for the summer months, so its extremely important to provide appropriate training and supervision to young and new employees so as to safeguard them against any workplace injuries. Emphasis is laid to encourage them to speak up if there is any uncertainity about doing the tasks safely.
It has been urged to every retailer to follow and implement a proactive approach to identifying and fixing major and minor issues, such as:
- Using height adjustable trolleys for moving, loading and stacking heavy items.
- Storing high turnover products between knee and shoulder height for easy access.
- Providing enough space between aisles and corridors for people and equipment.
- Providing suitable ladders for employees to retrieve goods on shelves and make sure they are trained to safely use these ladders.
- Never handling heavy, bulky or awkward objects while on steps or ladders.
- Making sure in-store and back-of-store areas are free from clutter and excess stock.
- Never climbing on chairs, table, racking or shelving to reach items at height.
For more information on retail safety , visit vwa.vic.gov.au/retail
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