Builders on notice ahead of compliance campaign

SafeWork SA inspectors will target residential construction sites in the coming months to ensure builders and contractors are managing the risks associated with working at heights.

The compliance campaign is planned from July and follows the April No Falls education campaign this month.

Slips, trips and falls account for a substantial number of workplace incidents with falls from height being the second leading cause of workplace fatalities across Australia.

In 2022, SafeWork SA recorded 77 notifiable serious injuries resulting from falls, down from 103 in 2021.

Of these, 50 were in the construction industry, with 36 of those being in the residential sector.

While the number of incidents across all industries has decreased significantly in the past two years, falls in the residential construction industry have barely budged and remain stubbornly high.

The residential construction sector will be the focus of a webinar on working from heights as part of SafeWork SA’s April No Falls campaign.

The 2023 Managing Risk of Falls in Residential Construction webinar will be hosted by SafeWork SA on Wednesday 26 April from 1pm.

SafeWork SA previously ran a compliance campaign targeting falls in the construction industry in 2021, resulting in 185 statutory notices being issued including 102 prohibition notices.

The 2022 data showed the persons most of risk of a serious injury from a fall was  roofers, carpenters and steel frame installers.

SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell said more details about the compliance campaign will be shared during next week’s webinar.

He said it was disappointing that key safety messages about working from heights were not resulting in a reduction in injuries in the residential construction sector.

‘This has prompted another compliance campaign that will see SafeWork SA inspectors out in force on construction sites from July,’ Mr Farrell said.

‘The control measures to reduce the risk of falls are well known and readily available so there is no excuse for not having them in place.’