Almost 12,000 notices were handed out by SafeWork NSW across 1,000 site visits in a 12-month blitz on the construction industry. The crackdown was prompted by a significant rise in the number of reported falls from height and a series of fatalities in 2017.
SafeWork’s executive director Tony Williams said that “inspectors issued 1,258 notices to stop or improve work processes, which included 93 on-the-spot fines [of up to $3,600] when the falls risk to workers was imminent or serious, or if the workplace was a repeat offender.”
While SafeWork has provided rebates totalling more than $86,000 to 186 small businesses to help them work safely at heights, inspectors identified “troubling levels of non-compliance” during the same period.
“Since the blitz began, inspectors have seen an improvement of up to nine per cent in compliance when it comes to scaffolds, formwork, ladders, safety planning documents, site inductions and toolbox talks, but the industry still has a long way to go to secure safety,” he said.
“Over the next two years, SafeWork will continue to work on those areas of highest risk in the construction industry. This includes working on roofs, ladders and non-compliant scaffolds, as part of a broader falls from heights action plan.”