A reminder to ensure construction sites are adequately secured during summer holiday period was issued by WorkCover NSW to site controllers.
General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson said it was important to fence off construction sites to prevent unauthorised access during Christmas and New Year shut down.
“Site controllers need to address the risks that unsecured construction sites can pose to the members of the public, especially children,” said Mr Watson.
“Workplace safety laws require construction sites to have adequate site security, which includes appropriate fencing.
“It is essential not to overlook excavation areas that can fill with water and pose a potential drowning risk, such as pits, trenches and pier holes, by ensuring these areas are securely covered.”
According to WorkCover, around 15 penalty notices have been issued during the past five years in relation to unauthorised persons accessing construction sites.
Site controllers are required to conduct a risk assessment to determine fencing requirements and ensure that while sites are unattended:
- Electrical power is off
- Access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders is blocked
- Plant and equipment, tools, chemicals and dangerous goods are securely stored;
- Water drums are emptied;
- Pits, trenches and pier holes are covered;
- Appropriate signage is erected with contact telephone numbers
Mr Watson said that site controllers can prevent a potential tragedy from happening by minimising the risk of access to a site by unauthorised persons.