Joint safety blitz aims to cut falls in construction

WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW are joining forces to help tradies in Albury and Wodonga reduce the risk of falls on both sides of the border.


The two authorities will team up to complete joint inspections of local construction businesses in a four-day operation from 22-25 March.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer said employers in the construction industry must do more to prevent workers being injured or killed as a result of falls from height.

"The risk of falls from heights in the construction industry is very real and can have heartbreaking and life-changing consequences," Dr Beer said.

"Since the start of 2018 there have been 13 fatalities in Victoria's construction industry as a result of falls from height," she said. "Every one of these tragic deaths was preventable."

Across Victoria, construction workers are injured in falls more than those in any other industry. Last year WorkSafe accepted 402 claims from construction workers injured in a fall from height, almost a third of the 1323 claims in that category.

These include falls from ladders (43.1 per cent), traffic and ground surfaces (12.7 per cent), steps and stairs (9.2 per cent), buildings (8.5 per cent) and scaffolding (7.5 per cent).

SafeWork NSW Director Construction Services Regional Laurence Richey said residential construction in the Albury and Wodonga Region is booming resulting in a large increase in the construction of new residential houses.

"During the upcoming blitz SafeWork Inspectors will be focussing on all construction hazards particularly in the areas of site fencing, amenities, housekeeping, electrical and work at heights.

"We encourage all builders to maintain a continual focus on these key issues and contact SafeWork NSW on 131 050 if they need any assistance," he said.

The operation is part of the ongoing Cross Border Construction Program, which aims to raise the profile of workplace health and safety issues in regional centres along the Victoria-NSW border.

Employers should review and implement WorkSafe's safety checklist to protect workers from the risk of falls on site.