Plans to get “Safety Right” during the infrastructure boom

Over the next four years a record $80.1 billion will be spent on NSW infrastructure, with construction employment rates predicted to grow by 13%. This growth will result in a construction industry workforce of approximately 400,000 by 2022.

With this incredible growth in construction activities comes an increased responsibility to ensure that NSW worksites are up to standard to meet NSW’s Work Health and Safety legislative requirements.

Currently, the NSW building and construction industry experiences a higher than average incidence rate of workplace injuries, diseases and major claims. Between 2013 and 2016, over $520 million was spent on workers compensation claims, over 1,200 workplace incidents resulted in permanent disabilities and 35 construction workers did not return home to their families due to an incident that occurred in a NSW workplace.

In order to combat these alarming statistics, SafeWork NSW and construction industry stakeholders will focus on addressing key areas that have been the leading cause of traumatic injuries and fatalities in the building and construction industry.

These include:

  • Falls from Heights;

  • Contact with Electricity;

  • Plant;

  • Falling Objects;

  • Mental Health;

  • Asbestos;

  • Silica; and

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

SafeWork NSW’s objective is to design and deliver new, innovative and long-term interventions to improve safety outcomes in the NSW construction industry.

As part of these interventions, SafeWork NSW will focus on high-risk workplaces that undertake high-risk activities. These workplaces can expect greater scrutiny from SafeWork NSW with increased site visits by inspectors and, where necessary, an increase in compliance actions (i.e. improvement and prohibition notices) and severity of penalties until compliance is achieved.

For further information on the Building and Construction – Work Health & Safety Sector Plan to 2022, visit the SafeWork NSW website.

If you would like any assistance with your organisation’s WHS needs, please contact us via email or phone. We would love to partner with your business to ensure that you are meeting all of your Work Health and Safety obligations, ensuring that everyone returns home safely at the end of each day.

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