Inspection blitz targets young workers

A joint inspection blitz by WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW will focus on keeping young workers safe and reducing potentially deadly falls at work sites in the Albury Wodonga region.

Inspectors will visit construction sites as part of the Cross Border Construction Program to help keep them injury free.

The inspections will take place from March 25 to 29.

According to WorkSafe Victoria, falls remain a leading cause of serious injury and death for construction workers of all ages, with five workers dying as a result of falls on construction sites in the past two years.

The program operates at three locations on the Victoria-NSW border each year. It  helps construction employers learn more about the similarities and differences between work health and safety regulations in each state.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said the program was an opportunity for construction employers in the region to take stock of the safety measures put in place to protect construction workers.

“Young workers are particularly vulnerable on construction sites because of their lack of skills and experience,” she said.

“Construction employers have a duty to keep all workers safe and the Cross Border program is a great way to remind those operating in the Albury Wodonga region to make safety a priority always.”

“Our inspectors will be happy to provide information about safety risks but they also won’t hesitate to issue notices where they identify safety issues.”

SafeWork NSW Executive Director Tony Williams said SafeWork inspectors issued 29 notices after visiting 52 construction sites in the Riverina and Murray region in 2018.

“Falls from heights incidents in NSW had more than tripled in the last five years and that is not good enough,” Mr Williams said.

“SafeWork NSW will continue to prosecute businesses who are not doing enough to protect workers. In December, a business in Punchbowl was fined $ 90,000 after two of its workers were seriously injured when a scaffold collapsed while they were painting a building.”

“Everyone in the industry knows the devastating effects a fall can have on a worker. And the reality is, these incidents can be prevented when proper safeguards are in place.”

For further information on preventing falls at construction sites visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.auor www.safework.nsw.gov.au

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