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Shipping Container Safety – What You Need to Know to Get Involved in a Growing Industry

The shipping container industry is one of the fastest growing in Australia. In the 2015-2016 financial year, Australia exported $219 billion worth of product by sea, along with importing $202 billion. Around thirty thousand cargo ships made port calls in the same financial year, and this number is set to keep increasing as Australia’s population and consumerism grows.

The industry represents significant growth to the Australian economy. However, with many moving parts, there is heightened safety risks which is compounded by the demand for the swift and safe packing and unpacking of containers. Common injuries when it comes to unpacking and packing shipping containers are strains, abrasions and other health problems, with extreme cases possibly resulting in death. There have been 31 serious injuries in the shipping container since 2011, and three fatalities.

As workforce compliance practitioners, WorkPro offers an e-learning module for container packing and unpacking, designed to inform people of particular hazards and keep everyone safe on the job.

Written by industry safety specialists, the module is practical yet effectively addresses particular high risk areas of the job to mitigate worker injury.

The module is designed to help workers understand the key elements of safe packing and unpacking and what to be mindful of in order to reduce injuries and keep themselves and their colleagues safe – which is especially important in an industry where there is likely to be a diverse range of workers including contract and labour hire workers and where containers are being delivered from countries where the safety standard is very different to the highly regulated countries like Australia and New Zealand. The Guidance Note rounds out the induction and helps supervisors maintain an exemplary safety record and keep their workers safe every single job, no matter the size. Safe Work Australia have also published a useful resource about container safety.

The module includes:

  • Introduction to job related hazards and risk and hazard management
  • Container Inspection and Planning
  • An overview of Safe Work Method Statements, Job Safety Analysis and Safe Work Procedures
  • The importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Highlighting injuries that are often associated with packing and unpacking due to repetitive motion/accidents, and how to avoid these happening
  • Fumigants and Harmful Substances
  • Falling Loads
  • Manual Task
  • How to identify and avoid slips and falls
  • Traffic management around a shipping container
  • Loading and unloading at a loading dock

Furthermore, WorkPro’s manual handling module cements the concepts required to complete repetitive tasks successfully, including:

  • Identifying and mitigating risks when it comes to manual tasks
  • Highlighting the different types of injuries that can result from wrong lifting techniques
  • Where the responsibility lies when it comes to organizing a safe environment for lifting
  • How to perform a risk assessment, risk management and risk safety

The Guidance note for supervisors includes:

For further resources, Safe Work Australia and WorkSafe Victoria offer some fantastic information and support to assist companies design and implement a robust safety program

If you employ staff in any capacity, you have duty to keep them safe at work and carefully balance compliance obligations. We can help you get this right, the easy way.

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