Construction safety forms the basis of a new initiative launched by industry body WorkSafe Victoria this week.
The six-week Top Tradie competition looks to help those working in the building and construction sector become more aware of injury prevention, offering a weekly quiz and prizes to participants via a mobile phone app.
According to WorkSafe, more than 20 Victorian tradies a week were seriously injured on sites last year – costing the industry $17 million in medical costs, wages and other expenses.
WorkSafe inspector Steve Thornely believes inadequate planning, poor housekeeping and a lack of supervision are among the primary reasons for safety breaches around the state.
"Housing sites are constantly changing with different trades on site for short periods over the life of a project. As a result workers can face a continual and changing variety of hazards that require continual management," he said on May 21.
"Safety is more than just 'common sense'. Making people aware and getting them to talk about safety on site is the first step to improving onsite practices."
More than 1,250 safety breaches on housing constructions sites have been addressed by WorkSafe Victoria over the past year.