THE region’s transport industry is the focus of a new WorkCover campaign, with the loading and unloading of vehicles identified as a major cause of injury and even death.
WorkCover Tamworth district co-ordinator John Ringland said the industry was one of the highest- risk industries in the state, recording 21 deaths and more than 4000 injuries in the past two years at an average cost of $53.6 million to the workers’ compensation system annually.
Speaking yesterday at Tamworth transport business Carey’s Freight Lines, Mr Ringland said manual tasks accounted for more than 30 per cent of injuries and illness, occurring mostly while moving freight, restraining loads, handling gates and curtains on trailers and working on top of loads or trucks.
There were a number of steps though local road freight transport owners, managers and workplace safety officers could take to educate workers and improve safety.
“Make sure suitable equipment is available to load and unload freight, configure the load for easy access when unloading and consider your workplace and whether it is suitable,” Mr Ringland said.
Ensuring there were safe work systems in place at the eventual destination was also an important factor.
Mr Ringland said Carey’s was an example of a business that took the potential hazards seriously, and had the appropriate systems in place.