The Queensland government is recommending workplaces with heavy machinery and vehicles have exclusion zones that are adequately labelled and enforced with barriers.
This recent safety alert aims to reduce the number of serious worker injuries involving vehicles, which has been alarmingly high lately. Most of the recent injuries have occurred when workers have not applied a handbrake thoroughly, or when parts of a heavy vehicle are not restrained properly.
Improper immobilisation is just one of the issues involving vehicles that is causing employee injuries, though. Other dangers occur when staff work under or behind a vehicle, and when there is a poor separation of employees and vehicles. A lack of risk assessments among managers can also increase the occurrence of these types of injuries.
Even though vehicle injuries are not as common as sprains and strains, these injuries can be far more dangerous for employee wellbeing.
A risk assessment is the first step toward preventing injuries in the workplace. This involves identifying hazards and taking steps to remove these risks to employee wellbeing.
Queensland’s recommendation of exclusion zones around vehicles may be the next step for many workplaces in Australia. Warehouse products like warehouse safety barriers can set up a strong block between pedestrians and vehicles, as recommended.
Warehouse and factory managers may also want to consider further training on safe procedures for vehicle repair work and the correct way to immobilise heavy equipment.
New systems and equipment in the workplace may also improve safety. For instance, a handbrake warning system can alert employees if a vehicle has not been restrained, and wheel chocks can help keep large vehicles and pieces of machinery even more secure.
Finally, working under heavy vehicles must be done with the proper lifting equipment. This will ensure that workers are not in danger of being injured or crushed by heavy vehicle parts.
Keeping workers safe around heavy vehicles doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you invest in the right procedures and equipment to prevent accidents in the first place.