WorkCover Inspectors have begun a campaign to raise awareness about cross border work. They have begun the campaign by visiting sites, starting with those in Yarrawonga. The project will inform local construction businesses about simplicity and similarities of working on sites on either side of the border, in both Victoria and NSW.
Some in the construction industry are still misinformed about whether or not they are allowed to operate in other states, that goes for both employees and construction companies. The inspectors campaign will aim to shed light on the ease with which construction companies can undertake cross border work. This excerpt from a post on WorkCover.NSW.gov.au explains:
Inspectors from the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) and WorkCover NSW will team up to visit construction sites in Yarrawonga, Mulwala, Cobram and Barooga from 26-30 August.
VWA Regional Director, Shane Gillard, said the upcoming visit to the Yarrawonga region followed a similar – and successful – project in Albury and Wodonga in June.
“Many businesses are based in one state, but undertake work in the other, hence the reason for the joint agency approach to address any confusion they have around the differences between Victorian and NSW safety laws,” he said.
“Inspectors from both organisations will be visiting commercial, domestic and civil construction sites throughout the Yarrawonga region next week and we are looking forward to answering any questions these businesses may have.”
The main reason for the campaign by inspectors is to hopefully improve safety. According to VWA Regional Director, Shane Gillard the project will help to minimize injuries and deaths from unsafe work practices across border areas.
During the campaign inspectors will be speaking to builders and sub-contractors about the need to identify, assess and eliminate or control construction hazards on either side of the b order. They will be utilizing Safe Work Method Statements to do this and will provide builders with simple inspection checklists to assist them identifying the risks (to ensure that they do not miss anything) because there are some hazards that often slip through the cracks.
Inspectors will apparently use the checklist to ensure a more consistent approach to health and safety across the region. By providing businesses with a generic checklist, it will ensure they aren’t missing anything and uses a more uniform approach to safety.
It is also important that workers understand their role in site safety beginning with the need to complete general construction safety training.
General construction safety training is a mandatory requirement throughout Oz and in fact across NSW and Victoria. Fortunately workers are now able to obtain the national qualification called the White Card, enabling them to work on either side of the border, or in any other state they wish.
So not only do employers have a uniform checklist to address hazards but employees on construction sites also receive uniform safety training. This much more consistent approach is likely to have a significantly beneficial impact on safety within the building industry on the whole.