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Scaff Safe 2020

SafeWork NSW

13 March 2020

Scaff Safe 2020

SafeWork NSW will continue to target scaffold safety on construction sites throughout 2020. Inspectors will be attending worksites and talking with employers and workers to ensure compliance. Inspectors will also be working with scaffold suppliers and installers to ensure scaffolds are built to standard and are safe.

On-the-spot fines of $720 for individuals and $3,600 for employers can be issued to those who place workers lives at risk from falls from heights, or for undertaking scaffolding work without a high risk work licence.

When looking at scaffolds, our inspectors will be checking that scaffolds:

  • are built to Australian Standards
  • are not missing components
  • are erected, dismantled or altered by people with the correct scaffolding high risk work licence
  • remain compliant throughout the construction project.

See our findings from 2019 in our Operation Scaff Safe 2019 project report.

Conduct a scaffold safety check

To ensure you have a safe and compliant scaffold on site, principal contractors or scaffolders can use this checklist to conduct a basic inspection.

Duty holder obligations

As an employer, principal contractor, and/or a PCBU, you have the main responsibility for the health and safety of everyone in your workplace, including visitors. This is your primary duty of care.

There are specific laws about working with plant, including scaffolding to make sure it is safe for users and people nearby.

Managing the scaffold

Principal contractors (and others who manage or control the scaffold) must control the risks associated with the scaffold. This includes ensuring:

  • the scaffold is only erected, altered and dismantled by a worker with the appropriate scaffolding high risk work (HRW) licence. You can check a high risk work licence is valid by visiting http://www.licencecheck.nsw.gov.au
  • the scaffold has been inspected at the following intervals:
    • before first use
    • prior to use after alterations or repairs
    • after an event (eg high winds or storms, hit by plant, unauthorized modifications) that could affect scaffold integrity or stability, and
    • at regular intervals not exceeding 30 days.
  • a handover certificate is obtained from the scaffolder and is kept on-site until the scaffold has been dismantled
  • site inductions and ongoing toolbox talks clearly state that unlicenced workers are prohibited from altering a scaffold, and who to contact if the scaffold needs altering or repair
  • workers are prevented from accessing incomplete sections of the scaffold
  • that scaffolders provide an adequate Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) before starting any high-risk construction work, which should be kept on-site until the scaffold is dismantled
  • any work undertaken at the worksite is done in accordance with the SWMS provided
  • Principal contractors have systems in place to ensure proper planning and sequencing of trades so that the scaffold remains safe and compliant throughout the build.

Incidents

Scaffold incidents most commonly involve:

  • people falling from scaffolds that are poorly erected, incomplete or have been altered without authorisation
  • people falling from scaffolding due to misuse such as standing on guardrails
  • scaffold collapse or failure of components due to incorrect assembly, incompatible componentry, overloading or unauthorised alteration such as tie removal
  • objects falling off scaffolds and hitting people below
  • scaffolds being struck by mobile plant or vehicles or being snagged by a crane.

Training and licensing

An appropriate scaffolding licence must be held by anyone performing scaffolding work on a scaffold where a person or object could fall more than 4 metres from the platform or structure. Unlicenced workers and their supervisors could each be issued with an on-the-spot fine of up to $3,600.

The type of scaffold to be erected and dismantled will determine the class of scaffolding licence required, for example, basic scaffolding (SB), intermediate scaffolding (SI) or advanced scaffolding (SA).

If you are a scaffolder and doing the wrong thing, you could also have your licence suspended or cancelled, and any compliance action taken will be publicly displayed on your licence records.

Australian scaffolding industry put on notice

BySM Newsdesk

New data has revealed that nearly half of all construction sites in New South Wales (NSW) have non-compliant scaffolding.

The NSW government has put the industry on ‘notice’ after a safety blitz on more than 700 building sites by SafeWorkNSW.

Inspectors shockingly discovered that 44 per cent of scaffolds had missing components, while 36 per cent of scaffolds had been altered by unlicensed workers or removed components.

