High-risk construction work and safe work method statements (SWMS) will be targeted by inspectors under a revamped approach to priority infringeable offences.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors will be checking SWMS correctly identify work being carried out, confirming they were written up before work commenced, and determining whether they were prepared by the PCBU or another person.
Inspectors will check that WHS management plans are accessible and that hygienic, safe and serviceable amenities are provided. Other areas for priority infringeable offences include:
- overhead or underground electric line (safe distance) – ES Reg s68(1); s68(2)
- trenching/excavation - WHS Reg s304(3); s304(5); s306(1)
- fall arrest system as control measure - WHS Reg s306I(7)
- ladder safety - WHS Reg s306K(2); s306L(3); s306O(5)
- scaffolding - WHS Reg s306P(2); s306Q(2)
- falling objects - WHS Reg s315F(3); s315G(3); s315L(3)
- general construction induction training - WHS Reg s316.
The introduction of priority infringeable offences came out of the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and are detailed in the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Policy. This policy explains how enforcement measures, including infringement notices (on-the-spot fines), help ensure duty holders are meeting their legislative duties. There are 240 infringement notice offences, with fines ranging from $144 to $720 for individuals, and $720 to $3600 for a business.
The priority offences will change periodically to reflect current and emerging risks. Inspectors will of course still issue an infringement notice for an offence not identified as a priority.
More information is at worksafe.qld.gov.au.