Canberra is the most dangerous place to work in construction, a Safe Work Australia report reveals.
The report, published in October, shows there were 23.8 claims for serious injury and disease per 1000 construction workers in 2015-16, compared to the national average of 16 claims.
The ACT remains the jurisdiction with the highest rate of claims in the industry for the last five years, though there was a more than 16 per cent decrease in the same period.
The ACT is also the most dangerous place to work in both the healthcare and retail industries, with the highest rate of claims for serious incidents.
Though both had also recorded decreases between 2011-12 and 2014-15; in retail it was a substantial decrease of 23 per cent.
Overall, the ACT had the third highest incident rates of serious injury and disease claims per 1000 workers, and frequency rates per million hours worked, in both measures coming in behind Queensland and Tasmania.
In incidence rates of long term – 12 weeks or more compensation – injury and disease claims per 1000 workers, the ACT came second behind Western Australia, with 3.5 claims.
In a press release, UnionsACT compared that figure to WorkSafe ACT compliance activities.
Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT, Canberra’s peak unions body, said that in the same period WorkSafe ACT recorded a decrease in the number of compliance activities – down an average of 84 percent – compared to 2014, the year before it was merged into Access Canberra.
He said Canberra needed WorkSafe ACT “focused on enforcing workplace safety laws, and holding unscrupulous unsafe employers to account.”
“Instead, WorkSafe was merged into the same agency that regulates motor boat licensing, gaming, pet registration and refund complaints,” he said.
“We have just had a crane audit and scaffolding audit where almost every single crane and scaffolding company failed the audit, and there were more than 600 serious injuries in the Canberra construction sector last year.
“How many more serious injuries and workplace fatalities does Canberra need before safety is treated seriously?”
Source: Brisbane Times