Inspectors launch campaign to promote safety in tree work sector

Thursday, 15 September, 2022

Inspectors launch campaign to promote safety in tree work sector

SafeWork NSW inspectors have commenced visits to businesses in the tree work industry across NSW to improve safety and compliance in the sector. SafeWork Executive Director of Compliance & Dispute Resolution Matthew Press said the campaign aims to raise awareness for the industry, as it continues to record too many serious accidents.

Press said that there have been over 270 incidents in the industry since March 2018; during that time, workplace compensation payments have cost the NSW workers compensation system over $49.5 million, with a considerable amount of potential under-insurance identified in the sector. As part of the campaign, inspectors will be visiting businesses that undertake arborist activities such as tree mulching, lopping and removal, and will focus on the highest incident areas — falls from heights, being struck by falling objects, and safe use of wood chippers.

Inspectors will also be verifying that all workers undertaking traffic control work on or adjacent to public roads hold a Traffic Control Work Training card, and will educate operators on traffic control training requirements.

“Referrals will be made to the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority if non-insurance or under-insurance is suspected during the visits, with fines of up to $3600 for undertaking work without a necessary licence or authorisation. Planning is key when conducting tree work. Whether you are a business owner or worker, everyone has a responsibility to ensure workplaces are as safe as possible,” Press said.

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