Construction safety a focus on both sides of the border

Victorian and NSW health and safety inspectors will be active along the Victoria and NSW border this week in an ongoing campaign to promote construction site safety in the region.
News article published

Monday 25 Aug 2014

Industries and topics
  • Construction
  • Health and safety representatives

Inspectors from the WorkSafe Victoria and WorkCover NSW have joined forces to visit construction sites in Cobram, Barooga, Yarrawonga and Mulwala from 25-29 August.

Inspectors from both states will work together to provide information and advice to local builders, contractors and workers about construction site safety requirements.

VWA Regional Operations Manager, Brooke Grey, said the Cross Border Project had already assisted more than 200 border construction sites to understand the similarity of safety obligations between the two states.

“Workplace injury claims across the Moira Shire Council have dropped more than 14 per cent over the past three financial years, but there is still more that can be done,” Ms Grey said.

“Many injuries result from lack of planning and poor monitoring of the actual work being undertaken.”

Ms Grey said the keys to improving worksite safety include having Safe Work Method Statements that addressed the hazards associated with high-risk construction work, supervising the work when necessary and paying attention to simple tasks such as general worksite house-keeping.

“These safety measures are applicable across the entire construction industry, including domestic, commercial and civil construction sites,” she said.

WorkCover NSW’s Acting General Manager, Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy, said this week’s visits aimed to continue the safety and productivity improvements that had been seen on border construction since the project commenced.

“Inspectors will provide advice and assistance to local builders and sub-contractors about how to make their construction sites safer,” Mr Dunphy said.

“This project is about improving construction industry productivity throughout the border region, so that more construction industry workers are returning home safely to their families and friends at the end of the working day.”

The construction industry is one of the highest risk industries in NSW with 1209 injuries and illnesses, including three fatalities in south-west NSW in the three years to 2010/11 at a cost of $14.3 million to the NSW workers compensation system.

The project is supported by key construction industry stakeholders from both states.