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Workplace safety month - industry on notice

1 October 2019

NSW businesses and employees have been put on notice about their obligations to make workplaces safer, following a number of fatalities and serious injuries in the lead-up to National Safe Work Month, which begins today.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said SafeWork inspectors have been called to incidents in recent times involving workers from a range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, agriculture and transport.

“We want everyone to make it home to their family at the end of the day, which is why we are reminding everyone of their obligations and responsibilities, not just from employers to their employees, but employees’ obligations to each other.

“It is clear that more needs to be done to get the safety message through to people, which is why this month the NSW Government will be rolling out a number of new initiatives which aim to protect workers from serious injury or death.”

To mark National Safe Work Month this October, inspectors will make the construction industry the focus of its next falls from height blitz with businesses and workers across NSW being reminded of their obligations of staying safe whilst working at heights.

“Since April this year, SafeWork NSW has been targeting unsafe scaffolds, visiting more than 700 construction sites and issuing 832 notices, including $109,000 in on-the-spot fines or falls risks,” Mr Anderson said.

“While inspectors have seen some improvement in scaffold safety recently, the level of risk is still unacceptable with 44 per cent of scaffolds having missing parts, while on 36 per cent of sites it appeared unlicensed workers had altered or removed scaffolding components,” Mr Anderson said.

“That is why we need to strengthen laws and change attitudes to target risky behaviour, before someone gets hurt, or dies.”

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