Safety blitz shines light on trenching risks

Thursday, 07 September, 2023

Safety blitz shines light on trenching risks

Construction sites in inner Melbourne have received a safety boost following a one-day WorkSafe safety blitz targeting life-threatening safety risks. Inspectors from WorkSafe Victoria visited 32 civil and residential building sites at Tarneit, Truganina, Mt Cottrell, Melton, Caroline Springs, Wyndham Vale, Werribee and Richmond in August, with most visits focusing on reducing trenching risks.

Inspectors raised awareness and monitored compliance on issues including exclusion zones and fencing around trenches, battering excavations and safe work method statements. Inspectors also targeted safety risks such as falls and falling objects, electrical safety and silica, and identified issues around site amenities and facilities, first aid, training and personal protective equipment. Inspectors issued 30 improvement notices and one prohibition notice, and called out a further 14 safety issues that were fixed on the spot.

WorkSafe Director of Construction and Earth Resources Matt Wielgosz said the blitz was part of ongoing work to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses in the construction sector. “We know trenching work, falls, electrical work and silica exposure are among the biggest causes of death, serious injury and illness in residential and civil construction, which is why WorkSafe is highly focused on these issues. Inspectors will continue to visit construction workplaces across the state to engage with employers and workers and take action when they see something that’s putting people at risk of harm,” Wielgosz said.

Image credit: Bykanov

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