SafeWork NSW has launched a state-wide crackdown with inspectors visiting construction sites in a bid to improve safety in the building industry.
SafeWork said there has been an unacceptable drop in standards across the construction industry and inspectors will be targeting unsafe working systems across all building trades.
Better Regulation Divisions' executive director, compliance and dispute resolution, Tony Williams, said inspectors will be focusing on site housekeeping, height safety, falling objects, electrical, moving plant operations, and controlling risks related to silica and asbestos exposure.
“Inspectors will be undertaking a compliance blitz on construction sites to make sure those most at risk from workplace injury are protected by safe systems of work,” Williams said.
“Far too often our inspectors identify concerns with the way scaffolding is set up and other dangers involving working from heights so we will be targeting these issues in particular.
“Falls from heights are the number one killer on NSW construction sites with most people who are seriously injured or killed fall from a height of four metres or less,” Williams said.
“Having a well-maintained site is also a good indicator of the quality of the work being done. If the site managers won’t remove trip and fire hazards like piles of rubbish from the site, there’s a good chance that building standards will be haphazard as well.”
SafeWork Inspectors now work closely with NSW Fair Trading Inspectors and Officers from the NSW Building Commissioner to share information on businesses and tradespeople delivering poor quality workmanship and safety practices. Those not meeting standards can expect strong compliance action to prevent workers being put at risk or consumers getting sub-standard work.
For safety offences, on-the-spot fines of $3,600 for corporations and $720 for individuals can be issued to businesses who place workers lives at risk through inadequate protection from falls from heights, or for those who undertake high risk work requiring a licence, or those undertaking high risk silica practices.
For assistance, builders and trades persons are encouraged to contact SafeWork on 13 10 50 or visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au