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Wood industry safety kit launched by WorkCover

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More than 2,100 NSW businesses in the wood products manufacturing industry will receive safety kits from WorkCover NSW today as part of a program to improve safety in one of the state’s highest risk industries.

The Safety Kit is part of WorkCover’s recently-announced action plan that focuses on reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and improving injury management across the wood products manufacturing industry after there were 1,965 workers compensation claims in the three years to 2010 at a cost of $19.5 million to the NSW workers compensation scheme placing it among the State’s 10 highest risk industries.

The industry is comprised of businesses involved in the manufacture of wooden doors and windows, kitchen cabinets, frames and trusses as well as joineries with the majority employing less than five workers.

General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson said the Safety Kit featured a range of resources to help business improve safety and injury management.

“Businesses within this industry are time and resource poor, and require assistance to improve safety cultures,” Mr Watson said.

“The most common injuries and illnesses include muscular injuries when carrying or putting down timber and wounds from industrial guns or saws.

“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.

“Industry has told us that to enable businesses to address these issues they need simple and easy-to-use information and resources.

“The Wood Products Manufacturing Industry Safety Kit does just that, featuring a CD on Safety in the Wood Products Industry which outlines how to manage the five major issues, flyers on our Safety Coach Program and Wood Products Rebate as well as a WorkCover poster and postcard.

“Over the coming weeks, WorkCover inspectors will be visiting wood products manufacturing business throughout NSW to explain how the Kit can help them make their workplaces more productive, healthy and safe.”

The Wood Products Manufacturing Industry Safety Kit was launched at Arndell Park business Westview Frames and Truss on Thursday, 2 May. Westview Frames and Truss Director, Wayne Brady said the Safety Kit provided information in a format that businesses could use.

“As a small business, with many deadlines and demands, finding the time to prioritise safety improvements can be difficult,” Mr Brady said.

“The Safety Kit provides information and advice in a simple and easy format which will help businesses improve safety and I believe it will be well-received across the industry.”

The Wood Products Manufacturing Industry Program is part of WorkCover’s Focus on Industry Program which involves working with businesses to make their workplaces more productive, healthy and safe.

“WorkCover recognises the role business and industry play in developing effective work health and safety solutions,” Mr Watson added.

As part of the Program WorkCover is working with its six industry action plan partners, the Furnishing Industry Association of Australia, Timber Trade Industrial Association of Australia, Timber and Building Materials Association, Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s Forestry and Furnishing Products Division.

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