The construction and utilities industry encompasses all work undertaken in building both commercial and domestic constructions, road and other infrastructure construction. Workers include building workers, operators of licensed equipment, road workers, demolition workers, electricians, plumbers, and maintenance workers. Construction sites can be very small (eg a house) or very large (eg the construction of a multi-storey office complex or a major road project). Many construction workplaces are multi-employer sites. Contractors make up a sizeable proportion of workers in this industry.
Workers in the construction industry face a myriad of hazards and construction sites can be amongst the most dangerous workplaces in Victoria. Workers have died and have been seriously injured, and will continue to do so even though the accidents and incidents leading to this tragedy are preventable. Common hazards include manual handling, machinery, falls from heights, hazardous substances, and electricity.
Unionised and organised construction workplaces have a better OHS record than un-unionised sites as these sites are far more likely to have well-trained and resourced elected OHS Reps, joint OHS Committees and support from the union.
Last updated May 2017