Inspection program raises concern on testing and tagging
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A proactive inspection program looking at construction sites in Perth’s southern suburbs has found a high level of compliance in training and licensing, but has raised concerns over the testing and tagging of portable electrical items.
The program involved construction inspectors checking safety standards at construction sites across the southern suburbs as far as Mandurah in the final week of February.
Inspectors focussed on the priority areas of electrical safety and working at heights, and also checked whether workers had the appropriate induction training and held High Risk Work Licences where required.
They also checked that sites had Safe Work Method Statements, Job Safety Analyses and Site Safety Plans in place where required.
WorkSafe Acting Director John Reilly said today the program had revealed good compliance with training and licensing, but continuing concern with testing and tagging.
“A total of 187 construction sites were visited as part of the program, with 79 improvement notices and 14 prohibition notices issued at the sites,” Mr Reilly said.
“Of the notices issued, 65 improvement notices and six prohibition notices related to issues such as testing and tagging, with other notices relating to falls from height, unguarded handheld plant and damaged plant, scaffolding and white/blue cards.
“Although it was encouraging to find that all but four construction workers checked during the program held blue or white cards and all workers carrying out high risk work held the relevant High Risk Work Licences, the lack of testing and tagging is a cause for concern.
“Safe Work Method Statements, Job Safety Analyses and Site Safety Plans were all made available to inspectors when required.
“It seems the construction industry has largely got the message with regard to training and licensing and planning for safe work practices on construction sites.
“The consequences of using unsafe electrical equipment can be disastrous, but it’s relatively easy to ensure that all portable electrical items are tested and tagged and that all leads and so on are in a safe condition.
“Having safe scaffolding is also a must, with the consequences of a fall from height also potentially extremely serious.
“We plan to continue conducting these proactive programs on sites to ensure the construction industry maintains its standards.”
Construction sites in Perth’s northern suburbs were checked in August, with inspectors finding a high level of compliance in training and licensing but some concerns with electrical and scaffolding issues.
Another proactive inspection program will look at construction sites around the Perth CBD next month.
Further information on construction safety can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.
Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)
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