23 April 2021

Only one site found compliant in Throsby workplace safety blitz

| Ian Bushnell
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Jacqueline Agius

ACT WorkSafe Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said workplace safety was still an issue in the building industry. Photo: File.

WorkSafe ACT inspectors swooped on 19 construction sites in Throsby on Wednesday (21 April) as part of its ongoing safety blitz on the building industry and found only one site compliant.

The 25 workplace visits resulted in 31 improvement notices, eight prohibition notices, and four infringement notices being issued, to the value of $11,520.

One site was shut down due to multiple safety breaches, including an unsupervised electrical apprentice, a lack of housekeeping, and risk of falls.

The inspections were carried out as part of Operation Safe Prospect, WorkSafe ACT’s ongoing campaign to improve work health and safety at residential construction sites across the Territory.

Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said inspectors saw other issues, including unsafe scaffolding, amenities not maintained, and workers not following safe work method statements.

“This is the third time we have been out to Throsby as part of Operation Safe Prospect. I’m disappointed to see there has not been an improvement in work health and safety standards at residential construction sites in this suburb,” she said.

“We are well past the time for industry to take action and start improving the safety culture at residential construction sites.”

Ms Agius said inspectors would continue to visit greenfields suburbs and take enforcement action when safety breaches were found.

“Employers need to look after the health and safety of their staff because everyone has the right to feel safe on the job and go home safely at the end of their working day or shift,” she said.

Two workers died within a month of each other in Denman Prospect in January 2020, prompting Worksafe ACT to vow to crack down on Canberra’s “concerning” safety culture.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on The RiotACT.

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