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Minister Orr Media Release: Worker safety the focus of residential construction summit

July 31, 2020

Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Suzanne Orr, today joined with stakeholders at WorkSafe ACT’s Strategic Summit, to continue the important discussion around safety at residential construction sites.

Improving the construction industry's safety culture and performance was highlighted as a key priority in the Minister’s Statement of Expectations for the new independent WorkSafe ACT.

“The aim of today’s summit was to engage with key industry and union leaders, talk through WorkSafe’s strategic focus and enforcement priorities over the next four years, and seek input for WorkSafe’s Residential Construction Strategy,” Minister Orr said.

“The feedback from stakeholders today will be invaluable in shaping WorkSafe’s response to improving safety in the residential construction industry.

"Two recent fatalities in the residential construction industry leave us in no doubt that this industry's safety culture must change. Workplace fatalities are unacceptable and together we must lead action to make sure every worker goes home at the end of their shift.

The ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner, Jacqueline Agius, said that WorkSafe ACT has an important role to play in promoting work health and safety through regulatory compliance and enforcement activities, not only in the residential construction industry, but across all industries.

“Residential construction workers should feel safe on the job every day. I will be working closely with this industry to improve their safety culture and to prevent workplace deaths and injuries in the ACT,” she said.

Ms Agius will deliver a response to the Statement of Expectations in early September which will outline WorkSafe ACT's plans for 2020-2021.

Statement ends