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SafeWork NSW announces continued crackdown on unsafe scaffolds

16 Mar 2020 10:36 AM | Anonymous

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, has announced a continued crackdown on unsafe scaffolds in the construction industry, with the commencement of “Scaff Safe 2020” from 1 March.

Construction workers across the state are being warned of the dangers from unsafe scaffolds as SafeWork NSW kicks-off operation Scaff Safe 2.0 today following the success of the targeted compliance blitz last year.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said principal contractors are responsible for ensuring that construction sites are safe, which is why it is important to have clear policies, procedures and education about scaffolds on worksites.

“Far too often we see different trades remove a small part of the scaffold to make it easier to do their work, without understanding what they are doing to the integrity of the structure, and that’s how accidents can happen,” Mr Anderson said.

“Our message for principal contractors is to make sure there is adequate supervision, consultation and communication on site. By doing so they can easily address the risks associated with scaffolds and we can avoid unnecessary accident or injury.”

Scaff Safe 2020 will be held over three months and see inspectors visiting construction sites across NSW targeting scaffold collapse and falls from heights risks.

SafeWork inspectors continue a zero-tolerance approach to those who put workers lives at risk from unsafe scaffolds, and can issue on-the-spot fines of $3,600 for businesses and $720 for individuals for falls from heights risks or for unlicenced workers undertaking scaffolding work.

Over 2019, SafeWork inspectors issued more than 1,300 notices related to scaffolds including 131 on-the-spot-fines totalling $432,720. Some of the main safety risks found were missing scaffold components, non-compliant gaps between the platform and building edge/face, no vehicular protection where required and unlicenced workers altering scaffolds.

For more information see the SafeWork NSW scaffolding web page to download the PC scaffold safety checklist or access the findings from the 2019 scaffold safety campaign.

Now is the time to review your sites’ scaffold to ensure it is safe, built to standard and adequately tied to the structure.

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