An NSW government Minister has called on the industry to improve safety standards in the country or risk heavy fines after a number of deaths and serious injuries have occurred.
A scaffolding safety blitz is now underway in New South Wales after three people have died and 25 have been seriously injured after falling from a height on NSW construction sites this year.
A recent round of inspections saw more than 800 notices issued for significant safety breaches, NSW Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson said recently.
He called on the industry to improve its standards or risk heavy fines after the countries SafeWork’s inspectors found missing scaffold parts, unlicensed workers and substandard safety measures for those working from heights.
“This is no joke – this year alone three people have died and 25 have been seriously injured due to falling from a height,” Mr Anderson said in a statement.
In a three-month blitz SafeWork inspectors issued 26 penalty notices, 232 prohibition notices and 580 improvement notices, 500 of which were for risks associated with falling from heights.
“We will not tolerate poor safety and workers lives being placed at risk on our worksites, and from today we are kicking off a new three-month blitz, focusing on these risks,” Mr Anderson said.
Under the recently amended Work Health and Safety Act 2011, non-compliant businesses could face heavy fines or up to five years in jail.
“NSW is proud to be leading the way with the strongest work health and safety legislation in the country and we will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who disregards the safety of others,” Mr Anderson said.