With the festive season fast approaching, construction sites across the state are gearing up for their end of year shutdown.
The Queensland Government is urging worksites which close down over the holiday period to not leave preparations until the last minute and to remember public safety while these sites are unattended.
Head of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Craig Allen said the most common and obvious risk which must be addressed is bracing for storms which often bring fierce winds and flooding rains at this time of the year.
“With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting above average rainfall for many parts of Queensland, and the usual cyclone activity we expect here in our beautiful state, we must be prepared for flooding and storm damage,” Mr Allen said.
“That mean worksites with holes in the ground, such as trenches, swimming pools under construction, and deep excavations must be made safe before everyone downs tools and goes home for a well-deserved break.
“Extra care is needed at construction sites that are near playgrounds, sporting ovals or other public areas where children play.
“Kids love to climb and play where they shouldn’t. If sites aren’t properly secured, it’s a recipe for disaster while schools are out and they have time on their hands.
“Construction companies must also make sure walls are properly braced so they don’t collapse in strong wind.
“Dangerous goods and hazardous substances need to be disposed of safely or locked away.
“Mobile plant and machinery must also be secured to prevent unauthorised operation.
“All these things are potentially serious threats to public safety.
“They must be addressed in a methodical fashion before you bolt up and bolt off,” he said.
The best way to reduce public risk is to make sure building sites are securely fenced and gates are locked. Back that up with signs warning people access is prohibited. Another good tip is to render plant and machinery inoperable to prevent unauthorised and illegal use. And it makes sense to secure all loose materials so they can’t blow away in a storm.
“The end of year holiday period is a great time for us to relax and unwind,” he said.
“However, if you’re in charge of a construction site, please don’t leave it accessible so thrill-seeking kids or thoughtless adults can get in there and make this a holiday to remember for all the wrong reasons.”