Joint teams from five government agencies have conducted 197 inspections on building sites in Ballarat and district as part of the Build Aware campaign, and found most are complying with their legal obligations to protect the environment and ensure workplace safety and community benefit.
Teams from the five agencies found no significant non-compliances but took the opportunity to provide site operators with advice on achieving compliance, during a week of inspections in the area.
Build Aware has been run three times a year since 2016 in city and regional locations and aims to ensure compliance on residential, industrial and commercial building sites.
The five key Victorian government agencies that regulate the building sector – the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), WorkSafe Victoria (WSV), Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) – joined forces to carry out targeted inspections over five days in the Ballarat region.
The week was heralded by a free Build Aware Tradies’ Breakfast that drew more than 100 builders and other tradespeople to see trade displays and information from the six agencies on environmental, safety, business and consumer laws that apply to building sites.
During the week, WorkSafe inspectors attended 20 building sites, focusing on the risks to both workers and the public of powered mobile machinery, such as excavators, cranes and forklifts.
EPA officers visited 37 locations, focusing on the management of construction and demolition waste, including asbestos, and the management of stormwater runoff to prevent contamination of waterways.
Inspectors from the VBA carried out 98 proactive inspections on sites under construction, checking the compliance of building and plumbing work.
ESV officers attended 18 work sites where mechanical plant and equipment such as mobile cranes, tipping trucks, concrete pumping machines, scaffolding and elevated work platforms were being operated near overhead powerlines and provided educational material to assist in meeting their legal obligations when working in the vicinity of electrical assets.
Inspectors from CAV visited 34 sites, looking at domestic building contracts to ensure builders are adhering to important consumer protections, and ensuring deposit amounts requested are within the appropriate legislative range.
Since early 2018, multi-agency teams have conducted more than 750 inspections, with most building sites found to be compliant.