Friday 03 February 2017

Inspection blitz targets falling objects at construction sites

WorkSafe inspectors will zone in on the risk of falling building materials and equipment at construction sites that can cause injury or death during a three-week blitz across Victoria.

The first of almost 1000 inspections of commercial, residential and industrial construction sites will begin next week to ensure builders are controlling the risk of falling objects.

According to WorkSafe statistics, more than 860 construction workers have been injured since 2010 by falling objects. Injuries are commonly caused by falling building materials such as bricks, tiles, concrete and timber.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said ensuring loose building materials and tools were secured at building sites could make the difference between life and death.

“Each year WorkSafe investigates serious injuries and countless near-misses involving falling objects at construction sites,” Ms Williams said.

“We know that even a small tool or a bolt falling from a building site can cause life-threatening injuries. That’s why every builder must assess their site throughout the day and identify materials or objects that could fall in or outside of the site boundaries.”

Ms Williams said materials placed close to the edge of an incomplete upper level or left unsecured posed a particularly high risk.

“Materials that are blown from structures by wind or tools and equipment knocked or dropped from ledges not only pose a risk to workers but the general public in the streets below,” Ms Williams said.

“Any object, no matter how small, can be deadly if it falls from a height so builders need to constantly assess the work being undertaken to ensure these kinds of materials are secured.”

For more information on the upcoming site visits, go to www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/construction

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Peter Flaherty: 0478 881 663, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Caitlin Rode: 0434 685 577, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.