Federal Safety Commissioner promotes safety excellence at the 2021 Master Builders Australia National Business Excellence Awards

23 February 2022

Federal Safety Commissioner David Denney urged companies at the Master Builders Australia 2021 National Business Excellence Awards to strive for safety excellence and consider the benefits of gaining accreditation under the WHS Accreditation Scheme. The awards recognise stand-out business best practice, corporate conduct and success in small, medium, and large businesses in the residential, commercial, and civil construction sectors.

Commissioner Denney said, “At face value, accreditation under the Scheme is a legislative requirement for any head contractor seeking to undertake government-funded building work. But in reality, if your organisation is striving for excellence in safety, you need to seriously consider Scheme accreditation.”

“The Scheme aims to ensure every building worker goes home safely every day. At the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, we strive to achieve this through a collaborative approach to on-site inspection of a company’s safety systems. We look to ensure that safety is driven by systems, championed by senior leaders, and implemented consistently on-site.”

Commissioner Denney noted OFSC data shows that between 2016 and 2020 Scheme accredited companies reduced their lost time injury frequency rate by an average of 18% and reduced their medically treated injury frequency rate by an average of 30%. In addition, Scheme accredited companies report lower workers’ compensation premium rates over time with almost 60% of companies reducing their premium rates by an average of 35% after three years of accreditation.

Finally, Commissioner Denney outlined his priority to improve scaffolding safety this year and called upon companies’ senior leadership to engage more closely on their scaffolding safety systems and implementation on-site.

You can watch the full speech below.