Page 2538 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

discussions about safety. While this is one of the responses to the Getting home safely report, it is an important message for all workplaces in all industries: speaking up may just save a life.

The Work Safety Commissioner has a rolling seminar program in place that will focus on key safety issues and key employer responsibilities. The commissioner has also recently run a three-day seminar on safety in the construction industry which was attended by representatives from all over Australia. I was pleased to see the commissioner was successful in securing a presentation from Baroness Rita Donaghy who authored a report similar to Getting home safely in the United Kingdom. Her report One death is too many was a catalyst for reforms in safety in that country’s workplace safety arrangements.

I am pleased to report that we have seen increased collaboration between the government’s directorates and the focus they are placing on safety. In March this year WorkSafe ACT and the construction services branch of the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate formalised an information exchange on information that impacts on safety.

Both directorates are now working together on providing education and advice to the construction industry and recently held a joint seminar on the supervision of apprentices on construction sites. There will be more of this type of activity to come. These two areas of government are now working on joint inspection and investigation activities that will run through to December, with the plan of implementing joint delegations when it comes to certain enforcement actions in the fourth quarter of 2013-14.

The territory is also developing a suite of strategies to manage work health and safety in the construction works commissioned by the government itself. The Commerce and Works Directorate has implemented its active certification model, which applies to select ACT government construction projects with project values at or exceeding a quarter of a million dollars where pre-qualified contractors are engaged.

The industry information session to introduce the model has seen a strong level of participation, with over 100 participants attending that session. Complementing this is a weighted assistance criterion that emphasises safety as the key criterion when the government is considering tenders for government construction projects. The message is clear, Mr Assistant Speaker: if a construction company wants to do business with the ACT government, then it must put safety at the forefront of its procedures. If this proves to be too hard, those companies can look for work elsewhere.

The government is also well aware of its responsibilities. All directorates have due diligence responsibilities to ensure that they have procedures in place as far as is reasonably practical for all government construction contracts to be carried out safely. Directorates will shortly finalise a whole-of-government approach to managing work health and safety in construction projects.

The Economic Development Directorate and the Land Development Agency have developed and are implementing interim guidelines which are now being finalised by

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video