Government launches safety blitz to drive down construction deaths

Ministerial Media Release | 22/11/2017

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean today launched a year-long blitz to crack down on dodgy construction businesses which put their workers at risk.

Mr Kean said the number of falls from heights reported to SafeWork NSW had more than tripled in the last five years – with the majority happening on construction sites.

“Falls are the number one killer on NSW construction sites,” he said.

“In fact, this year alone, eight people have tragically died in work-related falls, and many more have been severely injured.”

Mr Kean said former construction worker Myles Lowry, 47, knows all too well the terrible consequences of failures in workplace safety.

Mr Lowry was severely injured when he fell four metres onto concrete at a construction site on the State’s mid north coast in 2014.

“Myles faced a long road to recovery and is now an enthusiastic advocate for safe work practices,” Mr Kean said.

“Today I’m issuing a warning to employers across the state about the importance of having proper safety measures in place to protect your workers.”

Mr Kean said falls-related incidents had been shown to increase toward the end of the year as businesses rushed to get jobs done.

“That’s why we’re launching a 12-month state-wide blitz targeting construction sites to ensure businesses are taking the right precautions to keep workers safe,” he said.

Mr Kean said SafeWork inspectors will also take advantage of tough new laws that came into force on November 1.

“These new laws mean SafeWork can now issue on-the-spot fines of up to $3600 to any shonky businesses who are failing to protect their workers,” he said.

“I can assure the community that we will do everything in our power to make sure every NSW construction worker is safe and sound this Christmas.”

Download a PDF version of this media release.

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