Saturday blitz puts spotlight on trenching risks

Safety has been boosted at construction sites in inner Melbourne and the western suburbs thanks to a one-day WorkSafe blitz targeting life-threatening safety risks.


WorkSafe inspectors visited 32 civil and residential building sites at Tarneit, Truganina, Mt Cottrell, Melton, Caroline Springs, Wyndham Vale, Werribee and Richmond last month.

Most visits focused on reducing trenching risks, with inspectors raising awareness and monitoring compliance on issues including exclusion zones and fencing around trenches, battering excavations and safe work method statements.

Inspectors also targeted serious safety risks such as falls and falling objects, electrical safety and silica and identified issues around site amenities and facilities, first aid, training and personal protective equipment.

Inspectors issued 30 improvement notices and one prohibition notice and called out a further 14 safety issues that were fixed on the spot.

WorkSafe Director Construction and Earth Resources Matt Wielgosz said the blitz was part of ongoing work to help drive down fatalities, injuries and illness in the construction industry.

"We know trenching work, falls, electrical work and silica exposure are among the biggest causes of death, serious injury and illness in residential and civil construction, which is why WorkSafe is highly focused on these issues," Mr Wielgosz said.

"WorkSafe inspectors will continue to visit construction workplaces across the state to engage with employers and workers and take action when they see something that's putting people at risk of harm."