Skip to content
Building Construction

$900K IN FINES HANDED OUT AS SAFEWORK CRACKS DOWN ON FALLS FROM HEIGHTS THREATS

SafeWork NSW 2 mins read

16 February 2024 

Almost $1 million in fines have been issued at the halfway point of SafeWork NSW’s 12-month blitz on falls from heights. 

The ‘Working at Heights in Construction’ campaign followed a concerning rise in the number of serious injuries and deaths attributed to falls from heights, resulting in 17 people killed between 2018 and 2022.  

Since May 2023, SafeWork Inspectors have visited 1,218 worksites resulting in 1,499 Improvement Notices, 727 Prohibition Notices and 352 Penalty Notices amounting to $972,000. 

The blitz has seen Inspectors visit several commercial and residential sites across the state, as well as conducting high visibility checks in manufacturing and warehouse industries in addition to inspections in the transport industry leading up to a busy Christmas period.  

During their field work, Inspectors gauged that 65 per cent of industry is using the highest form of safety measures as their first choice including the use of fall prevention devices, such as roof guardrails and scaffolding, rather than fall arrest systems such as harnesses. 

SafeWork will continue to prioritise the safety of workers at heights in 2024 with continuing inspections, starting off with a blitz on the safe installation of rooftop solar panels this month. 

Contractors and builders are obligated to protect workers by identifying height risks and taking steps to control these hazards as far as reasonably practical by implementing higher order controls.  

Workers who have concerns about workplace health and safety can anonymously contact SafeWork on 13 10 50 or through the ‘Speak Up Save Lives’ app.  

More information relating to working from heights can be found via the SafeWork website. 

Quotes to be attributed to Head of SafeWork NSW Trent Curtin:  

“As we pass the halfway point of SafeWork’s ‘Working at Heights in Construction’ compliance blitz it is important to note that falls from heights is still the number one cause of traumatic fatalities on NSW construction sites.  

“While it is encouraging that 65 per cent of industry is using the highest form of safety measures, this means that 35 per cent are not and this needs to change. Otherwise, businesses run the risk of workplace accidents as well as fines and prosecution. 

“During one worksite blitz a SafeWork Inspector noted a worker who was not connected to a harness system while working on a roof. When questioned as to why they were not connected, the worker reasoned that they had been roofing for 30 years without an incident.  

“Attitudes like this will eventually result in a workplace accident or death. This is simply unacceptable. SafeWork Inspectors will not hesitate to stop work on site, issue fines and consider prosecution against businesses and individuals disregarding the rules.” 

MEDIA: media@customerservice.nsw.gov.au | 0438 108 797 

Media

More from this category

  • Building Construction, Emergency Services
  • 19/04/2024
  • 12:46
Same Day Trades

Same Day Trades Offers Essential Autumn Plumbing Tips To Australian Homeowners

Have you ever faced a blocked drain right as the cooler months set in? Autumn brings its own plumbing challenges to Australian homes. This article provides essential tips for keeping your plumbing problem-free during fall. Keep reading to learn how to safeguard your home’s water system. Essential Autumn Plumbing Tips for Australian Homeowners Autumn brings a change in weather, and with it, the need to prep your plumbing. It's time to get your pipes ready for cooler days - simple steps can save you big troubles. Don't Pour Grease or Oil Down the Drain Pouring grease or oil down the…

  • Building Construction
  • 18/04/2024
  • 13:00
Fresh Hope Communities and Nightingale Housing

Fifty-four small apartments, one big idea: Nightingale Marrickville opens its doors

A new era for housing affordability in Sydney began today with the NSW Minister for Housing, Rose Jackson, opening Australia’s most innovative build-to-rent housing…

  • Contains:
  • Building Construction, Energy
  • 16/04/2024
  • 06:55
CMC

POWER TO THE PEOPLE: BRISBANE FORUM HEARS HOW AUSTRALIANS COULD SAVE $9 BILLION ON POWER BILLS AS QUEENSLAND LEADS THE WAY

16 April 2024POWER TO THE PEOPLE: BRISBANE FORUM HEARS HOW AUSTRALIANS COULD SAVE $9 BILLION ON POWER BILLS AS QUEENSLAND LEADS THE WAY Community members, civil society and climate groups, and energy experts will gather in Brisbane on Tuesday to discuss Queensland’s energy transition, the key policies of the major parties and plans for community action in the lead-up to the October State election. The forum will take place the day after Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni announced increased funds for the Battery Booster program, meaning a further 1,000 households will benefit from subsidised batteries. It also takes place…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.