Southern Manufacturing

Trans-Tasman Safety Campaign Targets Boat Builders

09 December 2005

Boat builders in both Australia and New Zealand will be targeted in a health and safety campaign to reduce the dangers of working with hazardous substances.

Queensland Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations Tom Barton said Australian and New Zealand workplace health and safety bodies would join forces to conduct the campaign.

“Exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace is a major safety issue,” Mr Barton said. “Workers in the composite boat building industry are particularly at risk as the building and repair of boats involves the frequent use of significant quantities of resins, solvents, catalysts and other hazardous substances.

“If proper safety precautions are not followed, these substances can cause a range of health affects ranging from dermatitis and asthma to accelerated hearing loss and occupational cancer. This is an important initiative as Queensland’s boat building industry is one of the state’s fastest growing industries, directly employing more than 7300 people and contributing around $1.4 billion to the state’s economy.”

Mr Barton said boat builders will receive information from workplace health and safety authorities on the campaign this month, including a self-assessment tool to help them identify, evaluate and effectively manage hazardous substances in their workplace.

The campaign is an initiative of the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) and is being led by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, a division of the Department of Industrial Relations.

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