Since late 2019, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors have been auditing residential construction sites – houses one to two storeys high – and they have been finding a few common issues.
The main three areas of concern, which make up over 50 per cent of non-compliances on residential construction sites, are:
- uncontrolled risks of falls from height (22%)
- electrical safety (20%)
- site security (11%).
The main issues creating a risk of a fall from height were:
- ladders—condition and use
- systems of work on or around roofs, pools, retaining walls, stair voids and balconies
- unauthorised alterations to edge protection or missing components on scaffolding.
For guidance on controlling the risk of falls from height, refer to the Managing the risk of falls at workplaces code of practice 2021 (PDF, 3.9 MB).
Electrical safety was compromised by widespread use of electrical equipment that had never been tested, the test and tag had expired, or the equipment was damaged. The use of non-compliant wiring and non-compliant distribution boards was also common, with problems including missing pole fillers, RCDs not tested, tie bars missing, or doors not closing properly.
Ensure your electrical equipment is tested and tagged at the required intervals. If your electrical equipment is damaged, do not use it - either have it repaired or throw it away. Always ensure your distribution boards are compliant and workers are not exposed to any live wires.
Site security was the third highest issue. Either there was no site security to prevent unauthorised access to the site, or the security fencing was inadequate.
Given the high level of non-compliance in these three areas, they will be a focus for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors on residential construction sites.
Read more on the residential construction safety compliance campaign.