Scaffold Safety On The Slide

Published October 02, 2019 (last updated July 23, 2020)

A blitz of over 700 building sites in New South Wales has revealed that approximately 44% of scaffolding sites had parts missing whilst 36% of sites had unlicensed workers altering or removing scaffolding components.

The review follows the tragic death of Christopher Cassaniti, an 18-year-old apprentice form-worker who was crushed to death in April after a building site came down in Macquarie Park.

The construction industry has been put under the spotlight by SafeWork NSW as a result of the blitz.

“One injury is too many, one death is too many so we are doing everything we possibly can. We will be tightening laws, we will be coming after those that are doing the wrong thing,” Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson told the ABC.

“A crackdown, including the toughest penalties will be the consequence of reckless behaviour that puts lives at risk” Mr Anderson added.

The mother of the Sydney apprentice, who is launching a foundation to honour her son this weekend, said she was not surprised by the new data on the construction sites in NSW.

“To me it is not surprising to find that the statistics have come back so bad. I heard the workers complain a lot when they are on site and in dangerous situations.”

“Scaffolders put their scaffolds up, they tag it and then the workers go and use the scaffolding but remove some parts they should not, just to get the job done quickly,” Ms Cassaniti said according to the ABC.

With more than 100 people already killed at work in 2019, Employsure is urging business owners to check their safety policies and procedures and make every effort to maintain a safe workplace.

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