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Operation Safe Prospect and the Residential construction industry

Original Article Published by WorkSafe ACT

The health and safety of workers in residential construction continues to be a focus for WorkSafe ACT, and to ensure everyone is safe at work, we are now calling on the wider Canberra community to work with us.

WorkSafe ACT has been consistently on the ground across Canberra’s growing suburbs since the launch of Operation Safe Prospect in 2020.

This residential construction strategy was driven by two unexpected and tragic deaths in the industry within months of each other, in January and February 2020.

Over this time WorkSafe ACT has completed 1,363 workplace visits and issued:

  • 1,655 improvement notices
  • 385 prohibition notices, and
  • 92 infringement notices.

Work Health and Safety Commissioner, Jacqueline Agius, said that the same WHS breaches are being observed in residential construction time and time again. Even late last week, in our latest campaign in Whitlam, the types of breaches being observed have not changed.

“We continue to observe unsafe work practices and significant breaches of the work health and safety laws. Those responsible are not adequately managing site security or providing suitable worker amenities, and they are not adequately managing falls from heights. This is frustrating, disappointing and dangerous.”

In the lead up to the launch of our residential construction strategy this June, Commissioner Agius is reaching out to the ACT community to help curb the safety breaches in the sector. She urges all homeowners to never enter a building site without the escort of a builder, and when onsite to remain vigilant.

“As a community we all play a role in supporting each other to come home safely from work. I am asking Canberra to put health and safety first. If you see something on a worksite that isn’t right, let us know. If you have hired a builder and your instincts tell you they are cutting corners when it comes to health and safety, reach out to us.”

“We are here and available over the phone and by email. You can contact us, and we can and will respond accordingly. We want to work together with the community, to make sure that all workplaces are safe for all workers.”

You can reach WorkSafe ACT during business hours on 6207 3000, after hours on 0419 120 028 or email us at worksafe@worksafe.act.gov.au.

Visit Operation Safe Prospect for the latest information on the residential construction strategy, including a breakdown on location and notices issued for the workplace visits.

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