Research to improve construction industry safety culture

By Jeff Salton on April 13th, 2017

Surveying measuring equipment level transit on tripod at construction building area site

A new research project to evaluate the safety culture within Canberra’s construction industry has commenced. Following recent tragic incidents on worksites in Canberra, the ACT Government said it was especially important that it continues to work hard to improve safety measures and outcomes for all workers.

This research supports the current review of the implementation of the Getting Them Home Safely report, and will inform our strategic safety planning for the construction industry.

RMIT University will be undertaking independent research involving a survey of workers, employers and unions to understand what more can be done to improve safety in the industry. Site visits will be incorporated in the research.

“Construction is a high risk environment, but we are firmly committed to improving safety by working with the construction industry, including workers, unions and all Canberrans,” said the ACT Minister for Workplace Safety Rachel Stephen-Smith.

Through this research, safety culture across the construction industry will be evaluated, barriers to driving work health and safety across the sector identified, and a set of baseline safety culture measures that can be used for future trend analysis and evaluation will be provided, the Minister said.

This research supports the current review of the implementation of the Getting Them Home Safely report, and will inform our strategic safety planning for the construction industry.

While onsite, RMIT will be speaking with workers and the Minister encourages workers to have their say, openly and honestly.

ACT construction workers who wish to be involved in the research can email

What do your workers think?

Do your workers feel safe performing their tasks at your workplace – regardless of which industry your business operates in? Health and safety legislation requires every Australian workplace to ensure the health and safety of its workers.

Businesses operating in NSW, NT, Queensland, the ACT, SA, Tasmania and the Commonwealth are subject to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act.

Businesses operating in Victoria are subject to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004, and those in WA are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 1984.

All health and safety legislation imposes strict duties on:

  • workers;
  • employers;
  • designers;
  • manufacturers;
  • self-employed persons; and
  • people who manage and control workplaces.

These duties are designed to ensure that every member of the workforce is playing their part to maintain a safe and healthy workplace (a workplace legally means any place where work is performed. It can be any building or structure where workers or self-employed persons carry out work, including a vehicle, client’s premises or a worker’s home office).

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