SafeWork NSW has put the state’s construction sites on notice again, this time focusing on scaffolding on structures. The regulator has warned they will issue on-the-spot fines and stop-work notices where sites fail to comply with safety standards.
Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, explained that the inspectors are taking a zero-tolerance approach if scaffolding is missing crucial elements or if unlicensed workers are altering components of the scaffolding.
In the last two years, more than 1,700 notices have been issued by SafeWork, including 600 prohibition notices due to immediate or imminent risks.
“This is the third annual scaffold compliance program we’ve conducted, and we will continue to visit sites until the industry meets the safety levels SafeWork expects,” Mr Anderson said.
“This Government is building a stronger and safer NSW, and that starts with protecting our workforce,” Mr Anderson said.
“We need to drive the message home to principal contractors, supervisors, scaffolders, site owners and managers – we will not put up with practices that put lives at risk.”
In the year to date, SafeWork has visited more than 60 construction sites in Northern NSW, issuing 96 notices and eight on-the-spot fines and 16 prohibition notices.
The rest of the year’s focus for the regulator is the risks associated with formwork, working at heights and concrete pumps.
“Across the state, the building and construction industry is on notice – it does not matter if you are in the centre of Sydney or in western NSW, SafeWork will be checking your scaffold, and if it is not safe, we will act.”
On-the-spot fines for businesses can be as high as $3,600 and $720 for individuals.
“If you see anything unsafe at work, you can now report it quickly and anonymously directly to SafeWork using our app Speak Up, Save Lives.”