Safety Minister in town after alarming safety issues in Newcastle

The Minister for Work Health and Safety has joined SafeWork NSW construction inspectors on the beat in Newcastle.

The visit from Sophie Cotsis follows the tragic death of a worker at the John Hunter Hospital, who was fatally struck by reinforcement which fell on him, as well as a number of stop work orders being issued at construction sites on Watt Street and Brunker Road at Broadmeadow due to alarming safety issues.

It’is those alarming safety issues that has prompted a 12-month safety wide campaign targeting the Hunter in particular.

Inspectors will be out in force over the next three months, visiting construction sites without warning to check on safety and compliance. They also won’t hesitate to issue on the spot fines of up to $3600 for employers and $720 for individuals caught doing the wrong thing.

“The recent incidents at construction sites, which include fatalities are simply unacceptable. I’m in town to learn more about what has happened and what more we need to do to ensure every worker can return home safely,” Sophie Cotsis said.

“The NSW Government has a zero-tolerance approach to workers lives being placed at risk and SafeWork inspectors can and will issue on the spot fines for serious safety breaches, as well as stopping work from happening on site.

“While the tragic incidents in the Hunter are under investigation, it’s important to see what improvements can be made in this area.”

For more information on working safely with moving plant and vehicles, see the SafeWork NSW website or contact 13 10 50.

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