Over the past two years, SafeWork has issued 600 scaffold prohibition orders. Image – Canva
  • SafeWork will be visiting sites across the State
  • Warns prohibition order and on-the-spot fines will be issued for breaches

The New South Wales Government has announced that SafeWork inspectors will be visiting construction sites across the state to assess scaffolding structures.

The Government has warned there will on-the-spot fines and stop-work notices for those who fail to comply with safety standards.

The warning comes after rooftop solar panel installers were targeted by the regulator earlier in March.

Over the past two years, 1,700 notices have been issued by SafeWork concerning breaches surrounding scaffolding, including 600 scaffold prohibition orders – meaning activity is ceased due to immediate risk.

Kevin Anderson, the Minister for Better Regulation, said the regulator would take a zero-tolerance approach for scaffolds that have missing critical parts or where scaffold components have been removed or altered by unlicensed workers.

“We need to drive the message home to principal contractors, supervisors, scaffolders, site owners and managers – we will not put up with practices that put lives at risk.”

“Across the state the building and construction industry is on notice – it does not matter if you are in the centre of Sydney or in western NSW, SafeWork will be checking your scaffold and if it is not safe, we will act.

Kevin Anderson, Minister for Better Regulation

According to figures from the NSW Government, 60 constructions have already been visited by SafeWork inspectors this year resulting in 96 notices, including eight on the spot fines, 16 prohibition notices and 72 improvement notices.

For the rest of 2021, SafeWork will be turning its focus to risks associated with concrete pumps. Formwork and working at heights. Falls from heights are the biggest killer on construction sites in NSW, with 25 fatalities recorded on NSW sites between 2014 and 2017.

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