Page 1284 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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Whilst there have been no fatalities, and whilst there has been a marked change in approach, the incidence rate for serious injury in the ACT construction sector remains too high. We must continue to pursue safety as a priority.

As I have said, without the commitment and effort of all parties, including government, industry and employee bodies, principal contractors, site supervisors and workers, it is impossible to change the culture of the industry and to reduce the incidence of serious injury.

The Getting home safely report recognises that workers’ capacity to identify hazards and risks is key to helping minimise risk, and formal construction qualifications and trade skills, on-the-job training and the continued enhancement of these skills are particularly important.

I would like to reiterate the ACT government’s commitment to the recommendations of the report to ensure a healthy and safe workplace culture and improved health and safety outcomes for workers in the territory.

As we are all aware, improvement in safety will come not only from compliance activities but from engagement with and support to the industry.

The government strongly believes one of the best ways to improve workplace safety is through active engagement of workers. Safety is the result of collaboration and communication, and I am pleased to see this happening throughout the industry. I believe the industry is demonstrating genuine engagement and increasing cooperation to improve safety outcomes. Engagement and cooperation must continue to develop to achieve a culture of workplace safety.

Since my last update on the progress of the recommendations of the report, in September last year, I can advise the Assembly that over the course of the year WorkSafe ACT has increased the number of work safety inspectors by 12, to 32. A further 11 offences subject to infringement notices commenced on July 2013, and work continues on developing additional offences suitable for infringement notices. The Construction Services Branch of the former ACT Planning and Land Authority and WorkSafe ACT are now structurally aligned in Access Canberra and are better able to collaborate on targeting specific concerns on work sites.

The Work Safety Commissioner has continued to organise and deliver construction industry focused workshops and courses, emphasising education and effective task induction. The Construction Services Branch have participated in many of the workshops, with the ongoing training program allowing for flexibility so that the campaign can respond to topical issues as they arise. The government has provided input to the review of the construction industry card, the white card. The review has been completed and the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council are currently redeveloping the course.

The ACT Industrial Court has been established and has a number of work health and safety matters before it. The court commenced on 8 November 2013. On 28 November that year, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker was appointed for four

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