With the New Year starting, many young and inexperienced apprentices will be beginning their careers in the construction industry.
While all construction workers must complete Construction Induction training (CI card), it’s important to remember that the CI card does not fully equip a worker to recognise the risks that they may be exposed to. New workers must be provided with information, instruction and training on your company’s safe systems of work and be inducted onto every new site they will be working on.
Everyone who is part of a young worker’s life can help them transition into the workforce and stay safe. This can be people such as an employer or supervisor, workmates, trade school teachers, family and friends. They can help out by checking in with the young worker about how they are going, help explain the hazards and risks of their job, and speak up for them—a young worker may not feel comfortable to speak up about their concerns.
Employers, supervisors and workmates can also influence how important safety is through what they say and do (and don’t say and do) about safety on their sites.
WorkSafe offers a range of safety-related advice about young workers on its website and lists relevant employer and union websites which you can go to for further information.
Many apprentice electricians will also be starting their careers and it’s important to remember that WorkSafe is out conducting inspections each and every day. WorkSafe recently completed a targeted Electrical Blitz on domestic and commercial construction sites with a focus on the Principal Contractor’s management of electrical risks onsite.
Of the 286 visits conducted over a six week period, 59% were conducted in the domestic sector and 35% in the commercial sector. Here’s what we found:
- Over 90% compliance with no-go procedures for underground and overhead assets. (where applicable)
- Over 90% compliance with identification of live wiring and provision of adequate switchboards onsite. (where applicable)
- Over 80% compliance with inspection and maintenance of temporary construction wiring, switchboard maintenance, condition of wiring and procedure for isolating and electrical wiring. (where applicable)
- The Residual current Device (RCD) was not appropriately restricted, inspected or appropriately maintained at over a quarter of sites visited.
- Portable electrical equipment also failed to be tested and tagged at over a quarter of sites visited.
- 47% of sites visited required an inspector to take enforcement action.
The most common issues
- Inspection and testing of portable electrical equipment, including RCD’s
- Inadequate or unsafe supply of power to the construction site
- Unrestricted access to RCD’s
- Power leads on the ground, in walkways or doorways.
We’ll be continuing to focus on the management of electrical risks during future site inspections.
You can find more information at: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/electrical