- The time is now for construction sites to properly plan for the summer closure.
- Businesses need to ensure measures are in place to mitigate risks to public safety.
With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting severe weather driven by El Nino this summer, construction businesses across Queensland are encouraged to ensure their sites are safe and secure before they turn the key and head off for a well-earned break.
Developing a shutdown plan will help ensure your site doesn’t become a risk to public safety over the holiday period. Follow this checklist:
- Check fences are secure and lock all gates / entries.
- Post emergency contact information on site fencing.
- Remove or secure loose tools, materials and equipment.
- Secure floor openings with barricades or covers.
- Cover, backfill or otherwise protect trenches and excavations.
- Brace unfinished or temporary structures.
- Remove scaffolding, ladders, shoring and formwork if possible.
- Does the site location require a security presence - either personnel or CCTV?
- Post ‘No entry / no trespassing’ signs and warnings for hazards and site security.
- Have a plan to deal with severe rain and flood.
- Remove or secure (out of direct sunlight) flammable liquids and compressed gas cylinders.
- Secure, fence-off and lock tower crane bases.
- Set tower cranes to weather-vane.
- Lock heavy machinery cabs and remove the keys.
- Store or position other equipment at its lowest potential energy state.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors have issued 65 regulatory notices following recent proactive audits of construction sites. The compliance blitz will continue throughout December and is designed to ensure safety requirements are being met.
The message to construction businesses is clear – there is no excuse for not taking appropriate safety measures to reduce risks to workers and members of the public, even during the summer shutdown.
Quotes attributable to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Executive Director Sarina Wise:
“We are calling on our Queensland builders to make sure they take every possible step to reduce the risk to public safety these holidays by bracing, securing, and fencing off construction sites before shutting down.
“Loose materials and equipment have the potential to cause serious damage in strong winds, and with weather experts predicting severe conditions this summer, it’s essential sites are tidy as well as secure.
“Fences, clear warning signs and locked gates go a long way to reducing public risk, as the dangers to unauthorised people accessing sites are very serious.
“Site security is a non-negotiable and our inspectors will be checking compliance throughout December.
“It’s my hope all Queensland construction workers enjoy a well-earned break this summer, but before downing tools, please make sure your site is tidy, braced for wild weather, securely fenced, and the gates are locked.”
Further information on construction site safety is available at WorkSafe.qld.gov.au.
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