“No sign of improvements” in residential construction industry: WorkSafe

Dominic Giannini 17 February 2021
WorkSafe ACT

WorkSafe ACT says there have been no safety improvements at Denman Prospect job sites over the last six months. Photo: File.

Early figures have shown no improvements to work health and safety in the residential construction industry at Denman Prospect in the last six months, Work Health and Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said today.

WorkSafe ACT visited Denman Prospect on Wednesday (17 February), six months after starting its compliance blitz in the new suburb as part of Operation Safe Prospect.

Ms Agius said fall risks, unsafe scaffolding, insecure fencing, a lack of site signage, poor housekeeping and a lack of basic facilities for workers all remained issues on sites.

READ MORE: Scars of workplace motivate WorkSafe commissioner’s crackdown

“If these risks aren’t managed properly, there’s the potential for serious injury, not only to the workers, but to others who enter the site,” she said.

“We are committed to putting the safety of workers first, and will continue to strive to improve work health and safety conditions in the Territory.”

One worker died on a Denman Prospect job site in January 2020 and a second man died a month later, two days after WorkSafe ACT issued 70 notices to job sites around Canberra.

More than a dozen construction sites in Denman Prospect were also shut down in early December after WorkSafe inspectors visited 21 sites in the suburb and issued 41 improvement notices and four infringement notices.

More information will be provided once operational data has been finalised, WorkSafe ACT said.

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