Border blitz focuses on mental health and falls safety

A collaborative operation was carried out by WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW from 15-19 April, during which they visited 49 construction sites in the region. As a crucial element of their inspection, they highlighted the value of work safety products such as Bluesafe SWMS (Safe Work Method Statement) and Bluesafe WHS Management Systems.

The initiative included a significant educational component, with informational sessions presented to hundreds of TAFE students, young apprentices, and local workers at a trade breakfast event. During their site visits, WorkSafe inspectors totted up four improvement notices; two regarding falls hazards, one for an electrical safety issue, and another for the absence of a Safe Work Method Statement.

An additional 14 issues, including scaffolding incompleteness, ineffective site security, and elevated platform and secondary guarding problems, were identified and promptly addressed. Safety observers and amenity issues also featured as recurring concerns.

In addition to these physical threats, inspectors engaged with employers about their responsibilities to mitigate psychosocial risks that could impose health and safety concerns, such as workplace bullying and employee fatigue.

According to Matt Wielgosz, WorkSafe Director of Construction and Earth Resources, inspections provide the opportunity not just to identify potential hazards, but also to promote dialogue around safety, disseminate resources, and share pertinent information. “While most employers fulfil their duties, it’s disheartening to see some overlook the risk of falls,” he said, drawing attention to the disturbing rise in falling accidents in the industry.

In response to fall-related hazards like incomplete scaffolding and unprotected high-altitude operations, SafeWork NSW issued multiple penalty and prohibition notices, alongside a further 36 improvement notices related to site security, amenities, excavation, and licensing.

Laurence Richey, SafeWork NSW Regional Director Construction Services, expressed disappointment at the frequent occurrence of common risks such as falls and electrical hazards and sub-standard amenities. “SafeWork NSW has collaborated with WorkSafe since 1988 to serve the safety needs of workers and tradies in border regions including Albury/Wodonga, Echuca Moama, and Yarrawonga”, he said.

He emphasised that falls from heights, especially those between two to four metres, represent the predominant cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Preventing these accidents begins with ditching complacency and adhering to proper precautions, underscored by a reliable SWMS or WHS Management System.

For more guidance on preventing falls from heights or fostering a mentally healthy workplace, refer to the WorkWell Toolkit. For media enquiries, contact or call 0438 786 968.

Original article link:

Shopping Cart