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Construction industry to cop an inquiry over their crappy safety record

By johnboy - 28 August 2012 7

Simon Corbell has announced that the death toll in Canberra’s construction industry has reached the point where he needs an inquiry running to get him past the election:

Attorney General, Simon Corbell, has today announced that Ms Lynelle Briggs has been appointed to Chair a major inquiry into ACT health and safety laws in the local construction industry.

The inquiry will be supported by the ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Mark McCabe, and will have powers under the Work Health and Safety Act to take submissions, call for papers and question witnesses.

“Since December last year there have been four workplace deaths, three of which have been on construction sites, and this is, put simply, four too many,” Mr Corbell said.

“This inquiry is specifically designed to look at issues of health and safety closely as well as where there can be tighter regulation to better protect workers who work in this high risk industry.

“The inquiry will consider issues such as compliance with current laws and regulatory regimes, on-site behavioural or cultural issues; training requirements or participation rates and powers available to WorkSafe ACT and other regulatory bodies.”

One does have to wonder if the standards are this bad on an OH&S level what are they like for the ongoing integrity of the buildings?

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Construction industry to cop an inquiry over their crappy safety record
Whitepointer 6:09 pm 29 Aug 12

MelonHead said :

Isn’t Rule 1 of any enquiry to know the outcome you want before you start?

MelonHead said :

Isn’t Rule 1 of any enquiry to know the outcome you want before you start?

Yep you got it in one.

MelonHead 10:57 am 29 Aug 12

Isn’t Rule 1 of any enquiry to know the outcome you want before you start?

Whitepointer 5:37 am 29 Aug 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

What if we were to have a public inquiry into the financial misappropriations of the government, headed by a project manager of one of our construction empires? Just wouldn’t sit right with the PS or community at large, so why get someone who has probably rarely donned a hard hat figure out what [if anything] is wrong with the construction industry? An unbiased view perhaps or a neutral adjudicator. I cannot see any good come out of this, considering it is these kinds of people who come up with our safety policies in the first place.

+1
The LDA making unrealistic promises & completion dates to the ACT Government in terms of number of house blocks to be released in 2012-2013 & not to mention other infrastructure projects.

Developers in turn, pushing contractors to the absolute limit forcing workers to do ridiculous hours seven days a week. Eventually something has to give, & unfortunately these practices have taken the lives of four workers in the process.
As for the quality of works going on around Canberra, combine the push push attitude of various Gov Dept’s with the lowest tender contractors (with existing questionable safety records & work methods) being awarded major projects it is a recipe for disaster.
If this enquiry is conducted correctly, the ACT Government will not like it’s findings one little bit!
I am non Union, have worked on both sides of the fence civil & commercial industry (old NCDC & private) in Canberra spanning over 56 yrs & have never seen it so bad.

wildturkeycanoe 9:19 pm 28 Aug 12

What if we were to have a public inquiry into the financial misappropriations of the government, headed by a project manager of one of our construction empires? Just wouldn’t sit right with the PS or community at large, so why get someone who has probably rarely donned a hard hat figure out what [if anything] is wrong with the construction industry? An unbiased view perhaps or a neutral adjudicator. I cannot see any good come out of this, considering it is these kinds of people who come up with our safety policies in the first place.

Deref 6:46 pm 28 Aug 12

Bloody bleeding hearts. You have to expect to use up a few peasants in any construction project.

cranky 6:42 pm 28 Aug 12

I would have thought that the Coroner’s findings in each case would have been essential to the enquiry.

Not aware that any of these cases has been before the Court.

Dacquiri 6:05 pm 28 Aug 12

I wonder what, exactly, qualifies Lynelle Briggs for this role? Either they couldn’t find anyone with a more relevant background and understanding of the construction industry, or they didn’t want to (ie, the whole idea is to let WorkCover run it anyway).
According to her biography provided in relation to a conference a few years ago:

“Lynelle Briggs has been with the Australian Public Service for 27 years. Her career has involved time in the former Department of Social Security, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury and the then Department of Health and Aged Care. Lynelle also lived in Wellington NZ for two years in the late 1980s, while working with the New Zealand Treasury.
During her career, Lynelle has covered most of the social policy field – social security, health and community services, external territories, employment and labour market support and veterans’ affairs. She has been closely involved in unemployment and retirement incomes policies, health care agreements, private health policy and health care delivery.
She spent two years as a policy adviser to the Minister for Community Services in the mid 1980s, and found that her time in PM&C provided an excellent grounding in government.
Lynelle joined the Department of Transport and Regional Services as Deputy Secretary in June 2001. She had responsibility for oversighting rail and road transport, territories, maritime, wider infrastructure policy such as AusLink, transport planning, local government and the portfolio’s budget and information technology.
Achievements included the AusLink White Paper, the ARTC rail track lease with NSW and the Energy White Paper. In November 2004 Lynelle was appointed to the role of Australian Public Service Commissioner. She was reappointed to the position in November 2007.
As Public Service Commissioner, Ms Briggs is responsible for the ethical and employment leadership of the Australian Public Service. She administers the Public Service Act, and provides a range of support services to the Australian Public Service. She is most well known for her annual State of the Service report.”

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