Construction sites on both sides of the Victorian/NSW border have been warned to expect visits from safety inspectors in the coming weeks as part of a combined crackdown on workplace safety between SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria.
Inspectors will be focusing on working from heights safety, electrical work, silica and asbestos controls, moving plant safety, housekeeping and the risks of falling objects, according to Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson.
“We have seen a large increase in activity across residential building work and where businesses are taking on extra work, resources are starting to stretch thin,” Mr Anderson said.
“Safety has to come first, and Inspectors from both jurisdictions will be visiting sites to make sure corners aren’t being cut, and the right safety measures are in place to protect workers.
Falls from heights are currently the most significant fatality-related concern on NSW construction sites, accounting for the most fatalities on worksites. Most people who are killed or seriously injured in NSW from a fall, fall from a height of four metres or less.
“Far too often inspectors identify concerns with the way scaffolding is set up and sub-standard protections for those working from heights, so this will be a focus of this blitz. We will also be targeting those working without a high risk work licence and anybody caught dry cutting stone or concrete on site,” Mr Anderson said.
“Having a well-maintained site is 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.”
The safety regulators have also reminded construction companies that NSW Fair Trading Inspectors and Officers from the NSW Building Commissioner will share information if businesses or individuals are found to have sub-standard safety practices on site.