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Sunday, April 11, 2021

WorkSafe issues more notices in Denman Prospect

WorkSafe ACT last week issued more notices for residential construction sites in Denman Prospect, after inspectors identified a number of issues during site inspections in the suburb in August.

The regulator visited 21 sites in Denman Prospect on Thursday 3 December and issued a number of notices including 41 improvement notices, 13 prohibition notices and 4 infringement notices.

The ACT’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Commissioner, Jacqueline Agius, said it was disappointing to see the same issues on sites in the Molonglo Valley suburb as in August, which included scaffolding safety and fall from height risks.

“When we kicked off Operation Safe Prospect in Denman Prospect (in August 2020), we visited around 61 sites, and issued approximately 16 prohibition notices, 35 improvement notices and one infringement,” Ms Agius said.

“I’m disappointed to see that just four months after our first visit to Denman Prospect, we are still seeing the same WHS issues in this suburb.

“In particular, scaffolding safety continues to be a major issue; during this inspection we saw workers risking their lives by working at heights with no fall protection, using unsafe scaffold, and using ladders to support single planks,” Ms Agius said.

Other identified issues included safe work method statements (SWMS) not being in place or followed, site security, untidy sites, no site signage and electrical safety.

“It’s time for industry to get real about safety and stop cutting corners so every worker can go home safely at the end of their shift,” said Ms Agius.

Earlier this year, two worksite deaths occurred in Denman Prospect on residential construction sites. A 47-year-old worker died at a site near the corner of Ada Norris Avenue and Freebury Street in January and a 60-year-old died at a site on Temple Terrace in February.

WorkSafe ACT has put the construction industry on notice, conducting inspection blitzes across Canberra as part of a crackdown on safety issues in the building industry.

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