Construction union boss Dean Hall says the ACT must instate an independent work safety commissioner as dozens of tradies and union officials marched on the ACT Legislative Assembly to push the government for action on workplace safety laws.
The march was one of several around Australia to protest the revival of Australian Building and Construction Commission and a new building code, which unions believe will erode wages and safety.
Master Builders Association ACT executive director said to the best of his knowledge, the march did not disrupt construction sites across the ACT to that extent.
But the Canberra rally homed in on recent changes to the administration of WorkSafe ACT.
A motion passed by Unions ACT last week claimed there was there was increasing evidence that workers were "not well served" by the absorption of WorkSafe ACT into Access Canberra, an agency which takes in all of the government's regulatory authorities.
Unions ACT Alex White told the rally the ACT was one of the most "dangerous" jurisdictions in Australia to work, and that 3000 private sector workers were injured on the job per year.
"We're not talking about a paper cut, we're not talking about a stubbed toe, these are serious injuries. If you are a construction worker Canberra is the most dangerous place to work in Australia. You are twice as likely to be seriously injured as the rest of the workforce," Mr White said.
Mr Hall said WorkSafe agency was "broken" and needed to be "fixed".
"We've got a situation where as a union movement the authority has been changed without consultation, without the full knowledge or understanding of our elected officials or elected parliamentarians," Mr Hall said.
"It's now part of Access Canberra, when you look the commissioner's name up there's a different title, there's no longer the title of the work safety commissioner anymore. This is a situation where the government needs to send a message to the employers in this town. There's been failed prosecution after failed prosecution. What's your son's or daughter's life worth?"
Work safety commissioner Greg Jones' was listed in the ACT government staff directory as the director of Construction, Environment and Workplace Protection within the Chief Minister, Treasury, and Economic Development Directorate.
However ACT workplace safety minister Rachel Stephen-Smith told The Canberra Times Mr Jones was still technically the commissioner.
She told the crowd - which included Labor colleagues Yvette Berry, Bec Cody and Michael Pettersson - extra WorkSafe inspectors would be hired, with $700,000 set aside in the next ACT budget.
Greens' MLA Caroline Le Couteur also attended the rally.