During 2015-20, workers in red meat (including pork and game meat) processing workplaces lodged over 5,000 injury claims. The type and mechanisms of injuries included:
- muscular stress when handling objects
- fractures and soft tissue injuries from being hit by falling and moving objects
- cuts and lacerations from knives
- fractures from fall from heights
- amputation and fractures from being trapped between stationary and moving objects.
Thirty-nine per cent of those injured were young workers, casuals and labour hire.
To reduce and prevent injuries to workers at meat processing workplaces, during 2022 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) will conduct an awareness and enforcement campaign in Queensland’s meat processing (excluding poultry) industry. The campaign will assess abattoirs (red meat, pork, game meat and pet food), large to medium wholesale/butchers, cured meat and large smallgoods workplaces.
Inspectors’ assessment will encompass a desktop review followed by a walk-through and verification of:
- systems of work
- consultative arrangements
- hazards, risk management and reporting
- information, training, instruction and supervision
- hazardous manual tasks
- fixed plant
- working at height and falling objects
- slips, trips and falls at level
- hazardous chemicals
- hand tools
- biological hazards.
Verification assessments will include discussion with all employees (including labour hire and casuals). Enforcement action may be taken if uncontrolled hazards and risks are identified.
Inspectors will also report labour hire providers to the Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit to ensure they are licensed under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (the Act).
Where to get help
Campaign resources and a self-assessment tool are available prior to workplace visits to enable businesses to identify and assess risks and hazards before WHSQ inspectors visit.
The following resources will assist you to improve safety processes and ensure compliance.
- Self-assessment tool for workplaces (PDF, 1.31 MB)
- Knives at work
- How to keep young workers safe when they use knives and cutting tools at work (PDF, 0.28 MB)
- Knife sharpening programs in the red meat processing industry
- Guide to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 0.35 MB) (includes information on training, instruction and supervision)
- Labour hire agencies: Managing the safety of on-hired workers (PDF, 0.28 MB)
- Host employers: Managing the safety of labour hire workers (PDF, 0.26 MB)
Codes of practice
- Work health and safety consultation, co-operation and co-ordination Code of Practice 2011 (PDF, 0.49 MB)
- How to manage work health and safety risks Code of Practice 2011 (PDF, 0.65 MB)
- Hazardous manual tasks Code of Practice 2011
- Managing risks of plant in the workplace Code of Practice 2013 (PDF, 1.57 MB)
- Managing the work environment and facilities Code of Practice 2011 (PDF, 0.57 MB) (includes falling objects and working at heights)
- Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace Code of Practice 2013 (PDF, 1.24 MB)
Injury Prevention and Management Program
Take advantage of tailored, face-to-face advice provided by our Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) advisors. IPaM advisors can assist to assess your systems and advise you on how to make improvements. The IPaM service is free for Queensland businesses. Register for IPaM now to talk to an advisor or email for more information.