Victorian builders failing height safety

Thursday, 12 June, 2008

A campaign targeting fall prevention in the Victorian construction industry has found greater efforts are needed to reduce the high rate of fatalities and serious injuries.

WorkSafe Victoria’s executive director John Merritt said the project, run during February and March, was a litmus test for local builders in the housing and small commercial building sectors.

“In visits to 185 Victorian building sites, inspectors issued 37 Prohibition Notices and 26 Improvement Notices. Another 88 fall prevention issues were rectified while inspectors were present,” Merritt said.

“What worries me is that on 13 occasions, they saw situations so dangerous that they ordered work to immediately stop.

“It’s extremely concerning that almost 60% of the 185 sites visited required our inspectors to take compliance action to get them up to standard,” he said.

Merritt said roof workers and carpenters were the most likely tradies to be at risk of a fall.

“Everybody working in construction knows the industry can be dangerous, especially when working at height.

“Builders and subcontractors are well aware of the safety measures required for basic fall prevention; therefore, there is no excuse for not providing and maintain them,” he said.

“Builders must plan their work and ensure safety equipment appropriate to the job is provided, used and maintained in a serviceable condition.”


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