17 June 2013

RMIT academics present at the Building Safety conference

Helen Lingard and Ron Wakefield were invited speakers at the Australia Capital Territory Building Safety – Bridging the Gap Conference.

The Conference was hosted by WorkSafe ACT and was well attended by regulators, unions, and employer groups. Delegates heard presentations about a wide range of topics. The keynote address was given by Baroness Rita Donaghy, who led a landmark inquiry into the underlying causes of fatal accidents in the UK construction industry. This inquiry was convened in 2009. Baroness Donaghy’s report, “One Death is too Many,” made 28 far-reaching recommendations about how to improve WHS in the UK construction industry. Baroness Donaghy commented on similarities between her findings and those of a 2012 report by WorkSafe ACT, “Getting Home Safely.” One key recommendation of the “Getting Home Safely” report was that the ACT Government should use its strength as a purchaser of construction services to require a high standard of WHS on its sites and ensure that high WHS standards are in place and maintained. At the conference, RMIT’s Helen Lingard presented the new Australian Research Council Linkage Project evaluating the potential for construction industry clients (including government) to drive WHS improvements in the projects they procure. She explained how the research, being undertaken with the support of the Port of Melbourne Corporation, Metro Trains Melbourne and the Victorian Government Department of Business and Innovation, will provide an important evidence base for client involvement in construction WHS. Ron Wakefield provided conference delegates with an overview of the new “RMIT safety index” performance measurement and benchmarking tool and discussed exciting new developments in the use of visualization and gaming technology to deliver WHS improvements in construction.

Find out more about the conference (including presentations)

Bridging the gap, man talking

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