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WorkSafe: ‘No sign of improvement’ for safety in construction industry

Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius has said there is “no sign of improvements to work health and safety in the residential construction industry”. WorkSafe ACT inspectors identified more safety concerns on residential construction sites in Denman Prospect after a visit to the suburb today, Wednesday 17 February.

Inspectors reportedly shut down one site, as well as issuing a number of prohibition notices across the suburb.

“Some of the serious issues we saw today include the risk of falls from heights and unsafe scaffolding, as well as insecure fencing, a lack of site signage, poor housekeeping and a lack of basic facilities for workers,” Ms Agius said.

“If these risks aren’t managed properly, there’s the potential for serious injury, not only to the workers, but to others who enter the site.”

The site inspections form part of WorkSafe ACT’s crackdown on residential construction sites in the Territory, with inspectors conducting a number of inspections in five greenfield suburbs – Denman Prospect, Watson, Ginninderry, Taylor and Throsby – since August last year.

WorkSafe ACT says Ms Agius today met with Workplace Safety Minister Mick Gentleman and managing director of Capital Estate Developments – the developer of Denman Prospect – Stephen Byron, on working together to improve safety standards in the industry.

“We are committed to putting the safety of workers first, and will continue to strive to improve work health and safety conditions in the Territory,” Ms Agius said.

Operation Safe Prospect will continue over the next three years.

Mr Gentleman today said the government would need the industry’s help to ensure the ACT’s work sites are safe.

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