Dangerous Illawarra construction sites have been slapped with 104 notices for unsafe work practices and $26,640 in fines.
SafeWork NSW inspectors arrived unannounced at 118 worksites, including 40 general construction and 78 asbestos demolition operators, from November 6-8.
Many of the visits were the result of public tip-offs, others were known at-risk sites.
"Inspectors focused on a number of high-risk factors associated with construction sites, including electrical safety, falls from heights, moving plant, structural safety and dust diseases," a SafeWork spokesman said.
"The majority of penalty notices have been issued for failure to provide fall protection and electrical safety concerns."
During the blitz 23 prohibition notices were handed out to 19 construction sites and four asbestos demolition operators. These are for the most serious risks to health and safety of workers.
"A prohibition notice may include directions to stop the activity or to change the way the activity is done, to prevent illness or injury," SafeWork NSW's website states.
Inspectors also handed out 70 improvement notices (56 for construction and 14 for asbestos demolition). These are for safety issues that must be fixed, but generally the workplace can continue to operate while the notice is being actioned.
An additional 11 penalty notices worth $26,640 were handed out to construction sites for unsafe work practices.
SafeWork declined to provide company names or addresses of those issued a notice or fine.
Australia's construction sector had the third highest number of workplace fatalities in 2022 at 27. This followed transport/postal/warehouse at 67 and agriculture/forestry/fishing at 44.
During a two-week period this year, three Illawarra construction workers fell from a height including Oak Flats tradie Connor Pringle, 20, who died a few days after his fall on July 24.
In separate incidents a 22-year-old man fell at a residential construction site in Bulli and was impaled on a metal bar on July 20. One week later, on July 27, a 20-year-old contractor fell from a height at the rebuilding of Kiama Woolworths and was left with severe back injuries.
By July 27, 59 workers had been injured on Illawarra worksites so far during 2023.
SafeWork NSW regional director construction services, Laurence Richey, "tragic workplace incidents" in the Illawarra have led to sanctions against builders for unsafe and defective building work.
"Serious injury or death are never an acceptable part of the job and SafeWork is committed to ensuring builders are doing everything in their power to make sure neither of those occur on their worksite," he said.
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