Denman Prospect builders cop more fines

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WorkSafe ACT capture a worker at heights with no fall protection

SAFE work practices have continued to be flouted despite the avoidable deaths of two workers earlier this year.

Work Health and Safety inspectors have condemned builders constructing new homes in Denman Prospect, handing out additional warnings for breaking safety regulations amid recent compliance inspections.

The notices came about last Thursday (December 3) after WorkSafe ACT launched its Operation Safe prospect four months earlier.

Inspectors visited 61 sites in August, issuing one infringement but also 16 prohibition notices and 35 improvement notices.

Despite the tragedies of a 47-year-old man in January and a 60-year-old man in February both dying on the work site, a further four infringements, 41 improvement notices and 13 prohibition notices were issued across just 21 sites.

Work Health and Safety commissioner Jacqueline Agius announced “it’s time for the industry to lift it’s game” after infringement numbers have continued to rise over the course of the year.

“I’m disappointed to see that just four months after our first visit to Denman Prospect, we are still seeing the same WHS issues in this suburb,” she said.

“In particular, scaffolding safety continues to be a major issue; during this inspection we saw workers risking their lives by working at heights with no fall protection, using unsafe scaffold, and using ladders to support single planks.

She damned the lack of work, health and safety compliance at residential construction sites in the emerging suburb on the western fringes of Canberra.

Other issues that were identified included safe work method statements not being in place or followed, and a lack of site security, untidy sites, no site signage and poor electrical safety.

“It’s time for industry to get real about safety and stop cutting corners so every worker can go home safely at the end of their shift,” Ms Agius said.

“Through Operation Safe Prospect, we will continue visiting and re-visiting greenfield sites across Canberra and we will be making sure that workers WHS obligations are complied with.”

The inspections are part of an ongoing campaign to improve work health and safety standards in the residential construction industry.


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