Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Work safety enforcement action doubled

June 27, 2019

An increased emphasis on safety awareness, proactive site inspections and enforcement action has seen WorkSafe ACT more than double enforcement and regulatory activity on the previous financial year.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety Rachel Stephen-Smith said WorkSafe inspectors have been active on the ground, focusing on young workers and high risk industries and work places such as construction, health care, retail and hospitality.

“WorkSafe ACT has had a busy year, supporting safety on key capital projects such as Light Rail and major development activity across our city. Inspectors have undertaken close to 4000 inspections and visits to worksites and workplaces across the ACT over the financial year.

“As well as providing information and education to workers and employers, WorkSafe has taken enforcement action where needed to support the safety and protection of workers.”

In the 2018-19 financial year (to date) 360 Improvement Notices have been issued (up from 170 in 2017-18), 220 Prohibition Notices (up from 77), 26 Infringement Notices (up from 23), 13 Non-Disturbance Notices (up from one) and five Enforceable Undertakings (up from 2).

“Industry and employers have clearly heard the message that unsafe work practices will not be tolerated, and safety must be at the forefront of all activity.” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

Minister Stephen-Smith also noted the safety of young workers had been a key priority in the 2018-19 financial year through a proactive audit of workplaces.

“Inspectors have spoken to more than 1000 individual workers and employers across 200 workplaces. This work is particularly important as we know young people, including apprentices and trainees, are often more vulnerable to unsafe work practices.”

“The work done by WorkSafe ACT is incredibly important in ensuring workers return home safely at the end of every say and every shift. I thank WorkSafe ACT staff for their ongoing commitment to improving workplace safety in Canberra.” Minister Stephen-Smith said.