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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WorkSafe puts construction industry on notice again

The ACT’s independent work health and safety regulator has once again put the residential construction industry “on notice”, after inspectors issued numerous notices to sites in Taylor yesterday, Tuesday 13 October.

WorkSafe ACT said inspectors visited 10 residential construction sites in Taylor yesterday, and issued 23 improvement notices, four prohibition notices and four infringement notices, to the value of over $11,000.

Work Health and Safety Commissioner, Jacqueline Agius, said the industry needs to lift its safety standards or face the consequences.

“This level of non-compliance with work health and safety is just not good enough,” she said.

WorkSafe ACT has issued a number of notices in recent months, including in blitzes which saw 13 building sites belonging to one company shut down in September and another blitz in August resulted in 11 sites belonging to one company being shut down.

“The industry has been on notice since February 2020, and we have given them plenty of warning that we will issue notices and fines to anyone who disregards safety standards,” Ms Agius said.

“In September and October (to date), we have visited residential construction sites in Watson, Ginninderry and now Taylor and issued almost 100 notices due to safety issues in these locations.”

Ms Agius said WorkSafe continues to see the same issues at residential construction sites across the ACT, including issues such as scaffolding safety and risk of falls from heights, site security, poor housekeeping and a lack of basic facilities like toilets for workers.

“It’s time for the residential construction industry to lift its game and improve health and safety standards for all workers, so they can go home safely at the end of their shift.”  

The compliance activity was conducted as part of Operation Safe Prospect, WorkSafe ACT’s ongoing campaign to improve safety in the residential construction industry. The regulator states it will continue to “conduct inspections at greenfield sites across Canberra as part of Operation Safe Prospect”.

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