9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney

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Now more than ever, safety is fundamental in protecting our building and construction workers. And rightly so, it continues to feature in news headlines around Australia, with the community demanding that safety regulations adequately protect human lives and the environment to minimise fatalities and economic loss.

However, this month WorkSafe Victoria has reported a marked increase in workplace fatalities – 15 compared to six for the same period last year. It says that falling continues to be one of the major causes of death and serious injury (21 of the 62 construction workers who have died at work since 2005 died due to falling), with vehicle incidents and contact with electricity also key causes.

“It is a tragic fact that falls are one of the most common causes of serious injury or death among construction workers in Victoria,” Dermot Moody said, WorkSafe’s Construction Program Manager.

The statistics have led to a month-long safety blitz, with WorkSafe committing to almost 1000 inspections of construction sites to try to prevent future fatalities and injuries caused by falls. Furthermore, the Victorian government recently launched a public Discussion Paper for its OHS review, making recommendations on appropriate reforms to improve health and safety outcomes for Victorian workers.

The initiatives are timely, particularly in light of new building activity data recently released by the ABS. Property analyst CoreLogic reports that the data shows an immense number of dwellings under construction in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, which reiterates the magnitude of the current unit construction boom.

Research analyst Cameron Kusher said: “The record-high number of dwellings under construction and the continuing strong pipeline of approvals should ensure that there is plenty of work for the construction industry over the coming years.”

As construction intensifies, so do the risks associated with safety, as well as the need to ensure building materials and products are compliant and certified; both issues that have featured in the news recently concerning fire safety and asbestos cases.

And as Australia continues to grow, the industry needs to be extra vigilant. The community and the government must both continue advocating for safety control measures, enabling construction workers to come home safely, and the economy as a whole to deliver multiple benefits.

Sources:
http://www.worksafenews.com.au/
http://www.worksafenews.com.au/component/k2/item/511-safety-blitz-aims-to-prevent-falls-on-construction-sites.html
http://www.ohsreview.vic.gov.au/independent-ohs-review

About the Author: Annie Reid

Annie Reid is a qualified journalist, professional copywriter and published author with a passion for everything bricks and mortar. For many years, she’s written thousand of stories for newspapers, magazines and clients around the world. Somewhere between the heady buzz of headlines and deadlines, she discovered a niche for creating tailor made content for the property, real estate, architecture and design industries. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Communications, both from the University of Melbourne.

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