Safety blitz to target structural safety in Victorian construction sites

Work safety inspectors will focus on the risks of structural collapse during construction work as part of a safety blitz following a spate of safety incidents for the past months.

A timber-frame wall which injured a 17-year-old worker in Donvale, temporary hoarding falling down near pedestrians in Campbellfield and a scaffold collapse in North Melbourne have all been the subject of WorkSafe inquiries in July.

According to WorkSafe data, 16 workers and 3 members of the public have been killed since 2001 due to structural collapse at construction sites.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said the collapse of a building could cost lives.

‘We’ve seen the tragic aftermath of structural collapses at construction sites and the reality is that it just should not happen,” said Ms. Williams.

“We want to be very clear to builders and contractors that they have a responsibility to ensure walls, roof structures, floors, formwork and pre-cast panels are appropriately installed, supported or braced during construction work and if they fail to do so there could be deadly consequences.”

Safety inspectors will promote awareness on structural collapse risks and provide practical information and guidance to builders and contractors on the risks and safety measures required.

“Our aim is to assist the industry in preventing structural collapses during construction work but, ultimately, if inspectors identify that someone has failed in their duties to provide and maintain a safe workplace they will take appropriate enforcement action,” said Ms. William.

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