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Australia Almost half of NSW building sites have dodgy scaffolding, new data reveals

06:35  01 october  2019
06:35  01 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

'I can never bring my son back': Shattered mother of tradie, 18, who died in scaffolding collapse demands justice as new laws make it easier to punish negligent bosses

  'I can never bring my son back': Shattered mother of tradie, 18, who died in scaffolding collapse demands justice as new laws make it easier to punish negligent bosses The shattered mother (left) of a tradie (right) that died days after his 18th birthday in a workplace accident has made a heartbreaking plea for justice. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Patrizia Cassaniti (right), 48, who lost her son Christopher (left) in a construction site accident said more needed to be done to ensure safety Patrizia Cassaniti, 48, lost her son Christopher when the scaffolding he was standing on collapsed into rubble at a Macquarie Park construction site in Sydney's north west in April.

The mother of an apprentice killed in a building site collapse says new data revealing almost half of scaffolds on NSW building sites had parts missing is Key points: A recent inspection found 44 per cent of scaffolding in NSW had missing parts. The review was sparked by the death of apprentice

– General Guide for Scaffolding and Scaffolding Work, Safe Work Australia – SafeWork NSW Code of Practice for Overhead Protective Structures. A plan showing all existing traffic control and/or parking signs, proposed new signs and/or relocated signs must be submitted with a hoarding

a construction site: An 18-year-old died when this scaffolding collapsed in Macquarie Park in April. (Supplied: Facebook)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation An 18-year-old died when this scaffolding collapsed in Macquarie Park in April. (Supplied: Facebook)

A mother of a Sydney apprentice who died in a scaffolding collapse says she is not surprised by new data which shows almost half of the construction sites in NSW have non-compliant rigging.

Christopher Cassaniti, 18, was crushed to death when the scaffold he was working on at a Macquarie Park building site came down in April.

The NSW Government said the construction industry had been put on notice after a blitz on more than 700 building sites by SafeWork NSW.

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Scaffolding , also called scaffold or staging, is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings

However, the data does reveal some interesting trends and can help you avoid pitfalls that could lead you to being underemployed. I’m going to pause for a moment so that you can soak that in… Almost half of this entire workforce (according to this study) is stuck in a job that is not leveraging their full

About 44 per cent of the scaffolding on them had parts missing, while unlicensed workers had altered or removed scaffolding components on 36 per cent of sites.

The Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said Mr Cassaniti's death sparked the latest review.

"One injury is too many, one death is too many so we are doing everything we possibly can," he said.

"We will be tightening laws, we will be coming after those that are doing the wrong thing."

Sydney has more ongoing construction than any other major city in Australia, with twice as many cranes operating in the NSW capital than Melbourne, according to the 2018 National Crane Index.

Ms Cassaniti has become a workplace safety advocate since her son's death and said change could not come quickly enough.

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Planning and building . Scaffolding erected on a public road must be protected at street level by a Type A hoarding fence, which is often attached to the scaffolding frame. Alternative pedestrian pathways past the work site must also be provided, which are appropriate and approved – including

Employers are obsessed with new technologies and driving down costs. A different approach for dealing with retention (which seems creepy to some) is to try to determine who is interested in leaving and then intervene.

"To me it is not surprising to find that the statistics have come back so bad," she said.

"I heard the workers complain a lot when they are on site and in dangerous situations."

She said she did not want her son to become "another statistic".

"Scaffolders put their scaffolds up, they tag it and then the workers go and use the scaffolding but some remove parts they should not, just to get the job done quickly," Ms Cassaniti said.

Mr Anderson said an alarming rate of unsafe practices were found, including 84 immediate fines for scaffolding breaches during the audit period.

"It is totally reckless behaviour to put anyone's life at risk. We will be cracking down. If you do the wrong thing, if you do something wrong you will face the toughest penalties," he said.

The Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection, Julia Finn, said it was concerning it took Mr Cassaniti's death to take scaffolding breaches seriously.

"The State Government has committed to strengthening the laws which is a good thing but in the meantime they have not been using the laws they have and doing more inspections and prosecutions," she said.

Ms Cassaniti is formally launching her foundation set up in honour of her son this weekend.

'Extreme risk' identified in SA buildings due to combustible cladding .
More than 30 South Australian buildings require urgent remedial work to deal with potentially flammable aluminium cladding — but the State Government is refusing to identify which buildings are at risk. The buildings have been identified in a statewide audit, which was launched in mid-2017 in the wake of London's Grenfell Tower fire.The State Government audit's interim report has determined seven privately-owned buildings are at "extreme risk" and require immediate action and remedial work.

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