Wednesday 23 January 2013

Safety blitz heads west

WorkSafe is calling on the housing construction industry to make sure their sites and work practices are up to scratch ahead of a safety blitz early next month.

Inspectors will target housing construction sites in the western part of the state in February as part of Operation SafeSite.

The blitz is part of a statewide campaign in the housing industry being conducted in addition to WorkSafe’s normal inspection work.

WorkSafe regional director, Adam Rogers, said teams of inspectors would saturate areas around Ballarat, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Geelong and Mildura as part of the blitz.

“We’re still seeing too many serious incidents on housing sites around the state, with around 25 occurring each week,“ he said.

Mr Rogers said inspectors would target basic safety issues as well as sites carrying out high risk construction work.

He said it was important builders and sub contractors took the time to check how effectively they were managing safety planning, worker supervision, fall prevention, electrical safety, site housekeeping and onsite worker facilities.

Operation SafeSite kicked off in August last year with an inspection blitz in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

WorkSafe inspectors visited just over 100 sites and issued 58 improvement notices over the one-week period, requiring builders and sub contractors to fix health and safety breaches.

Another 44 health and safety breaches were identified and were able to be rectified on the spot.

WorkSafe Health and Safety General Manager, Lisa Sturzenegger, said it was great to see a number of builders take a proactive approach to improving their sites.

“While many businesses have made safety a top priority, there were still plenty of housing sites out there not even getting basic safety right; let alone managing the risks of high risk construction work,” she said.

“Controls to effectively manage safety risks on housing sites are well-known. The good news is that builders and sub-contractors can make sites safer by taking a few simple measures.”

For further information on how to make construction sites safe, please visit worksafe.vic.gov.au or contact the Housing Industry Association or the Master Builders Association.

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.

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.