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WorkSafe Victoria targets falls prevention in construction industry

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WorkSafe Victoria’s  inspectors are targeting dangerous work at height on housing and small to medium construction sites across the state during February and March.

The inspections are part of a national safety campaign targeting falls prevention in the construction industry.

Safety inspectors will visit construction sites and where breaches established safety laws are breached improvement notices or prohibition notices will be issued.

Eight people died and there were 1,070 compensated injuries due to falls from height in Victoria’s construction sector over the past three financial years.

In 2007 two Victorian construction workers fell to their deaths and almost 300 more made injury claims as a result of falls.

“Most of these injuries were serious. More than 60% resulted in the worker being off work more than six weeks,” WorkSafe Victoria’s construction and utilities division director Chris Webb said.

“Working at height is part of construction work, but don’t assume that because you or your workers have never had that you’re working safely. You may have been lucky.”

“All employers have a legal duty to ensure that any worker required to work at heights can do so safely and without risk to their life or health.

“Every fall is preventable. There is no excuse for exposing workers to this risk,” Chris Webb said.

“WorkSafe expects builders and building trades to review their work at height procedures and, if necessary, introduce safer systems of work before an inspector visits.”

“Wherever appropriate height safety standards are not being met, inspectors will take appropriate enforcement action”, Chris Webb warned.

Falls prevention publications and safety information is available in printed form or as electronic documents online at WorkSafe Victoria’s website.

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