ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Greg Jones, has urged the Territory’s construction industry to ensure safe planning, set-up and operation of tower cranes following the release of the WorkSafe ACT Tower Crane Audit Report today.
“My priority is to continue to improve the Territory’s safety record and reduce the number of significant incidents or injuries in workplaces by strengthening health and safety compliance through education and training programs,” said Mr Jones.
“Early in 2016 WorkSafe ACT inspectors recorded a concerning number of safety incidents involving tower cranes.
“In response to this emerging trend of unsafe work practices, I immediately issued a Crane Safety Alert followed by a comprehensive audit program of all 21 tower cranes operating in the ACT.
“Overall, the audit found that compliance was poor, with five stop work Prohibition Notices issued due to significant and imminent safety matters being discovered.
“This is not good enough. As an industry there needs to be a bigger emphasis on safe work practices and I am committed to working with employers, industry bodies, unions and employees to improve compliance and build a strong safety culture.
“To enhance future compliance and to make certain that every tower crane in the Territory is set up and operating safely, I am implementing a new system that requires industry to notify WorkSafe ACT prior to setting up a tower crane in the Territory.
“WorkSafe ACT will now check every crane in Canberra as part of set up, to lift industry compliance and make sure our workers are safe.”
“Construction is a dangerous industry and it is a priority to ensure that we continue to work with industry to reduce risks and hazards on worksites through education, training and regulation.
“Following the launch of our construction safety video series last month, we have now released a crane safety video which highlights the importance of good communication, clear exclusion zones and a strong work safety culture.
The WorkSafe ACT Tower Crane Audit Report identified a number of key safety areas not being addressed on many ACT construction sites, including:
- non-compliant operation of zoning and anti-collision systems or failure to have a back-up form of communication
- failure to verify electrical supply and wiring connections
- inadequate Safe Work Method Statements including the failure to have a site-specific risk assessment
- inadequate or non-existent emergency rescue procedures.
A follow up audit of all tower cranes will be conducted in the near future to ensure that all cranes in the Territory are compliant with WorkSafe ACT regulations.
The full report is available at: www.act.gov.au/craneaudit
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