WorkSafe ACT has announced it will be conducting an inspection program on cafes and restaurants in the state, in order to ensure they are complying with relevant health and safety standards.

Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe has confirmed that the inspections will get underway on Tuesday October 22. Inspectors will be specifically looking for unsafe behaviour that may put the wellbeing of employees at risk.

The campaign is expected to look specifically at common issues such as first aid education, chemical storage and handling, working conditions, personal protective equipment and OHS training.

According to the Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations, employees working in the cafe and restaurant industry are at constant risk of preventable injuries such as burns, back injuries, falls and cuts.

It is hoped that this initiative will help lower this risk by raising awareness amongst ACT eateries about applicable OHS legislation contained within the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

“Injuries arising from manual tasks, fires, slips, trips and falls in this industry impose a burden on employers and particularly on workers,” said Mr McCabe in a statement.

“Generally, our inspectors will take an educative approach. More serious issues may however lead to the issuing of Improvement or Prohibition Notices. If the matters are serious enough, some breaches could result in Infringement Notices (i.e. on-the-spot fines).”

The inspections follow a special WorkSafe ACT seminar on cafe and restaurant health and safety, which was held last month at the Waldorf Conference Centre.

A full summary report containing the results of the inspection program – which is expected to run for one week – will be published on the WorkSafe ACT website once assessments have been completed.

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