With Christmas just around the corner, SafeWork NSW is urging all local builders and developers to ensure construction sites are secured to prevent trespassers and injuries.

The call comes after a 16 year old boy was hospitalised with neck injuries after falling 10 metres while trespassing on a construction site at Mosman on 10 December.

Acting Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Tony Williams said unsecured construction sites posed a risk to the public, particularly children on school holidays.

“While many industries work throughout the festive season, some industries, like the construction industry, shut down over Christmas and New Year,” Mr Williams said.

“This creates its own set of risks to be managed, particularly in the residential construction sector where most sites are in populated areas.

“There are a number of things builders and developers can do to make their unattended sites safe  and prevent a potential tragedy this Christmas.”

SafeWork NSW tips to make construction sites secure:

  • Ensure site perimeter fencing is secure and locked
  • Switch off power to the site
  • Clear debris
  • Block access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders
  • Store plant and equipment, tools, chemicals and dangerous goods securely
  • Empty water drums,
  • Erect appropriate signage, including an after-hours contact number.
  • Cover voids, pits, trenches and pier holes
  • Cap all exposed reinforcement bars

Mr Williams added that this also applied to owner-builder construction sites.

“As the site controller, work health and safety laws, which include the provision of fencing, also apply to their sites,” he said.

“Unsecured construction sites can result in injury or even fatalities but by following these simple steps, and minimising the risk of access by unauthorised individuals, site controllers can prevent injuries during the Christmas shutdown.

For more information about construction site safety, security and fencing, visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.

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