Construction Safety News: Canberra worksite closed

Yet another construction site has closed because of safety concerns. This time a large construction site belonging to the Empire Building Group in Wright on Canberra’s west was shut down because of a lack of safety and basic provisions as discovered by inspectors who visited the site after several worker complaints.

According to Mark McCabe, ACT Work Safety Commissioner who visited the site on Monday, they received complaints that the site was not up to scratch when it came to safety late last week but the company closed the site before inspectors could visit the site. On Monday inspectors made the discovery that safety was being sorely neglected on the site, particularly relating to the general oversight of work processes on site and supervision.

The following excerpt from explains what happened:

BH “When we went out to the site, there was no clear company or group that was accepting responsibility for supervision which effectively meant it wasn’t being supervised,” he said.

“Now that’s a pretty primary requirement for any site, that alone was enough for us to shut down the site.”

According to Mr McCabe, the site will remain closed until the safety issues are addressed.

He adds that safety concerns have been raised on numerous occasions.

“We have been out 16 times in the last two years to sites being managed by this company and on two other occasions we’ve had to shut the whole site down.”


Perhaps even more than the lack of supervision and disregard for worker safety was the fact that this was not the first time that this site had to be shut down because of safety concerns. According to McCabe there had been previous complaints about the safety on the site and Work Safety authorities had to visit the site 16 times in a timeframe of just 2 years.

Other employers can learn from the bad example set by this company if they want to avoid similar consequences. Shut downs are not only inconvenient but also costly. Companies that fail to recognise hazards and address safety on work sites can expect to have more incidents taking place, more workers being injured, more properties being damaged and work set back as well as the possibility of receiving costly and often crippling fines from authorities.

It was also reported that the employers responsible for this work site failed to provide workers with adequate induction training. In Australia authorities place a lot of emphasis on occupational health and safety training, particularly in high risk industries such as construction. That means that everyone who begins work on a construction site, even experienced workers (as well as apprentice and new workers) must complete general construction induction training and receive a white card as proof of doing so, as well as complete site specific induction training.

While workers have a responsibility to ensure they complete white card training, employers must ensure that workers are provided with site specific induction training to ensure that they are educated on safety issues that relate specifically to the work site, something that the company in the incident above failed to provide.

Click here to get your White Card now

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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