Construction workers top compo claims

According to a new analysis by WorkSafe ACT, CANBERRA’s housing industry has received the highest number of workers’ compensation claims in the past five years compared to other industries in the area.

Occupational Safety Commissioner Jacqueline Agius. Photo: Holly Treadaway

The occupational health and safety watchdog found that twice as many improvement reports were issued per visit in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, with small to medium-sized businesses accounting for 97.4 percent of claims.

The most common breaches found included inadequate scaffolding, failing site security and failure to manage the risks of falls from heights.

It comes despite the launch of Operation Safe Prospect in 2020, an ongoing WorkSafe campaign aimed at increasing the number of workplace visits to improve industry safety standards. The data revealed little change in safety behavior and compliance with WHS laws.

Since the start of the operation, WorkSafe has made 1363 workplace visits and issued 1655 improvement reports, 385 prohibition reports and 92 infringement reports.

Jacqueline Agius, Commissioner for Health and Safety at Work, said they continue to observe unsafe work practices and breaches in the sector despite the efforts.

WorkSafe today (June 29) launched an updated housing strategy in an effort to improve safety in the housing industry.

The strategy aims to “embed occupational health and safety into work design and systems, ensure stakeholder engagement to improve compliance rates, enforce compliance in the housing sector, and enhance the capability and capability of WorkSafe ACT as a responsive regulator.”

“We all have one thing in common: everyone wants every employee and every workplace to be healthy and safe,” said Commissioner Agius.

“As we launch our updated strategy, we look forward to working with all stakeholders to embed real and sustainable change.”

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