WorkSafe Victoria urges builders to secure construction sites over holiday break

WorkSafe Victoria is urging the construction industry to do its utmost to ensure building sites are safe and secure before heading off on the Christmas break.

According to the safety watchdog, unsecured construction sites can pose a risk to members of the public, 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, Marnie Williams, said builders and site supervisors should carry out a few simple checks to ensure the safety of the public.

“A simple site clean-up and appropriate security measures can make a big difference,” Ms. Williams said.

“Make sure partially built structures such as walls and roofs are braced so they can’t become airborne in strong winds and bad weather, remove all equipment and machinery from the site including chemicals and harmful substances and ensure appropriate fencing is in place to stop people entering the site.”

Ms. Williams urged builders with sites near homes, parks and other recreational areas to be extra vigilant.

“An unsecured construction site can pose a real risk to members of the public, particularly inquisitive children, and the last thing anyone wants is to be dealing with an injury or serious incident when they should be enjoying this time with family and friends,” she said.

“We are encouraging builders to leave enough time for a thorough clean up and safety check.”

WorkSafe Victoria recommends the following are given priority before work ends:

• 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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