16 June 2021

New safety campaign launched for residential construction sites following workers' deaths

| Dominic Giannini
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Man installing roof insulation

A new safety campaign has been launched for ACT’s residential construction sector following two workers’ deaths in 2020. Photo: File.

A new joint residential safety campaign has been launched in the ACT construction sector following two workers’ deaths in 2020.

The campaign includes a safety video for local residential industry members that calls on people in the industry to focus on identifying and reporting safety hazards; wearing protective equipment; avoiding shortcuts; and seeking advice on carrying out tasks safely.

The campaign has been co-launched by Master Builders ACT, WorkSafe ACT, Capital Airport Group, Suburban Land Agency and Ginninderry.

It comes off the back of WorkSafe’s Operation Safe Prospect, which has issued dozens of improvement notices, prohibition notices and infringement notices across ACT building sites in Watson and Throsby this year alone.

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ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius has called on the residential construction industry to take urgent action to improve the safety culture at worksites across the Territory.

WorkSafe ACT visited Denman Prospect back in February 2021, six months after it started its compliance blitz in the new suburb as part of Operation Safe Prospect, and found no improvements to work health and safety in the residential construction industry, Ms Agius said at the time.

“The introduction of this safety campaign is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to continuing to work with industry and improve working conditions at local residential construction sites,” she said.

ACT WorkSafe commissioner Jacqueline Agius on building site with inspectors

ACT WorkSafe commissioner Jacqueline Agius said all workers deserve to be safe. Photo: Supplied.

Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins said everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace, including in the construction industry.

“With the number of high-risk elements that our members are exposed to every day, it’s crucial everyone does their part to make sure we all return home safely to our families at the end of the day,” he said.

“We are glad we were able to open the dialogue between WorkSafe ACT and our residential members to find out how we can achieve the best outcomes for our industry.”

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Suburban Land Agency CEO John Dietz said safety needs to be a consistent message across the industry.

“We are united in making sure we get it right so we can all go home safely at the end of each day,” he said.

Ginninderry managing director David Maxwell said, “It really is a simple idea. Think safe, work safe, go home safe. We want everyone in the construction industry to live and work by this motto.”

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