WorkSafe is reminding Victorian builders to ensure their construction sites are safe and secure during the Christmas break to prevent unauthorised access and potential injury to the public.
Poorly secured construction sites can pose risks to members of the public, particularly inquisitive children looking for adventure over the school holidays.
Risks can include falls from partially built structures and scaffolding, live electrical power, open excavations or building waste and rubble.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said simple site clean-ups and security measures would go a long way in ensuring public safety over the summer break.
“Builders with sites in close proximity to homes, parks or recreational areas need to be vigilant about site safety and security during this time and manage risks appropriately,” she said. “It could be as simple as planning a time to ensure a thorough clean-up of the site is completed and ensuring appropriate fencing is in place,” she said.
Ms Williams said builders should be proactive and plan to have sites ready for the holiday shutdown.
“We’d encourage builders not to leave site shutdown tasks to the last minute as things can be overlooked when a task is being rushed,” she said. “The last thing anyone wants is for someone to be injured at their site, especially when it could have been avoided.”
Builders can reduce risks to the public by:
- Securing access points with locks or other mechanical means to deter people, especially children
- Bracing or securing boundary fencing so it cannot be pushed or blown over
- Blocking gaps under fences and gates so they cannot be crawled under
- Ensuring electrical safety by turning off the main switch and securing the main switchboard to prevent access
- Bracing and securing partially constructed building elements such as walls and roofs to withstand strong winds and bad weather
- Securing or removing roofing sheets and other loose materials that have the potential to turn into missiles in strong winds
- Backfilling excavations or, if they are required to remain open, making sure they are covered or secured
- Removing unwanted or accumulated construction materials and waste.
For further information about construction safety, go to worksafe.vic.gov.au
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email email@example.com or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.