News article published

Friday 25 Nov 2011

Industries and topics

  • Construction

It is the first of a series of statewide campaign visits targeting basic safety issues, the acting Director of WorkSafe’s Construction and Utilities Division, Allan Beacom, said.

“What we find is that employers and tradespeople consistently fail to properly address the basic safety issues like fall protection, electrical safety, housekeeping, site security and supervision,” he said.

“At this time of the year there is an extraordinary amount of work which has to be completed before the long Christmas break or to meet contractual requirements.

“In such a busy environment the already-existing risks can be magnified.

“During our visits. inspectors will be issuing safety improvement and prohibition notices and if they’re not dealt with, the risk of prosecution, whether or not someone is hurt, is high.”

There were 425 claims in the domestic construction sector last financial year with treatment and rehabilitation costs exceeding/ nearly $5.5 million.

The absence of fall protection on a domestic housing site is a feature of WorkSafe’s current enforcement campaign showing workers on the roof of a house.

“Safety issues have been raised, but there’s reluctance to deal with them because it’s a ‘two-minute job’. It’s then that the WorkSafe inspector drives up.

“Apart from the need for rails, a lot of time will be lost and it’s likely he’d find other issues. Doing the job right, the first time, is in your interests.

“The good news is that businesses and individuals can make a difference by taking a few simple measures and although Victoria is Australia’s safest state with a record low number of work-related injuries, a lot more can be done.“

Other metropolitan and regional areas will be targeted in coming months.

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