by Chris Horan, Senior Consultant
A recent inspection program looking at safety issues in primary schools and early childcare centres in Western Australia has raised concerns over workplace safety laws, with a particular focus on chemical management and other hazardous substances.
The Worksafe team of inspectors were briefed primarily with addressing issues for employees such as gardeners, cleaners and other handypersons working in the schools/centres.
Childcare centres were specifically targeted due to the significant increase in the number of centres across the State in recent years.
According to Sally North, Worksafe Director, it was the high rate of injuries in the sector that also prompted the recent inspections.
A total of 52 childcare centres were reviewed resulting in 161 improvement notices issued along with 27 verbal directions.
“We found worryingly low levels of compliance with the laws applying to hazardous substances in workplaces,” Ms North said.
Over 50% of the notices issued were in relation to hazardous substances, with most being around the lack of assessment, labelling of containers or failure of chemical registers being updated.
“This inspection program has certainly highlighted the safety issues around hazardous substances that exist in primary schools and childcare centres in WA,” said Ms North.
The management of chemicals in all manner of workplaces can be simplified with the use of an online chemical register, such as our own RiskLog.
You can learn more about this system by watching the below video, or if you would like a QED expert to help develop a chemical storage management programme for your workplace, click here to contact us.
Full Government announcement can be found here
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