Preparing building sites for summer lockdown
Published Wednesday, 22 December, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting November to January rainfall is likely to be above average for eastern Australia, the time is approaching for construction sites across Queensland to properly plan their summer lockdowns.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said a few safety measures should be put in place to mitigate risks to public safety and help prepare for summer storms and cyclones and the flooding they often bring.
“Some of the most common and obvious risks that should be addressed include preparing for fierce winds and flooding rains,” Ms Grace said.
“Builders can reduce risks on their sites by bracing or securing fencing and unfinished work so they can’t be blown over, as well as securing or removing roofing sheets and other loose materials that have the potential to turn into missiles in strong winds.
“Holes in the ground, such as trenches and swimming pools currently under construction, require special attention, with extra care needed when the site is close to playgrounds, sports ovals or other public areas where children play. Backfilling excavations or covering them will minimise these hazards.”
Ms Grace said the best way to reduce public risk was to ensure building sites were securely fenced and gates are locked.
“Kids find houses at the frame stage very exciting because they can climb on them, so construction companies need to be vigilant with securing their sites over the lockdown period, as the dangers to unauthorised people accessing sites are very serious,” she said.
Ms Grace said Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors this year had identified site security and housekeeping hazards as two of the main non-compliant safety issues on residential construction sites.
“Site security is most definitely a serious issue – and one which our inspectors will come down very hard on. But it’s exacerbated if the site isn’t kept tidy because this creates even more risks if members of the public are able to wander onto the site,” she said.
“Inadequate housekeeping on residential construction sites is often due to insufficient storage of building material and tools, and poor management of building waste.
“So before you head off for a hard-earned break this summer, make sure your site is tidy, securely fenced and that the gates are locked.”
Further information on construction site safety is available at WorkSafe.qld.gov.au.
Media contact: Annamika Calcino (3719 7122)