Central Coast construction site safety in spotlight

Deptartment of Customer Service NSW

SafeWork NSW has cracked down on dangerous construction site work practices with a targeted operation on the Central Coast last week.

The three-day operation focused on high-risk safety harms and substandard building practices and involved NSW Fair Trading and the Office of the Building Commissioner.

SafeWork Executive Director Compliance and Dispute Resolution Matt Press visited the Central Coast to join the operation and was concerned with the approach to safety being taken on some projects.

“SafeWork construction safety inspectors visited 27 sites in the region, issuing 47 improvement notices and seven prohibition notices,” Mr Press said.

“One of the residential projects was particularly concerning, receiving two prohibition notices and 12 improvement notices relating to potential structural formwork collapse, falls, falling objects, electrical, inadequate access, construction hazards and site facilities. There was also a range of building quality issues including water ingress in the basement, inadequate concrete quality, and defective fire-rated door jambs.”

The project will now be audited by NSW Fair Trading’s building inspectors, starting with a review of the declared designs required under the new Design and Building Practitioners legislation.

“We have increased collaboration between SafeWork and Fair Trading inspectors in the residential construction sector and it’s increasing the reach and effectiveness of both teams as poor safety practices and non-compliant building work are often found together,” Mr Press said.

The Central Coast operation focused on:

  • working safely at heights
  • electrical safety
  • rooftop solar
  • mobile and tower cranes
  • controlling risks from falling objects and structural collapse
  • moving plant
  • the prevention of respiratory diseases such as silicosis, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.

Small business owners and sole traders are reminded they can apply for a NSW Government rebate of up to $1,000 to make their workplaces safer with $1 million recently added to the Small Business Rebate Program.

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