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Source: Government of Australia Capital Territory

Released 27/02/2020

In response to the two tragic deaths in the residential construction sector earlier this year, WorkSafe ACT has conducted two strongly focused blitzes on safety compliance in this industry.

The second blitz of worksite inspections by WorkSafe ACT has just completed its fourth week with a significant number of additional notices being issued along with many site closures where imminent safety risks were found.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Greg Jones, said that while compliance had improved slightly from the first blitz conducted in January, there was still a long way to go.

“In this second series of inspections up to the end of last week, WorkSafe inspectors completed 84 site visits and issued a total of 128 notices – this includes 54 Prohibition Notices and several Infringement Notices,” the Commissioner said.

“We are still seeing concerning issues with working from heights; unsafe scaffolding; electrical issues; no safety planning through Safe Work Method Statements and potential slips, trips and falls.”

“These are the same issues we see time and again, and it is clear that many builders and contractors in this sector do not consider the safety of their workers as important. I think this attitude is completely unacceptable and I can assure all operators in the residential construction sector that WorkSafe will be holding them to account.”

In total, over the course of the inspections conducted in a six-week period since the beginning of the year, more than 112 inspections have been carried out and a total of almost 200 notices have been issued. Over 70 sites have been shut down due to imminent safety risks to workers.

“We will continue to focus on the residential construction sector as we want everyone to be safe at work,” the Commissioner said.

“The residential construction industry needs to lift their game and ensure that safety standards are in place to protect their workers. If any worker is concerned about what they have been asked to do or they consider that safety standards are not being met then they should contact WorkSafe, anonymously if necessary, and we will follow up any concerns.”

“No deadline or paycheck is worth risking your worker’s safety. Make safety your number one priority for all tasks, no matter how small or simple the job may seem to be.”

Business owners and site managers are encouraged to review the latest Worksafe ACT Safety Notices here.

– Statement ends –

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