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Monday, June 21, 2021

WorkSafe blitz shuts down company’s 13 worksites

Continuing the blitz on unsafe construction sites in the ACT, WorkSafe ACT has shut down more worksites in Watson after routine compliance inspections were conducted last week.

One company was ordered to stop work, with 13 of their construction sites shut down across various locations in Canberra. WorkSafe has refused to name the company, however, said it relates only to single dwelling residences (not developments).

ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said WorkSafe’s Inspectors issued the company with a prohibition notice after they were unable to find “any evidence that the company had safe work management systems in place”.

WorkSafe issued a range of other notices at various worksites in Watson, including six prohibition notices, closing down five sites owned by four different companies, more than 30 improvement notices to 10 different companies, and one infringement notice.

The compliance checks form part of WorkSafe ACT’s ongoing campaign to improve safety standards in the residential construction industry, dubbed ‘Operation Safe Prospect’. Ms Agius said there was an “appalling” amount of safety concerns, which could have resulted in fatalities or injuries.

“I want to send a clear message to employers that it’s time to lift their game and start making safety a priority for their workers,” she said.

“As a result of Operation Safe Prospect, you can expect to see our inspectors at residential construction sites across Canberra; we won’t hesitate to issue notices and shut down more worksites as we move to stamp out bad safety behaviour.

“We’re here to help improve health and safety conditions for all workers in our community, because everyone deserves to go home safely at the end of the day.”

The latest shut downs come as WorkSafe continues to crackdown on unsafe construction practices. The independent regulator shut down 11 sites belonging to one company in August, and last week issued a range of notices in North Canberra.

Two people have died on ACT worksites this year.

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