1 September 2020

Four residential construction sites shut down due to safety concerns

| Dominic Giannini
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Construction sign

Four more construction sites have been shut down due to safety issues. Photo: File.

Four residential construction sites in North Canberra have been issued prohibition notices and 14 improvement notices by WorkSafe ACT for serious safety breaches.

The sites were shut down after inspectors identified concerns including fall from height risks due to non-compliant scaffolding; slip, trip and fall risks due to poor housekeeping; insecure fencing allowi ng unauthorised access to dangerous worksites; and no toilet facilities for workers.

Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said these types of safety breaches are far too common. Last week after 11 construction sites were shut down for safety issues.

READ MORE WorkSafe shuts down 11 construction sites over serious safety breaches

“We are continually seeing the same types of safety issues at residential construction sites across the ACT,” she said.

“Basic health and safety requirements, like having proper scaffolding and fall protection, is not negotiable.

“We will continue working with industry to help improve the safety culture in residential construction, but we will also keep issuing notices to companies who blatantly disregard their legal obligations to maintain a safe workplace.”

It is unclear if the construction sites are owned by the same local construction company which had its 11 sites closed last week after more than 50 offences were recorded.

WorkSafe ACT will remove the prohibition notices once the principal contractors have rectified the identified safety issues.

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Workers have every right to come home safely. These companies flouting and disregarding safety regulations, putting workers lives at risk should be named and shamed

Indeed they should. Too often they hide behind anonymity and continue to attract customers.

And it would be interesting to see the building contracts for the sites that didn’t have toilet facilities. It is not uncommon for even contracts for houses to have a fee built into it to pay for toilet facilities (such as a porta-loo). But some builders don’t then provide the facilities and presumably just take the allowance as “profit”.

Does having a fee for toilet facilities in the contract and taking the money for it, but then not actually providing the facility count as fraud?

Come home safely? Haven’t you seen the way construction workers drive?!

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