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Reducing injuries in food services industry a focus for SafeWork SA in January

Media Release
15 January 2020

SafeWork SA are continuing through January with the compliance and safety awareness campaign on musculoskeletal disorders, with a specific focus on the food services industry.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common work related injuries and can have long-term, costly impacts for businesses and workers.

An MSD is an injury to, or disease of, the body’s musculoskeletal system and includes sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. MSDs can occur suddenly or gradually over time, and are commonly caused by hazardous manual tasks and slips, trips and falls.

According to Safe Work Australia, musculoskeletal injuries account for 11 per cent of injuries in the food services industry, most commonly caused by falls on the same level (19 per cent of claims), followed by muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects (14 per cent), and muscular stress while handling objects (11 per cent).

SafeWork SA inspectors will visit a number of fast food facilities, auditing the safety control measures in place to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders including workplace induction training and safe lifting training. To comply with legislative requirements, businesses must identify all hazards specific to their workplace, and have appropriate control measures in place to prevent or minimise the risk of harm to workers and the public.

Inspectors may give practical and constructive advice about how to fix any health or safety contraventions they come across and advise on how to comply with South Australian health and safety laws.

The accommodation and food services industry has the youngest age demographic of all industries with 44 per cent of workers aged under 25 years old and the highest proportion of workers (43%) are aged 15–24 years.

SafeWork SA want to remind employers of their responsibility to keep workers healthy and safe, and the consequences they face when they don’t.

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