As NSW's population continues to rise, the time demands on the house construction industry increase as well. With this pressure buildup comes the risk of workplace accidents leading to injuries or possibly deaths.
To combat this, over the next year, a number of medium and large companies will mentor builders as part of the House Construction Industry Mentor Program, helping them address safety concerns and offer information on best practice on the worksite.
In the two years to July 2012, more than 1,300 workers were injured on the job. This imposed a cost of $22 million to the NSW workers compensation scheme. The industry also has twice the number of worker compensation claims for permanent disability than any other sector, so improvements must be made.
While many workers return to the job after a few weeks or months, for others the rehabilitation and recovery is much longer and can permanently put them out of employment.
Acting General Manager of WorkCover's Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy, explained the house construction industry contributes $37.9 million to the state economy, so safety must be considered a priority.
"While all builders know that a safe business is a productive one, finding the time to focus on safety and make improvements can be a challenge due to the many demands associated with running a small business," Mr Dunphy said.
"Mentors will focus on the four major issues that have been identified in the house construction industry, falls through voids, the movement of people and materials on-site, sun safety and recovery at work after a workplace injury."
Mentors are also suggested to provide innovation solutions to injury management and how to deal with worker compensation issues or disputes.
Mr Dunphy hopes the program will promote safer work outcomes and there will be more workers returning home at the end of the day.
Workplace compensation in NSW
The house construction industry contains a number of risks that can result in total permanent disability, but there are ways to cover any damages or losses.
Employees injured at work are also entitled to compensation. It is recommended that you contact a compensation lawyer who can advise you on how to make your claim and assist you through the process.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis, so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it's completely up to you whether you engage their services.