SafeWork NSW has warned construction sites on the North Coast from Ballina to Tweed Heads to expect inspectors on site this week, focusing on unsafe workplace practices.
Department of Customer Service Executive Director of Compliance & Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, explained that the crackdown is focusing on height safety, electrical works, moving plant operations, falling objects and controlling the risks associated with silica and asbestos.
“From February 16, inspectors will be undertaking a compliance blitz on construction sites to make sure those most at risk from workplace injury are protected by safe systems of work,” Mr Williams said.
“Far too often our inspectors identify concerns with the way scaffolding is set up and other dangers involving working from heights so we will be targeting this area in particular.
“Falls from heights are the number one killer on NSW construction sites with most people who are seriously injured or killed falling from a height of four metres or less.”
He explained that general cleanliness standards are often used as an indicator of standards of care towards workplace safety.
“A safe construction site starts with a clean site and we’re seeing an unacceptable drop in standards across the construction industry,” he said.
“Having a well-maintained site is also a good indicator of the quality of the work being done. If the site managers won’t remove trip and fire hazards like piles of rubbish from the site, there’s a good chance that building standards will be haphazard as well.”
SafeWork NSW has warned businesses that on-the-spot fines of $3,600 can be issued to corporations and individuals can face fines of $720 if they’re found to be placing workers at risk.