WorkSafe ACT inspectors have conducted 28 targeted residential building site visits following the death of two constructions workers in Canberra in the past month.
ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Greg Jones said he was disappointed with the outcome of the inspections.
“The level of compliance with the safety laws was poor, with over 70 notices being issued for the 28 sites,” Mr Jones said.
“Of the 70 notices issued, a total of 19 Prohibition Notices had been issued where there was an imminent safety risk to workers,” he said.
“In these cases, all work ceased immediately until the safety breaches were satisfactorily rectified.”
He said major issues included: no protection to prevent falls from heights; scaffolding incomplete or incorrectly modified with no sign-off; electrical safety issues with damaged or faulty equipment and cables; poor site management with numerous slips, trips and fall hazards; and inadequate site security where there was no or inadequate fencing to prevent the public from entering the sites.
Mr Jones said the tragic death of two workers since Christmas should have provided a strong reminder that safety must be the number one priority in the workplace.
“There seemed to be a general disregard for worker safety with basic protection systems not in place and little planning to ensure work was undertaken in a safe manner,” he said.
“WorkSafe inspections in this area will continue and inspectors will not hesitate to issue more notices, including closing sites that do not meet basic safety requirements.”
He said a WorkSafe investigation into the death of a 60-year-old worker on a construction site at Denman Prospect this week was continuing.