Serious injuries on ACT construction sites have risen for the second year in a row on a per capita basis, two years after a major report into site safety called for a reduction of 35 per cent.
In 2012-13, Canberra’s construction workers suffered serious injuries at a rate of 31.5 people per 1000 population, easily the highest rate of any state or territory in Australia.
When the Getting Home Safely report into workplace safety was originally released in 2012, there were 24.5 serious incidents per 1000 residents.
At the time the report called for a 35 per cent reduction in injuries on ACT construction sites within three years.
CFMEU ACT secretary Dean Hall described the new figures as a “bloody disgrace” and said it was only a matter of time until someone lost their life on a construction site.
“It’s just pure luck there isn’t more people being killed. What we are seeing is reports of some serious near misses but also some very nasty accidents,” he said.
“Anyone who sends their loved ones into the construction industry on a daily basis, you’d be deeply concerned because unfortunately it’s only a matter of time.”
Mr Hall said he placed the blame for the poor figures squarely at the feet of the ACT Master Builders Association and the employers, who he said hadn’t taken the recommendations of the Getting Home Safely report seriously.
“We are having lives destroyed by serious workplace accidents. What you’re getting is people [suffering] serious disabilities, sending them into relationship breakdowns, alcohol and drug abuse – you’re seeing whole families being destroyed,” he said.
(Source: Sydney Morning Herald)