Many construction companies are based in one state but undertake work across state borders. For construction in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria the different work health and safety law requirements has created some confusion.
To raise awareness of regulatory similarities and the ease of working on either side of the border, WorkCover NSW and WorkSafe Victoria commenced a three year Cross Border Construction Safety Initiative with local businesses in 2013.
Inspectors from both organisations held joint information sessions, distributed publications and visited construction sites to answer questions and explain the similarities between NSW and Victorian work health and safety requirements.
Inspectors also trialled an inspection checklist to help businesses comply with the laws.
- raised awareness of the similarities in work health and safety requirements between the two jurisdictions
- raised awareness of the ease of working in the construction industry on either side of the border
- raised awareness about unsafe work practices on construction sites in border areas
- improved the builders' and sub-contractors' ability to recognise, manage and control construction hazards and risks on both sides of the border
- encouraged better housekeeping practices, safety planning and supervision, and
- helped to reduce any perceived red tape issues while ensuring more productive, healthy and safe construction sites.
The initiative also strengthened the working relationships between the two health and safety regulators and raised the profile of health and safety in construction practices along the border area.
Stakeholder feedback to this proactive approach and the opportunity to speak to the regulators onsite has been positive.
The project is continuing with the next phase commencing in Albury/Wodonga in June 2014.