WorkSafe ACT progresses residential construction inspection program

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Tuesday, 13 December, 2022 - 12:00
Policy & legislation
Australian Capital Territory

WorkSafe ACT inspectors recently conducted a large-scale inspection of residential construction sites in Whitlam as part of its “operation safe prospect” ahead of the holiday period.

In addition to routine safety checks, inspectors were out in force to reinforce the most important message for workers at this time of year: ‘put safety first and get home safe’.

This message is being co-delivered by the Suburban Land Agency (SLA) through extensive signage and digital message boards in recently developed ACT suburbs.

“At the end of the day, we want everyone to spend the holiday season with their loved ones,” said ACT WHS Commissioner Jacqueline Agius.

“Taking shortcuts with safety can lead to serious injuries and death. Despite considerable effort from WorkSafe ACT, we continue to observe unsafe work practices and WHS breaches such as working safely at heights, using safe systems of work and inadequate site security across the industry.”

The WorkSafe ACT team visited 52 sites by nine teams of inspectors, and a number of notices were issued including 13 prohibition notices and 12 improvement notices.

Operation safe prospect began in August 2020 and is WorkSafe ACT’s ongoing campaign to improve safety standards in the residential construction industry.

The regulator’s residential construction strategy 2022-24 details its commitment to improve safety behaviours in the residential construction industry and to ensure that all WHS obligations are being met by each duty holder.

“We know that many sites, PCBUs and workers are under enormous pressure to finish work before they break up for the holidays, and we urge the community to be patient, understanding and realistic in the month,” said Agius.