Hazard 2020 final report highlights widespread scaffolding safety problems in Australian building and construction

Today, the OFSC published the final results of its 12-month Hazard 2020 safety campaign that ran across 2020 and 2021. The Hazard 2020 Campaign Review showed solid improvements in mobile plant safety on building sites, but painted a bleak picture of scaffolding safety.

Federal Safety Commissioner David Denney said, “The Hazard 2020 Campaign found that the rate of compliance with Scheme scaffolding requirements has not improved since 2016 and in many areas, has declined.” He noted that the areas of lowest compliance detected during Hazard 2020, that saw almost one in two companies audited fail to meet Scheme requirements, include:

  • to have a scaffolding plan developed by a qualified person,
  • to verify the scaffold as correctly installed prior to use, and
  • to have changes to the scaffold design signed off by a qualified person prior to implementation.

Commissioner Denney has outlined new initiatives in the Hazard 2020 Campaign Final Report to assist companies in meeting their scaffolding obligations, while adding “these obligations are ultimately the responsibility of each company to get right.” He noted companies that fail to meet their obligations, or breach their conditions of accreditation, should expect to face compliance action from the OFSC.

The Commissioner thanked OFSC staff and companies accredited under the WHS Accreditation Scheme for their involvement in the Hazard 2020 Campaign. He said, “The aim of this Campaign was to investigate the causes of these hazards’ non-compliance and high incident occurrence while improving performance through our live webinars, case studies and hazard management guidance. While a lot was achieved, the scaffolding compliance issues in the industry are significant, and will require ongoing vigilance by all WHS regulators to address.”

All Hazard 2020 fact sheets, webinars, case studies and safety management guidance materials are catalogued with links as a part of the report.

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