Safework tells tradies, “It’s the safe way or no way”

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
3 Min Read

The industry watchdog is cracking down on dodgy job site dealings across NSW in their latest campaign for worker safety. 

According to Safework, the initiative aims to raise awareness among workers, employers, businesses, and contractors about the “critical role” reducing workplace risks and safe work practices play in saving tradie lives. 

“Every worker has the right to return home safe. It’s the safe way, or NO WAY,” writes the organisation on its website. 

Targeting any and all workers aged between 18 and 54 across construction (as well as agriculture, trade, and food delivery), the campaign will be taking a closer look at:

  • Keeping workers safe at heights.
  • The correct use of safety guards.
  • And making sure tradies are kitted out in “well-fitting” up-to-date personal protective equipment.

The crackdown comes after data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found falls from heights are by far the state’s most common cause of fatalities and serious injuries and count as the country’s leading cause of injury hospitalisation (43 per cent) and injury death (42 per cent).

Warehouse workers in particular, such as forklift drivers, will be under a microscope in the coming months as safety officers emphasise the importance of seatbelt use and the implementation of measures to separate deadly machinery from pedestrian areas.

Agriculture businesses, ranking as the second-highest industry for fatalities, have also been targeted by this latest campaign due to risks associated with heavy farm machinery and animal handling.

Head of SafeWork NSWTrent Curtin, said tradies and business owners can expect to see their social media feed drive home radio station invaded with campaign ads in the coming weeks as the safety watchdog ramps up the “vital messaging” inspectors deliver daily. 

“This campaign reinforces the importance of raising awareness of health and safety risks in workplaces,” commented Curtain.

“It supports the work of our dedicated Inspectors by emphasising the messages they take to workplaces every day – delivering them to a far wider audience.

“SafeWork NSW is targeting this campaign based on a range of criteria including evidence from workers compensation injury claims and incident data, research on enduring and emerging high-risk harms and the day-to-day experience of our Inspectors.”

Based on their previous safety campaigns and work site blitzes, job sites looking to dodge the wrath of safety inspectors had better shape up quickly. 

In the last year alone, the organisation has responded to over 8,900 workplace incidents, dishing out 15,168 notices and taking 61 matters into the court room where bosses were slapped with hefty fines ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars.

For further details on the campaign or access to resources, tradies are encouraged to visit the SafeWork NSW website.

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.