Victorian builders urged to secure worksites before Christmas shut down

Builders across Victoria are being reminded to secure their worksites to make them safe before heading off for the Christmas break.

WorkSafe Victoria said members that enter construction sites can be exposed to significant hazards and risks including falls from partially built structures and scaffolding, live electrical power, open excavations or building waste and rubble.

WorkSafe’s Executive Director Health and Safety, Julie Nielsen, said a thorough clean-up, a safety check and arranging appropriate security measures would go a long way in ensuring public safety.

“A few simple checks by builders and site supervisors can make a big difference to keeping the public safe over the holiday period,” Ms Nielsen said.

“Builders with sites near homes, parks and other recreational areas need to be especially vigilant as these sites can pose an especially dangerous risk to inquisitive children.”

Ms. Nielsen said builders should ensure any partially built structures such as walls and roofs were braced so they could not become airborne in strong winds and bad weather; that all equipment, machinery, chemicals, and harmful substances were removed from the site; and that appropriate fencing was in place to stop people entering.

“At a time when workers and families should be enjoying precious time with family and friends the last thing anyone wants is to be dealing with an easily preventable injury or serious incident,” she said.

“So, please make sure you leave time in your busy pre-Christmas schedule for a simple site clean-up and safety check.”

According to WorkSafe, builders can reduce the risk to the public by:

• Securing access points with locks or other mechanical means to deter people
• Bracing or securing boundary fencing so it cannot be pushed or blown over
• Blocking gaps under fences and gates so they cannot be crawled under
• Ensuring electrical safety by turning off the main switch and securing the main switchboard
• Bracing and securing partially constructed building elements such as walls and roofs
• Securing or removing roofing sheets and other loose materials which have the potential to turn into missiles in strong winds
• Backfilling excavations or making sure they are covered or secured
• Removing unwanted construction materials and waste

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