SafeWork NSW will spearhead a safety crackdown on the construction industry, following an increase in the number of serious work-related injuries on building sites in Sydney.
Three workers recently sustained injuries in falls from heights on construction sites across Sydney, including one fatality at Lidcombe. At least 13 construction workers have died or were seriously injured in falls between January and May 2017.
Because of these, SafeWork NSW will soon conduct a safety blitz on construction sites across the city. A new Construction Safety Team will also be launched as part of a $ 2.5 million boost to safety on major infrastructure projects announced in the NSW budget.
“Every worker in the NSW construction industry has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Effective safety systems do not have to be expensive or complicated, and being busy is no excuse for risking workers’ safety,” said SafeWork NSW Executive Director, Peter Dunphy.
“A fall, even from a relatively low height, can result in serious injury or death. Most of the recent incidents could have been prevented if safe work systems such as safety harnesses or work platforms had been used.”
Mr. Dunphy said inspectors will actively visit construction sites in the coming months and will check to ensure that adequate controls are in place to manage the risks of falls; scaffolding and edge protection systems are properly installed and maintained; all potentially hazardous openings on a building site are securely covered; suitable controls are in place on fragile and brittle roofs, and in the presence of other hazards such as skylights; and ladders are being used appropriately.
“Inspectors will be conducting planned and unannounced visits to construction sites across Sydney, and will show zero tolerance to workers being put at risk of serious or fatal injuries,” he said.
“Sydney construction companies can take this as a warning: if you are putting worker safety at risk, SafeWork will come down hard on you.”
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