Posted by NSW Finance, Services & Innovation
on 21 December 2018
Safework NSW has today urged all building site operators to take simple precautions to ensure their sites are secure and safe over the Christmas and New Year Holiday period.
SafeWork NSW Executive Director, Tony Williams said the holiday period would see thousands of building sites across the state shut down while builders and tradies take a well-earned break, but it was important these sites were secure to ensure public safety.
"The lead-up to Christmas is the most demanding period of the year for many workers, particularly those in construction industry as pressure to meet deadlines makes it tempting to cut corners - but all too often this can lead to tragedy," Mr Williams said.
"I'm urging construction businesses to put safety and wellbeing of their workers first so that everyone in the industry can get to the holiday period in good health."
Mr Williams said construction sites can pose a serious safety risk to the public which can result in injuries or even fatalities, particularly with children on school holidays," he said.
"This is particularly important in the residential construction sector where sites are mostly in populated suburban areas.
"Owner builders also need to be aware that, under work health and safety laws, they are responsible for fencing at their properties as the site controller."
Mr Williams said there are a number of things builders can do to make their unattended sites safer during the shutdown.
Ensuring power is off and cleaning debris from around the site;
Blocking access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders and covering voids;
Storing plant and equipment, tools, chemicals, and dangerous goods securely;
Emptying water drums and covering any pits, trenches or pier holes; and,
Erecting appropriate signage, including an after-hours contact number.
"By Following these simple steps, site controllers can help prevent a potential incident this Christmas," Mr Williams said.