Safety standards have continued to improve across the ACT’s construction sites, after the recommendations of the Getting Home Safely report were put into place.
It is now the fourth occasion on which there have been no fatalities in the sector, revealed Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Mick Gentleman. However, he urged the industry not to become complacent, as the pressure is now on to make sure this positive run continues.
“We need to continue to deliver the message that everyone in the construction industry has a responsibility to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them.
“This is why, among other things, over the course of the year, WorkSafe ACT has increased the number of work safety inspectors by 12 to 32, and a further eleven infringement notice offences have commenced.”
The Getting Home Safely report was commissioned back in September 2012, following three work-related deaths within the construction industry. The inquiry made a total of 28 recommendations, all of which were accepted by the ACT government.
Representatives from a number of key industry bodies were responsible for overseeing that these changes were brought into force, including WorkSafe ACT, Master Builders Association and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.
Among the changes brought into force was the introduction of a point demerit system during the auditing process. This was designed to ensure that all safe working systems are properly implemented and that any poor performance in the sector would have negative connotations.
Government figures show that during the year the report was commissioned, there were a total of 736 workers’ compensation claims from within the construction industry. The following year this had declined to 527.
In 2012-13, the number of compensation claims equated to approximately one work injury per $1 million in wages paid. By 2013-14, this had declined by 27 per cent.