Australian scaffolding industry put on notice

Australian scaffolding industry put on notice
Image credit: Daily Telegraph AU

New data has revealed that nearly half of all construction sites in New South Wales (NSW) have non-compliant scaffolding.

The NSW government has put the industry on ‘notice’ after a safety blitz on more than 700 building sites by SafeWorkNSW.

Inspectors shockingly discovered that 44 per cent of scaffolds had missing components, while 36 per cent of scaffolds had been altered by unlicensed workers or removed components.

Since the tragic death in April of Christopher Cassaniti a teenage apprentice who was crushed to death in a scaffolding collapse, SafeWorkNSW has been targeting unsafe scaffolds.

To date the government agency has handed out 832 notices, including $109,000 (£59,512) on-the-spot fines.

Ms Cassaniti has become a workplace safety advocate since her son’s death and said change could not come quickly enough.

“To me it is not surprising to find that the statistics have come back so bad,” she said.

“I heard the workers complain a lot when they are on site and in dangerous situations.”

She said she did not want her son to become “another statistic”.

“Scaffolders put their scaffolds up, they tag it and then the workers go and use the scaffolding but some remove parts they should not, just to get the job done quickly,” Ms Cassaniti told ABC News.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said: “It is clear that more needs to be done to get the safety message through to people, which is why this month the NSW Government will be rolling out a number of new initiatives which aim to protect workers from serious injury or death.”