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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

WorkSafe issues more construction breach notices

WorkSafe ACT has issued 14 improvement notices and four prohibition notices at four residential construction sites in North Canberra, after inspectors identified serious safety breaches.

WorkSafe ACT Inspectors identified a number of concerns such as fall from height risks due to non-compliant scaffolding, slip, trip and fall risks due to poor housekeeping, insecure fencing allowing unauthorised access to dangerous work sites, and no toilet facilities for workers.

WorkSafe ACT’s Work Health and Safety Commissioner, Jacqueline Agius, said these types of safety breaches are far too common and should not be occurring.

“We are continually seeing the same types of safety issues at residential construction sites across the ACT,” she said. 

“Basic health and safety requirements, like having proper scaffolding and fall protection is not negotiable.

“We will continue working with industry to help improve the safety culture in residential construction, but we will also keep issuing notices to companies who blatantly disregard their legal obligations to maintain a safe workplace.

“Every employer and worker should be prioritising their safety – not only on worksites, but in every industry.”

The independent regulator has said it will remove the prohibition notices once the principal contractors have rectified the identified safety issues.

The latest blitz comes a week after 11 building sites belonging to one local construction company were shut down for construction safety breaches, with WorkSafe ACT Inspectors finding more than 50 offences across the sites including fall from height risks, site security, lack of housekeeping and electrical safety issues. The company has not been named.

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