Inspectors target structural collapse after spate of incidents

August 22, 2017

WorkSafe inspectors will hone in on the risks of structural collapse during construction work as part of their latest safety blitz following a spate of incidents in recent months.

A timber-frame wall which struck a 17-year-old worker in Donvale, temporary hoarding falling down near pedestrians in a shopping area at Campbellfield and a scaffold collapsing onto a footpath in North Melbourne have all been the subject of WorkSafe inquiries last month.

Tragically, 16 workers and three members of the public have been killed since 2001 due to structural collapse at construction sites.

As part of the state-wide campaign, inspectors will focus on buildings and associated structures under construction including walls and frames.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said the collapse of a building or structure could have catastrophic consequences.

“We’ve seen the tragic aftermath of structural collapses at construction sites and the reality is that it just should not happen,” she said. “We want to be very clear to builders and contractors that they have a responsibility to ensure walls, roof structures, floors, formwork and pre-cast panels are appropriately installed, supported or braced during construction work and if they fail to do so there could be deadly consequences.”

During their site visits, WorkSafe inspectors will raise awareness of structural collapse risks and provide practical information and guidance to builders and contractors on the risks and safety measures required.

“Our aim is to assist the industry in preventing structural collapses during construction work but, ultimately, if inspectors identify that someone has failed in their duties to provide and maintain a safe workplace they will take appropriate enforcement action,” Ms Williams said.

For more information on construction safety visit: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/construction

 

 

 

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