Four Victorian regulators will join forces next week to ensure the state’s construction and demolition industries are meeting safety, environmental, building and plumbing compliance obligations.
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), WorkSafe, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will kick off the 2022 Build Aware campaign next week, providing operators with key information on laws that protect the community and the environment. The initiative, to run between Monday, 7 and Friday, 11 March, will focus on the Bendigo area, working to ensure the sector understands its building, construction, environment, occupational health and safety obligations.
Over the past four years, Build Aware has targeted regional areas including Shepparton, Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Wodonga, Geelong and Warrnambool. Joint activities delivered by the regulators include industry trade breakfasts, joint inspections and educational presentations to local TAFE students. In March, the four agencies will carry out inspections across the City of Greater Bendigo to ensure compliance with safety, environmental, building and plumbing standards. A webinar will also be held on Thursday, 3 March with each agency highlighting relevant legislation. Each agency will promote messages central to its mission during the campaign.
During the week, ESV will address construction workers and machinery operators working near overhead and underground electrical assets and their compliance and understanding of No Go Zone requirements.
WorkSafe will focus on the dangers of high-risk construction work, including working at heights, and the control measures needed to prevent injuries and fatalities on site.
The VBA will be checking building and plumbing works as part of its Proactive Inspections Program, which aims to reduce non-compliant building and plumbing work.
While the EPA will look at responsibilities of construction and demolition industries when it comes to waste management at building sites
ESV Commissioner and Chairperson Marnie Williams
“Unfortunately, we are still seeing machinery operators and other workers making contact with overhead powerlines on a regular basis.” “Teaming up with these agencies will help us drive home messages to ensure people are looking up and around before they start operating excavators and cranes.” “ESV’s first priority is ensuring the community is kept safe, by reminding workers to look up we will hopefully save lives.”
EPA Regional Manager North West Dr Scott Pigdon
“The new Environment Protection Act has given EPA greater power to protect the environment and community and every Victorian now has a legal responsibility to take reasonable action to do the same.” “Waste management issues are common at building sites, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of waste producers, to ensure that waste is properly managed onsite and goes to a lawful place for disposal or recycling.” “You also have the power to report illegal waste disposal – it’s a way of protecting the environment and ridding the industry of the dodgy operators who compete unfairly with legitimate builders.”
VBA State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini
“By joining forces with other regulators, we are placing a collective focus on providing safe buildings for Victorians.” “Our inspectors regularly engage with practitioners to address any issues observed and Build Aware offers another opportunity to speak to practitioners in the Bendigo region.”
WorkSafe Director Construction and Earth Resources Matthew Wielgosz
“Victoria is experiencing rapid growth in construction and with more than 3,500 injuries in the state’s construction industry each year, it’s crucial employers take safety responsibilities seriously. Don’t assume that just because you haven't had an incident your business is operating safely.” “This joint campaign is the perfect opportunity to join forces with other agencies to help ensure employers are able to meet all of their obligations keep Victorians safe.”
Reviewed 24 January 2023