WorkCover NSW is to send safety kits out to more than 2,100 businesses in the state’s wood products manufacturing industry.
The initiative is part of the authority’s Focus on Industry Program, aimed at reducing workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as improving injury management across different industries.
The wood industry is one of the ten highest risk industries in NSW, resulting in 1,965 workers compensation claims between 2007 and 2010, totalling $19.5 million, according to WorkCover.
The safety kit will feature a CD on safety in the wood products industry, flyers on WorkCover’s Safety Coach Program and a wood products rebate.
WorkSafe general manager, Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson said that the industry had communicated the need for simple and easy-to-use safety information and resources.
“Businesses within this industry are time and resource poor, and require assistance to improve safety cultures,” he said in a May 3 statement.
The CD included in the kit will feature an action plan tailored for the wood industry.
“The Industry Action Plan identifies five key issues businesses need to address to improve safety and injury management: these include manual tasks at the workshop; manual tasks at client sites; guarding on machines and powered hand tools; occupational disease from exposure to wood dust and noise; and delayed return to work of injured workers,” said Mr Watson in a May 3 statement.
These will help businesses to prevent and manage the most common injuries suffered in the wood industry: muscular injuries from carrying timber and wounds from industrial machinery.
Mr Watson said that WorkCover inspectors would be travelling to manufacturing businesses in the NSW wood industry to explain how the safety kit can help them make their workplaces safer and more productive.
“WorkCover recognises the role business and industry play in developing effective work health and safety solutions.”
When it comes to safety culture in the workplace, there can be many barriers to adherence, including time, resources, language and culture.
Those injured at work may also not be aware that they could be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
In cases where an injury prevents a worker from returning to the role they are trained for, total permanent disability claims may be possible.
Anyone in the position of having been injured at work in NSW but who is unsure about their entitlements can discuss them with compensation lawyers in Sydney.