Hazard 2020 Updates
7 June 2021 - 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.
On Thursday 29 April 2021 the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) held the second of the Hazard 2020 webinar series, with a focus this month on Scaffolding Risk Management. The Hazard 2020 webinar series aims to educate WHS professionals in the construction industry through shared learnings and open discussion in a collaborative forum.
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.
The end of March 2021 saw the 12-month Hazard 2020 campaign pass its half-way point. Over 200 total audits have now been scheduled or undertaken, roughly half of which have had final audit reports completed and issued to companies. The campaign is seeing improvements in the way accredited companies manage mobile plant. Against all mobile plant related WHS Accreditation Scheme audit criteria, the rate of non-compliance is down by almost 5% in comparison to the 2017-2019 trend.
The OFSC continues to monitor scaffolding and mobile plant related on-site incidents, hazard-specific audits and corrective actions, as part of the Hazard 2020 safety campaign. During February 2021, an additional 21 audits were completed on worksites of Scheme Accredited builders focusing on either scaffolding, mobile plant, or both. Mobile plant related incidents are occurring at a rate of almost four times that of scaffolding related incidents, but at the moment, there are no significant trends emerging on the type or cause of these incidents.
Over 250 construction industry professionals attended the first Federal Safety Commissioner Hazard 2020 Campaign online educative forum on Thursday 18 February, focussed on secondary safety systems for Elevated Work Platforms (EWPs). With feature presentations by Graeme Silvester and Nathan Kiepe of CPB Contractors, Andrew Delahunt of the EWPA and Federal Safety Officer Brett Jones, as well as a concluding Q&A session, this first in a series of webinars planned during the Hazard 2020 campaign was resoundingly well received.
Throughout the Hazard 2020 Safety Campaign, targeting scaffolding and mobile plant, the OFSC is closely tracking on-site incidents, hazard-specific audits and undertaking detailed corrective action analysis to better understand the key reasons for non-compliance with the WHS Accreditation Scheme audit criteria.
Each month, for the rest of the 12-month campaign, the OFSC will publish a data update, tracking the scaffolding and mobile plant related audit and incident data, with more dynamic and detailed reports being produced as trends develop.
Hazard 2020 – What is it?
The Federal Safety Commissioner (FSC) and the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme) reflect the highest standards of work health and safety in Australia’s continually growing and changing building and construction industry. 2020 has posed significant and unique health and safety challenges for all Australians, and the building and construction industry has had to quickly adapt its approach and practices to ensure the continued health and safety of workers.
Through the ongoing collection and analysis of trends in both reported incident data and audit results, the Scheme provides an ideal platform for addressing emerging and prevalent health and safety issues facing the building and construction industry.
Hazard 2020 involves a specific educative and audit focus on two prevalent industry hazards - Scaffolding and Mobile Plant. Together with fact sheets, guidance and instructional information published at the commencement of Hazard 2020, the OFSC will be focussing on how these hazards are managed by accredited companies throughout 2020-21. Beyond the immediate health and safety benefits that focussed audits can bring to improving management of these hazards onsite, the information and data collected during the campaign will assist in the development of new educative resources, lessons learnt and data analysis to assist companies in improving outcomes regarding management of Scaffolding and Mobile Plant risks.
Why Mobile Plant and Scaffolding?
Analysis of Scheme data from 2015 to 2019 shows that Mobile Plant and Scaffolding are the most common incident types reported to the OFSC by Scheme accredited companies, and are the most frequently issued hazard related Corrective Action Reports (CARs) at OFSC site audits.
- Over 50% of reported incidents that are associated with a high-risk hazard are either Mobile Plant or Falls from Height related;
- Almost 60% of CARs issued against hazards are against Mobile Plant or Scaffolding
While our data provides a compelling call to focus on Mobile Plant and Scaffold management, the human cost when these two hazards are poorly managed provides the incentive to improve health and safety outcomes with respect to these known areas of risk.
Hazard 2020 – what to expect
The Hazard 2020 targeted audit campaign will review one or both of the selected hazards through the existing Accreditation Scheme audit program. Accredited companies will be familiar with elements of the current FSC Audit Criteria which have been re-grouped to focus on Scaffolding and/or Mobile Plant, and will be chosen as the selected hazards when applicable. Detailed information, including example processes for addressing the individual elements of the Hazard 2020 audit criteria is available in the Scaffolding and Mobile Plant fact sheets prepared by the OFSC.
The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner detailed Scaffolding in Construction Fact Sheet and Mobile Plant Fact Sheet provide an overview of each hazard, how the hazard is present in the industry, key risks, and how accredited companies can implement a systems-based approach to ensuring these hazards are effectively managed in accordance with the FSC audit criteria.
Case studies will be produced showcasing innovative risk management solutions to managing Mobile Plant and Scaffolding, identified through audits and biannual reporting.
Data Analysis and Reporting
Throughout the Hazard 2020 campaign, the OFSC will produce periodic updates on CARs and incident trends regarding Scaffolding and Mobile Plant. The ongoing assessment of both these measures will help the OFSC target resources and review the effectiveness of each specific focus area under the campaign. Over time this will assist in refining the way a targeted data-driven campaign should be developed and implemented
Hazard 2020 – outcomes
A range of informative material is expected to be published as a result of the Hazard 2020 campaign. More immediately, site audits focusing on one or both of the targeted hazards will provide accredited companies the opportunity to look beyond compliance, and assess current practices and controls regarding the identification, assessment and management of Scaffolding and Mobile Plant risks on a building and construction site.
It is anticipated this renewed focus on Mobile Plant and Scaffolding will result in an improvement in the number of CARs issued at OFSC audits and importantly incidents involving these hazards. If not, outcomes from the campaign will be analysed to determine what additional measures and support the OFSC can provide beyond Hazard 2020 to improve safety outcomes with respect to these two areas of risk.