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Manufacturing industry interventions and campaigns

Safety in Sawmilling Industry campaign commencing March 2018

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) will be launching the Safety in sawmilling campaign in March 2018. As part of the campaign we will conduct workplace advisory and compliance assessments at Queensland log sawmilling workplaces from March to October 2018.

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Fixed plant campaign commencing April 2017

From April 2017 to July 2018, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will conduct fixed plant assessments at Queensland food processing, metal and fabricated metal manufacturing workplaces.

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Queensland poultry processing industry and labour hire campaign

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ), WorkCover Queensland and Industrial Relations (Labour Hire Licensing) will be conducting compliance assessments from September 2018 to April 2019 across the Queensland poultry processing industry. This will include labour hire companies that supply labour to poultry processing workplaces.

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Onsite traffic management project

Workplaces in the construction, manufacturing, transport and agriculture industries will be the focus of a statewide assessment campaign starting in July 2016 targeting traffic management.

The project aims to reduce the rate of fatalities and severity of injuries involving people being hit by mobile plant and vehicles at Queensland workplaces.

As part of the project, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) inspectors will visit workplaces to raise awareness of the risks and help them implement effective traffic management strategies.

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Knife sharpness

In 2014 and 2015, Workplace Health and Safety (WHSQ) inspectors visited red meat processing workplaces and undertook analysis of worker's knives in south west Brisbane, Brisbane north, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Results and advice from the workplaces visited recommended implementing a knife sharpness program.

In 2017, WHSQ will visit Central Queensland and North Queensland workplaces and continue the analysis of knives, with consideration given to implementing a knife sharpness program. Inspectors will use the anango knife tester to measure the sharpness of workers knives in the boning room, the kill floor and production lines.

This analysis of workers knives aims to reduce of the number of cuts and lacerations from blunt knives. It also aims and to reduce the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries that occurs from unnecessary forceful exertions when using blunt knives.

Targeted areas: Statewide. WHSQ will directly contact those businesses targeted for this campaign.

What can my business do to prepare?

Review your business procedures and processes to identify risks and hazards in your workplace caused by the use of knives. Review information about risk management for knife use and how you can develop and implement a knife sharpness program.

Red meat processing

Throughout 2017 red meat and meat processing workplaces across Queensland will be audited including:

  • cattle yards
  • kill floor
  • boning room
  • process room
  • offal room
  • rendering plant
  • load-out
  • maintenance and cleaning activities.

Inspectors will concentrate on:

  • the priority mechanisms of injury (body stressing, hitting and being hit by objects, falls, trips and slips)
  • heat, electricity and other environmental factors
  • chemicals and other substances, and
  • biological factors.

This campaign will be undertaken in conjunction with other relevant projects.

Targeted areas: South West Queensland. WHSQ will contact businesses that will be inspected.


Preventing eye and hand injuries

Eye and hand injuries make up the highest non-fatal claim rate in the manufacturing industry. The most common were:

  • cuts and lacerations to the hands (13%)
  • foreign body in the eyes (9%).

These two groups represent around one in five of the industry's non-fatal claims.

Throughout 2015, inspectors visited approximately 200 Queensland manufacturing workplaces.

A review of the inspector findings identified:

  • 66 per cent of workplaces demonstrated 'good practice' by:
    • regularly consulting and communicating with employees about safety
    • applying the hierarchy of control consistently
    • following safe work procedures.
  • 34 per cent of workplaces had some policies and practices to manage risks, including:
    • using PPE that was not 'fit for purpose'
    • irregular consultation about workplace risks and controls
    • inconsistency in applying the hierarchy of controls to manage risks.

View the post campaign report (PDF, 0.48 MB).


Below are some resources on how to manage risks.

Manifest quantity workplaces

Hazardous chemical safety will be monitored through in-depth evaluations of safety systems for specific elements of a workplace's hazardous chemicals safety management system for targeted high-end quantity manifest quantity workplaces.

Targeted areas: Statewide. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will contact businesses that will  be audited.