Cth: Results Issued For Road Worker Safety Audits

During March to June 2011, the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) conducted a national series of audits focusing on worker safety on or near public roads.

Such work is recognised by regulators and industry as a high-risk construction activity, particularly for general and civil construction contractors and employees, utility service providers, and traffic control workers.

Both desk and site audits were undertaken to evaluate the management and monitoring of risks associated with work on or near roads.

A total of 526 audits were carried out across all jurisdictions and resulted in 310 recorded actions.

The most common areas of non-compliance were:

  • lack of risk management and consultation around the drafting and implementation of traffic control plans
  • safe work method statements not being task and/or site specific or not used at all
  • lack of systems to manage manual handling risks
  • lack of on-site fatigue policy or evidence that fatigue risks are being controlled.

A number of issues were identified by the audits that were not raised as part of the initial research carried out in preparation for the campaign, including:

  • inadequate provision of amenities for female workers
  • a lack of consideration for neighbouring construction projects within the vicinity of the site when preparing traffic control plans, which resulted in ineffective plans
  • a lack of designated work breaks for traffic control workers
  • insufficient number of trained traffic control workers to allow for work breaks
  • an absence of fatigue management policies.

Enforcement action in Queensland was most commonly taken on issues relating to:

  • poor quality or absent documentation (safe work method statements, traffic management plan)
  • a failure to comply with safe work method statements or traffic management plans
  • a failure to restrict pedestrian access to areas where high risk construction work was taking place (the movement of mobile plant)
  • a failure to implement the required signage, barriers, and lane widths
  • a failure to consult with workers
  • inadequate provision of scheduled breaks for traffic controllers
  • a lack of suitable amenities for traffic controllers
  • a failure to provide proper training or certificates to perform traffic control work.


OHS News

Written by

Safety Culture’s mission is to make Safety a way of life in the workplace. We aim to do this by creating simple and useable systems that will be used by workers. As one of Australia’s leading providers of Occupational Health and Safety services, SafetyCulture works with over 9000 clients across Australia and abroad and delivers Audit Forms, Online OHS Inductions, Safe Work Method Statements and OHS Systems every day through our network of qualified OHS Consultants. From the most basic OHS Systems for small business operators through to corporate branded Induction Platforms, SafetyCulture is committed to making safety – a way of life™. For more information feel free to call one of our friendly staff on 1300 306 604.