Hazard 2020 – Signs of Improvement in Scaffolding Audit Results, but Significant Room for Improvement Remains

Throughout May, the Hazard 2020 Safety Campaign has seen a significant improvement in companies meeting some of the WHS Accreditation Scheme requirements regarding scaffolding. This great result has seen the performance of accredited companies exceed the trend over the 2017-19 period in seven of the 10 scaffolding audit criteria that form part of the Campaign.

Federal Safety Commissioner David Denney commented that, “I’m pleased to see improvement in scaffolding data. It’s important that these improvements are sustained over the longer term and that we continue working to address the remaining scaffolding criteria where we’re yet to see any improvement.”

The key area of concern in scaffolding remains the failure to comply with the requirement to have systems that ensure installation by a competent person and verification of correct installation prior to use. This criteria has been failed in 52 per cent of the Hazard 2020 safety audits undertaken. Accredited companies are also struggling to meet Scheme criteria that require a scaffolding plan to be developed by a qualified person and any change to that plan similarly approved – this was failed in 42 per cent of Hazard 2020 safety audits.

Commissioner Denney said, “The OFSC’s April 2021 scaffolding webinar focused on what companies need to do to meet the Scheme’s scaffolding criteria. It also showcased systems and products that can be used to address the risk of unauthorised scaffolding alteration and scaffold tampering”. The webinar was recorded and can be viewed on the Federal Safety Commissioner’s website.

While Hazard 2020 Safety Campaign results have shown continuing improvement in compliance with mobile plant requirements, mobile cranes continue to be an area of focus.

The OFSC will shortly be releasing a more detailed data report on the progressive results of the Hazard 2020 Safety Campaign. The Office will also be writing to all accredited companies to raise awareness of the key areas of focus and developing further guidance material for companies.

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