WHS breaches prompt over 100 notices for SA construction sites

Friday, 28 May, 2021

WHS breaches prompt over 100 notices for SA construction sites

Halfway through SafeWork SA’s audit campaign focusing on the risk of falls in residential construction, inspectors have issued more than 100 statutory notices for work health and safety breaches. Since 1 March 2021, SafeWork SA inspectors have been targeting fall from height and scaffolding risks at residential construction sites across the state.

Halfway through the six-month campaign, inspectors have issued 60 prohibition notices and 43 improvement notices associated with managing the risk of falls, with the most commonly identified risks relating to working near live edges and non-compliant scaffolding. A further 20 notices were issued for non-compliances that were not related to falls from height.

Glenn Farrell, Acting Executive Director of SafeWork SA, noted that workers and contractors on residential construction sites are being put at risk, with 24 prohibition and 11 improvement notices issued for unsafe scaffolding alone. Farrell has urged SafeWork SA inspectors to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to sites that do not take the risk of falls seriously.

“Falls too often result in serious injuries that could have a significant impact on the ability of the worker to continue working in the industry, or worse, sustain fatal injuries,” said Farrell.

In May 2021, a worker fell approximately five metres while working at height and sustained serious injuries. While the incident did not occur at a residential construction site, it highlights the consequences of not managing the risk of falls. SafeWork SA has released a 2020 Health and Safety Snapshot about falls from heights; the snapshot identified carpenters as being most at risk for falls from heights.

To help address working at height risks, SafeWork SA has developed guidance information on Roofing work — roof battens. Safety concerns can be reported to SafeWork SA online or by calling 1300 365 255 during business hours.

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

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