Simon Corbell has announced the release of the Briggs report into workplace safety in the ACT construction industry.
“The Government commits to providing a detailed response to each recommendation of the inquiry by the end of February 2013. In the interim, I can announce today that the Government will immediately take action on the report’s findings and recommendations as follows.
“First and foremost the Government agrees to increasing the number of inspectors in the Worksafe ACT Inspectorate ( recommendations 20 and 21) to enforce work health and safety laws on worksites as part of the development of the 2013-14 ACT Budget.”
The Government has also decided to adopt the following recommendations:
– Recommendation 4 – to establish a target of a 35% improvement in the serious injury claim rate;
– Recommendation 20 – to increase the number of work health and safety matters for which infringement notices (on the spot fines) can be issued to both employees and employers, including sub-contractors;
– Recommendation 22 – to appoint an Industrial Magistrates Court;
– Recommendation 23 – to implement better coordination of ACT Planning and Land Authority building inspectors and WorkSafe inspectors in the field to target specific concerns on worksites and to link their enforcement and demerit point systems;
– Recommendation 25 and 26 – to implement, by June 2013, the ‘active certification’ approach into government procurement and establish comparative assessment of contractor’s safety records when competing for government projects; and,
– Recommendation 12 – To work with other jurisdictions to establish a national registration scheme for engineers as soon as practicable, and to require engineers engaged on ACT Government projects to demonstrate their current registration on the Professional Engineers Register wherever applicable.
Mr Corbell said he would also convene a meeting of the ACT Work Safety Council to discuss the
findings of the report and agree on steps for implementation.
[Photo courtesy Simon Corbell's office: Lynelle Briggs, Simon Corbell and Mark McCabe]
“This is a critical report for a jurisdiction with an unacceptable rate of injuries and deaths on worksites. This report should mark a turning point in the ACT’s attitude and efforts on worksite safety.
“The Report reflects many of the key issues the Greens campaigned for in the last Assembly, and before the last election, as part of a pledge to make Canberra into Australia’s ‘work safety capital’.
“The Report backs up the Greens’ campaign for a new approach to Government tendering. It recommends that the Government ‘uses its purchasing power to ensure through its tendering process that only contractors with good health and safety records are allocated government work.’
“The Report makes important recommendations for reform of construction industry training- an issue the Greens took to the election, and which we reflected in our Parliamentary Agreement with the Labor Party.
“It is important that the Government implements the Report’s recommendations with priority. I want to see the ACT begin a new era of worksite safety, and this is the concern of the Government, the industry, and the ACT community,” Mr Rattenbury said.