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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Falls from height a priority in construction industry safety campaign

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Falls from height a priority in construction industry safety campaign

    Hundreds of building and construction sites will be audited across Queensland as part of a Bligh Government initiative to help improve the industry’s safety performance.

    Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said falls from heights would be targeted in the audit program, which would be conducted by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

    He said other areas of the construction industry to be targeted by inspectors included scaffolding, licensing, manual tasks, mobile plant, working with asbestos and fatigue.

    “Workers in the construction industry deserve to be safe,” Mr Dick said.

    “Workplace Health and Safety Queensland briefed about 90 representatives from the industry today on plans to target falls from height and other hazards over the coming year.”

    “Unfortunately, accident and injury statistics show that there is plenty of room for improvement within the industry when it comes to safety.

    “In particular, falls-from-height claims have jumped from 8 per cent of all claims within the industry five years ago to 14 per cent in 2008–09.

    “That’s why WHSQ will be focusing on falls from height over the coming year.”

    Mr Dick said one in 10 Queenslanders worked in construction, meaning that many households included a construction worker or had a friend or relative in the industry.

    “Like all families, they deserve to see their loved ones return home safe and healthy every night from work,” he said.

    On average, more than 4000 serious injury claims are made by construction workers each year. Almost half (48 per cent) of all serious injury claims made by construction workers are by tradespersons, particularly carpenters and joiners, electricians and plumbers. General construction labourers account for a further 35 per cent of serious claims.

    “To help get these statistics down, the audits will be conducted by experienced inspectors focusing on legislative compliance, assessing health and safety systems and identifying areas for improvement,” Mr Dick said.

    Media contact:
    Office of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations 3239 3487