MTA and WorkCover target automotive health and safety

Date: Oct 10, 2014

The Motor Traders’ Association (MTA) of New South Wales and WorkCover have announced a new partnership promoting safety for employees in the retail automotive sector.

According to WorkCover, the agreement builds on a strong six-year relationship between the two organisations as they look to continue collaborating on health and safety concerns.

The arrangement could help to lower injury claims against employers in the automotive sector, with the agencies confirming they will work together across a range of issues.

WorkCover Chief Executive Officer Vivek Bhatia said: “The agreement fosters open communication, consultation and cooperation between WorkCover and the MTA to build the capability of the motor industry in maintaining productive, healthy and safe workplaces in the retail motor and associated industries sector.

“The partnership also includes regular meetings between WorkCover and the MTA to facilitate dialogue on return to work and work health and safety at both a state and national level.”

Previous goals achieved through the partnership include the development of a compliance verification tool for the fuel sector and enhancing small business safety capabilities in the automotive industry.

Vehicle-related injury compensation

The announcement came just a week after WorkCover revealed the risks of inflating or removing split rim and multi-piece tyres on vehicles such as trucks, forklifts and tractors.

Two people have already been killed and 20 others injured within the last decade due to these wheels exploding. Not only has this had a massive impact on the affected employees and their families, it has led to compensation claims totalling more than $2 million.

Peter Dunphy, acting general manager of WorkCover NSW’s Work Health and Safety Division, said a few simple safety procedures can prevent accidents with split rims.

“Workers should always deflate a tyre before trying to take a wheel apart and use a safety cage or other restraint when inflating a tyre to prevent injury if a blowout occurs,” he explained.
“Before putting a wheel back together, also check the tyre and rim components for correct fit, wear and any damage.”

Mr Dunphy urged a number of industries, including the automotive and agriculture sectors, to educate employees on the dangers of fitting or removing wheels.

He also encouraged businesses to show a split rim and multi-piece wheel safety video to staff in order to give them practical knowledge and preventative tips. The video can be viewed on computers, tablets and smartphones and offers a range of easily implemented recommendations.

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