Construction industry falls short on height safety

Thursday, 05 July, 2018

Construction industry falls short on height safety

More than 460 construction sites in NSW have been inspected as part of a crackdown on height safety to reduce workplace falls.

The SafeWork NSW safety blitz, which kicked off in November last year, has so far issued $115,000 in fines over breaches to safety laws.

The 12-month safety blitz began after figures revealed falls from heights incidents had more than tripled in the last five years.

“Falls from heights are the number one killer on NSW construction sites, and these latest findings are deeply troubling,” said Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean.

“We’re over halfway through the blitz, and it’s become very clear that worksites need to better enforce strict safety measures.

“I want to reassure workers and their families that SafeWork will continue to come down hard on any construction company failing to protect its workers.”

The blitz is also the first time SafeWork inspectors have had the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $3600 to construction companies that fail to protect workers from the risk of falls.

Kean said over the past seven months, SafeWork had also taken strong action through the courts against construction companies that do not meet their workplace safety obligations.

“Since 1 November 2017, six construction companies have been prosecuted by SafeWork and have been fined a total of $780,000 in the District Court,” he said.

“I’m absolutely focused on making sure that every worker who leaves for work in the morning, returns home safely to their family at night.”

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