Construction sites across the Sutherland Shire in New South Wales can expect a visit from SafeWork Inspectors over the next few days who will be targeting unsafe working systems across all building trades.
SafeWork Executive Director, Tony Williams, said as part of a state-wide crackdown on industry, SafeWork Inspectors will be focusing on site housekeeping, height safety, falling objects, electrical, moving plant operations, and controlling risks related to silica and asbestos.
“This week, inspectors will spend four days undertaking a compliance blitz on construction sites to make sure those most at risk from workplace injury are protected by safe systems of work,” Mr Williams said.
“Falls from heights are the number one killer on NSW construction sites with most people who are seriously injured or killed falling from a height of four metres or less.”
“Far too often inspectors identify concerns with the way scaffolding is set up and sub-standard protections for those working from heights, so this will be a focus of this blitz. We will also be targeting those working without a high-risk work licence and anybody caught dry cutting bricks, stone and concrete on-site,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams said the cleanliness of a site can also be a good indicator of safety and work standards.
“A safe site starts with a clean, organised site and we’re seeing an unacceptable drop in standards across the construction industry.”
“Having a well-maintained site is a good indicator of the quality of the work being done. If the site managers won’t remove trip and fire hazards like piles of rubbish from the site, there’s a good chance that building standards will be haphazard as well.”
SafeWork Inspectors work closely with NSW Fair Trading Inspectors and Officers from the NSW Building Commissioner to share information on businesses and tradespeople delivering poor-quality construction and those who are using sub-standard safety practices.
Those not meeting standards can expect compliance action to prevent workers being put at risk or consumers getting substandard work.
On-the-spot fines of $3,600 for corporations and $720 for individuals will be issued where breaches of the Act are identified and more serious offences could be prosecuted under the Work Health and Safety Legislation attracting higher fines and even imprisonment.
SafeWork offers advisory services to builders and tradespersons to achieve safe sites. For assistance, builders and tradespersons are encouraged to contact SafeWork on 13 10 50 or visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au