Keep construction sites safe and secure this Christmas

Ministerial Media Release | 22/12/2017

The NSW Government is urging the construction industry to take simple precautions for a safe Christmas, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

Mr Kean said Christmas can be the busiest time of the year for the construction industry with pressure to complete projects before the Christmas/New Year shutdown.

“The lead-up to Christmas is the most demanding period of the year for many workers, particularly those in the construction industry,” Mr Kean said.

“Pressure to meet deadlines can make it tempting to cut corners but all too often this can lead to tragedy.

“I’m urging construction businesses to put the safety and wellbeing of their workers first so that everyone in the industry has a safe and happy Christmas.”

Mr Kean said construction sites must be adequately fenced and secured when they shutdown over the Christmas/New Year period.

“Unsecured construction sites can pose a serious safety risk to the public, particularly children on school holidays, which can result in injuries or even fatalities,” he said.

“This is particularly important in the residential construction sector where sites are mostly in populated areas.

“Owner builders need to be aware that, under work health and safety laws, as the site controller, they are still responsible for fencing at their properties.”

Mr Kean said there are a number of things builders and developers can do to make their unattended sites safer during the shutdown.

This includes:

  • Ensuring power is off and clearing debris from around the site;
  • Blocking access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders;
  • Storing plant and equipment, tools, chemicals, and dangerous goods securely;
  • Emptying water drums and covering any pits, trenches or pier holes; and,
  • Erecting appropriate signage, including an after-hours contact number.

“By following these simple steps, site controllers can help prevent a potential incident this Christmas,” Mr Kean said.

Download a PDF version of this release.

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