Thursday 15 August 2013

Construction sites warned to prepare for strong winds

Builders, sub-contractors and other outdoor workers should ensure their worksites are safe and secure before strong winds hit Victoria tomorrow.

After powerful winds hit Victoria earlier in this week, WorkSafe received a number of calls in relation to structural collapse and other damage at worksites across the state. In another incident, a pedestrian was injured when a security fence collapsed at a building site in Warrnambool on Monday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning that damaging winds of up to 65 km/h, with peak gusts of 100 km/h, are forecast for much of the state tomorrow.

WorkSafe chief executive Denise Cosgrove said everyone involved in the construction industry or other outdoor work needed to plan for tomorrow and be on alert.

“Builders must ensure partially completed buildings and structures are well supported. Brick and block walls must be adequately braced until work is completed,” Ms Cosgrove said.

She also warned of the dangers of flying debris. “Roofing sheets, scaffold planks and other loose materials must be secured to prevent them being picked up by the wind and being blown around or out of the site,” Ms Cosgrove said.

Ms Cosgrove said strong winds posed a risk not just to outdoor workers, but to the general public in areas close to worksites.

“So all worksites must ensure that objects and structures under their control are secured,” she said.

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Rebecca Stoel: 0466 749 249, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Peter Flaherty: 0478 881 663, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.