NSCA Foundation

Safety blitz begins after scaffolding collapse

Thursday, 30 May, 2019

Safety blitz begins after scaffolding collapse

SafeWork NSW has launched a campaign to improve safety around scaffolding.

Operation Scaff Safe 2019 aims to ensure the industry is be more safety conscious when it comes to erecting, altering and dismantling scaffolds.

This safety blitz comes on the back of a scaffolding collapse in Macquarie Park in Sydney on Monday, 1 April 2019, where one person tragically died and another was critically injured.

Across NSW construction sites, falls from heights is the biggest cause of death and serious injury. Scaffolds are involved in many of these falls, with non-compliant scaffolds rating among the highest risks of harm.

Throughout Operation Scaff Safe, inspectors will visit construction sites statewide, to talk to principal contractors and scaffolders about what they need to do to keep workers safe.

The inspectors will be checking scaffold compliance and making sure scaffolders hold the appropriate high-risk work licence. They will issue on-the-spot fines of up to $3600 for falls risks and for unlicensed workers erecting, altering or dismantling scaffolds.

According to SafeWork NSW, scaffold incidents are largely a result of one of the following key factors:

  • The scaffold was poorly erected, incomplete or had been altered to be unsafe.
  • The scaffold was misused by workers, eg, standing on guard rails.
  • The scaffold was assembled incorrectly, with the wrong parts, overloaded or altered by unlicensed workers.
  • The scaffold was hit by mobile plant or vehicles; or snagged by a crane.

All workers on a job site need to understand that unlicensed workers are not allowed to alter or remove scaffold components, as it makes them unsafe.

SafeWork NSW’s goal is to ensure scaffolds are stable and compliant when built and that the scaffold remains safe throughout the build so workers are not placed at risk.

Operation Scaff Safe will run throughout 2019. For more information, visit the scaffolding webpage.

The NSCA Foundation recently ran two webinars about scaffolding safety. Click here to access them.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/bannafarsai

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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