Download Young Workers In Manufacturing Injury Hotspots

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Injury Hotspots
Young Workers in Manufacturing
These are the most common injuries and hazards for young workers in the manfacaturing industry,
as shown by injury claims.
Traumatic muscle/joint injury
or muscle strain from lifting
heavy objects. Muscle strain
from using unpowered tools
Muscle strain from lifting
heavy materials (e.g.
timber, steel sheets) ,
bending over, or moving
equipment, boxes or
Hand and fingers
Open wounds and
amputations from using
panel saws, circular saws
and other machinery or
from using hand tools
and powered tools.
Wounds from handling
metal panels, using
slicing machines etc
Muscle strain from lifting
heavy materials (e.g. timber,
door frames, glass sheets).
Wounds and lacerations
from being hit by objects
(e.g. grinders, circular saws,
hand drills). Falls, trips or
slips from ladders and
working in oily or slippery
Traumatic joint/muscle injury
from working kneeling,
working in confined spaces
or using ill-fitting safety
boots. Muscle strains from
falls, trips and slips. Open
wounds, bruises or lacerations
from using tools
See over the page for some safety solutions.
Edition No. 1 September 2008
Safety solutions
WorkSafe expects employers to have safety solutions in place to protect all workers from injury and illness. Below are some
common solutions known to reduce the risk of injury and illness; employers should work together with their employees and health
and safety representatives to determine the most effective OHS solutions for their workplace, including specific measures to
protect young workers.
Heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, bending & kneeling
• Eliminate any bending, lifting or twisting activities by automating processes or using mechanical aids to shift materials.
• Provide OH&S induction and training for young workers in all methods of safe lifting.
Forearm/wrist • The best working zone is between shoulder and knee height. Limit any work above shoulder height, below the knees or
at full reach by using height-adjustable workstations and raising, lowering or moving either the worker or the work.
Using hand tools
and and
• Hand tools should be fit for purpose and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
During OHS induction and ongoing safety training:
• Provide clear instructions on how to use each hand tool – emphasise specific hazards and how to control them.
• Explain safety features, how to know if it is faulty, how this should be reported and that they feel comfortable in doing so.
• Provide protective gear, (e.g. gloves, safety footwear, goggles) and show workers how to wear/use them safely.
• Encourage young worker to ask questions and raise issues.
• Have the young worker practise using each tool until it is done exactly as required.
• Ensure ongoing responsible and mature supervision of young workers, including the hazards and risks involved in tasks.
• Explain maintenance requirements, responsibilities and procedures (ensure that young workers do not believe that they
have to fix any malfunctions).
• Ensure young workers know how to recognise and report unsafe conditions and that they feel comfortable in doing so.
Using machinery and equipment
• Areas where material can fly out of a machine (e.g. nip points, cutting points and moving belts) should be guarded to
and and
potect the operator and people nearby.
Forearm/wrist • Ensure emergency stops are within reach of operators of moving rollers, belts and conveyers and that the belt cannot
start during repair, unblocking, maintenance, or cleaning.
• Physical barriers are necessary in almost all cases.
• Ensure router benches and moulders are designed so guards are intrinsic to the plant and the cutters can’t operate
(including during run-down) when the guard isn’t in place.
• Some equipment (e.g. circular saws) should have guards carefully adjusted.
• Use appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g. overalls, long trousers, long sleeves, safety boots, safety glasses).
• Don’t use gloves when operating machinery.
• Ensure young workers know how to recognise and report unsafe conditions and that they feel comfortable in doing so.
Slips, trips and falls
• Install gantries and walkways with barriers on or around large or high machines.
• Elevated work platforms should have barriers to reduce the risk of falling from machinery or equipment.
• Remove unwanted material and waste regularly from working site so it does not accumulate.
During OHS induction and ongoing safety training:
• Inform young workers of all hazards, even if they seem obvious.
• Discuss or point out potential hazards, such as moving equipment.
• Explain safe work practices used to eliminate or reduce hazards, e.g. cleaning up spills immediately and protective equipment.
• Encourage young worker to ask questions and raise issues.
• Make sure young workers know how to report unsafe conditions and feel comfortable in doing so.
Employers must consult with workers prior to making any changes that may affect their occupational health and safety. If someone suffers a
work-related injury or illness, their employer has duties under the Accident Compensation Act, one of which is to ensure their safe return to work.
Your health and safety contact is:
WorkSafe Advisory Service
Toll-free 1800 136 089
WorkSafe Victoria is a trading name
of the Victorian WorkCover Authority