SafeWork NSW has continued its commitment to safety across the state’s construction sites with a fresh safety blitz across the Illawarra region. It follows a crackdown in recent months by the safety regulator of scaffolding sites across Sydney, which found almost half of the building sites had unsafe or incomplete scaffolding.
Since April, regulators have made 79 visits to construction sites, issuing 30 prohibition notices related to falls from heights risk, 27 prohibition and improvement notices related directly to site scaffolding, and 17 notices related to incomplete or altered scaffolding.
Regulators also issued more than $10,000 in fines relating to falls from heights risks.
The Minister for Better Regulation has reiterated the message from SafeWork that the industry is “on notice”.
“Since April this year, SafeWork NSW has been targeting unsafe scaffolds, visiting more than 700 construction sites and issuing 832 notices, including $109,000 in on-the-spot fines or falls risks,” he said.
“While inspectors have seen some improvement in scaffold safety recently, the level of risk is still unacceptable with 44 per cent of scaffolds having missing parts, while on 36 per cent of sites it appeared unlicensed workers had altered or removed scaffolding components.”
“We want everyone to make it home to their family at the end of the day, which is why we are reminding everyone of their obligations and responsibilities, not just from employers to their employees, but employees’ obligations to each other,” he said.
“It is clear that more needs to be done to get the safety message through to people, which is why this month the NSW Government will be rolling out a number of new initiatives which aim to protect workers from serious injury or death.”