Hazard 2020 – Scaffolding Audit Results Continue to Raise Concern

The latest Hazard 2020 safety campaign data up to the end of April 2021 continues to show that while accredited companies are making solid progress in improving the safety of mobile plant, compliance with scaffolding requirements remains too low.

Only 60 per cent of companies audited so far during the Hazard 2020 campaign met the requirement to ensure scaffold plans are developed by a qualified person and that changes to the plan were signed off by that person. More concerning is that only half of companies audited met the requirement for temporary structures to be installed by a competent person and verified as correctly installed prior to use.

“Principle contractors have a critical role on construction sites in ensuring the safe erection and use of scaffolding,” said Federal Safety Commissioner David Denney. “While scaffolding may be installed by a licensed subcontractor, principle contractors need to take reasonable steps to verify the adequacy of that work”.

If you need more information on how to meet your safety requirements in relation to scaffolding, please refer to the Safe Work Australia guidance material on scaffolding. Safe Work Australia also provides useful guides and checklists on scaffold inspection and maintenance. You can also watch the OFSC’s latest webinar on scaffolding safety. Further information is available in the relevant Australian Standards:

  • AS 1576 (series): Scaffolding
  • AS 1577: Scaffold decking components
  • AS/NZS 4576: Guidelines for scaffolding.

Raw incident data from Scheme accredited companies is showing mobile plant related incidents occurring at more than four times the rate of scaffolding related incidents.

With almost 250 Hazard 2020 audits completed or in progress, the OFSC is on track to complete over 400 audits focussing on these high-risk areas.

The Hazard 2020: October 2020 to April 2021 Update is available now on the Useful Documents and Downloads page.