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Manufacturing

This industry includes:

  • food products such as bakery goods, meat, dairy, confectionery and beverages
  • engineering and metal fabrication
  • joinery and cabinet making
  • clothing and textile production.

Manufacturing is one of the industries identified as a national priority for prevention activities in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy (external link).

Occupations in this industry include:

  • factory process workers
  • food process workers
  • fabrication engineering trades workers.

Most common hazards and injuries

Workers in this industry are likely to be injured at work due to:

  • body stressing
  • falls, slips and trips
  • being hit by moving objects
  • hitting objects with a part of the body.

Common hazards that workers in this industry are exposed to include:

  • machinery and equipment: workers can get hands or limbs caught in unguarded moving parts and be crushed or sustain fractures; be burned by hot surfaces or fluids; or receive an electric shock from plant that is not adequately protected or isolated
  • noise from machinery
  • body strain from repetitive movements, or from lifting, pushing or pulling heavy loads.

Some solutions

  • Buy the quietest machinery for the job
  • Isolate the noisy equipment in a separate work area or install barriers to enclose the noise.
  • Hearing protectors should be your last resort as a control measure.
  • Make sure guarding is in place on machinery so workers cannot come in contact with moving parts. If the guards need to be removed for maintenance, make sure you have a system in place for locking out the machinery, including the power, so that it can’t be accidentally turned on. Train your workers in this procedure, and make sure they follow it.
  • Provide training and instruction in safe manual handling procedures.
  • Maintain good housekeeping to ensure there are no obstructions or trip hazards on floors or in store areas.

Resources and solutions

WorkSafe Tasmania resources

Hazardous manual tasks

Industry snapshots

Managing noise and preventing hearing loss code of practice

Preventing exposure to silica from engineered stone benchtops safety alert

Silica safe

Slips trips and falls

Other resources

Manufacturing resources: WorkSafe Victoria (external link)

Updated: 29th October 2019