Since the tragic death in April of Christopher Cassaniti a teenage apprentice who was crushed to death in a scaffolding collapse, SafeWorkNSW has been targeting unsafe scaffolds.

To date the government agency has handed out 832 notices, including $109,000 (£59,512) on-the-spot fines.

Ms Cassaniti has become a workplace safety advocate since her son’s death and said change could not come quickly enough.

“To me it is not surprising to find that the statistics have come back so bad,” she said.

“I heard the workers complain a lot when they are on site and in dangerous situations.”

She said she did not want her son to become “another statistic”.

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

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said: “It is clear that more needs to be done to get the safety message through to people, which is why this month the NSW Government will be rolling out a number of new initiatives which aim to protect workers from serious injury or death.”

The Scaffshield team recently installed our system at a project in Sydney CBD for Probuild Constructions

The Scaffshield team recently installed our system at a project in Sydney CBD for Probuild Constructions to assist with securing scaffold ties that were supporting large elevations of scaffold adjacent to busy Sydney streets. Probuild approached Scaffshield to provide an engineered control to stop unauthorised removal, modification and tampering of this critical temporary structure. It is very impressive to see Probuild Constructions proactive approach to continual improvement regarding WHS in their business.

Scaffshield has been submitted for a ‘Innovation of The Year’ award for the Australian Construction Awards 2020.

Designed to reduce the incidence of scaffold collapse, Scaffshield aims to make construction sites safer across Australia by eliminating unauthorised modification and tampering with critical scaffold components, Please take a moment to vote for us by following the link below; https://lnkd.in/gmfZXxz

Installation for Built. at their Substation project on Kent St Sydney CBD

The Scaffshield team completed installation and training for the Built. team at their Substation Project on Kent Street in Sydney CBD this morning. It was great receiving positive feedback from both the project team and the scaffolders on the ground each day. They now know that their scaffolder will be safer as a result of Scaffshield being installed. The management team on this project can also have peace of mind knowing that their scaffold ties cannot be tampered with by unauthorised individuals. If you want an engineered control to stop scaffold tampering please contact us at info@scaffshield.com or call 1300 869 572.

Almost half of NSW building sites have dodgy scaffolding, new data reveals

Originally published by Danuta Kozaki on abc.net.au

A mother of a Sydney apprentice who died in a scaffolding collapse says she is not surprised by new data which shows almost half of the construction sites in NSW have non-compliant rigging.

Christopher Cassaniti, 18, was crushed to death when the scaffold he was working on at a Macquarie Park building site came down in April.

The NSW Government said the construction industry had been put on notice after a blitz on more than 700 building sites by SafeWork NSW.

About 44 per cent of the scaffolding on them had parts missing, while unlicensed workers had altered or removed scaffolding components on 36 per cent of sites.

The Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said Mr Cassaniti’s death sparked the latest review.

“One injury is too many, one death is too many so we are doing everything we possibly can,” he said.

“We will be tightening laws, we will be coming after those that are doing the wrong thing.”

Sydney has more ongoing construction than any other major city in Australia, with twice as many cranes operating in the NSW capital than Melbourne, according to the 2018 National Crane Index.

Ms Cassaniti has become a workplace safety advocate since her son’s death and said change could not come quickly enough.

“To me it is not surprising to find that the statistics have come back so bad,” she said.

“I heard the workers complain a lot when they are on site and in dangerous situations.”

She said she did not want her son to become “another statistic”.

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

Mr Anderson said an alarming rate of unsafe practices were found, including 84 immediate fines for scaffolding breaches during the audit period.

“It is totally reckless behaviour to put anyone’s life at risk. We will be cracking down. If you do the wrong thing, if you do something wrong you will face the toughest penalties,” he said.

The Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection, Julia Finn, said it was concerning it took Mr Cassaniti’s death to take scaffolding breaches seriously.

“The State Government has committed to strengthening the laws which is a good thing but in the meantime they have not been using the laws they have and doing more inspections and prosecutions,” she said.

Ms Cassaniti is formally launching her foundation set up in honour of her son this weekend.