Thursday 07 March 2013

Construction blitz finds safety shortfalls

Dangerous scaffolding, unsafe work at height and inadequate temporary fencing were just some of the 90 safety breaches WorkSafe inspectors found on housing construction sites across western Victoria last month.

 WorkSafe inspectors visited almost 120 housing construction sites in and around Bendigo, Ballarat, Mildura, Warrnambool and Geelong as part of Operation SafeSite - a 12-month campaign aimed at reducing workplace injuries in the industry.

WorkSafe Chief Executive, Denise Cosgrove, said site safety was the responsibility of everyone on site including the builder, contractors and workers.

“It was pleasing to see some sites had heeded warnings about the blitz and made sure safety was up to scratch before inspectors arrived,” she said.

Inspectors issued 51 improvement notices requiring businesses fix health and safety breaches.  Another 39 breaches were identified, but were able to be dealt with on the spot.

Ms Cosgrove said there were simple steps that can be taken to make a real difference to site safety.

“Having the site fenced, kept clean of building rubble and waste and ensuring electrical tools are safe are just some of the simple steps that can make a real difference to workers and public safety.

“The risks on housing sites are well known and so are the control measures. Safety doesn’t just happen - it requires planning, having effective controls in place and regular supervision to ensure the site remains safe.”

Inspectors will conduct follow-up visits in the coming weeks to ensure all health and safety breaches had been rectified.


Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Rosanna Bonaccurso: 0478 305 640, 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 or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.