WorkSafe ACT has shut down another site at Denman Prospect and issued 21 prohibition notices to residential construction sites.
Six months since Operation Safe Prospect was launched at Denman Prospect, WorkSafe returned to the area as part of regular inspections targeting greenfield development suburbs.
Across 22 sites visited, inspectors issued 29 improvement notices, 2 infringement notices and 21 prohibition notices.
Work Health and Safety Comissioner Jacqueline Agius said the early, indicitive numbers made it clear the message hadn't gotten through to employers.
"Despite the work that WorkSafe have been doing to ensure workers are safe in workplaces we seem to not be getting a message through to employers that it's time to make safety your number one priority," she said.
"Every worker deserves to go home safely at the end of a days work and one fatality is one too many."
Prohibition notices were issued for fall from height risks and unsafe scaffolding.
Improvement notices had been issued for lack of site signage and no safety management plans, poor toilet facilities and lack of first aid facilities.
"That's not dissimilar to what we've been finding in greenfield sites across Canberra and we've seen those issues time and time again in the residential construction sector," she said.
Ms Agius said one of the sites visited on Tuesday morning across from a playground was unattended with security fencing left open.
"In a suburb like Denman Prospect we have houses that are at lock up stage and we have houses where people live, and in those houses are children.
"If they can get through a fence and into a house that is under construction that poses a significant risk to the community."
Ms Agius said since the operation launched there had been a "slight improvement" in a reduction of serious risks being taken at construction sites.
"But nowhere near enough," she said. "It's still not good enough."
Ms Agius said WorkSafe could not change safety culture alone, calling on support from government and industry to send a message to employers.
She said the ACT government should look at reviewing whether legislation was fit for purpose in the ACT.
"I think it could do with some tweaks," she said.
"We don't have an infringement for site security, we don't have an infringement for poor housekeeping. These are things I'd like to see in the ACT."
She said the government could also consider setting up an education program to raise awareness of safety issues.
Operation Safe Prospect will continue to target sites across Denman Prospect, Watson, Ginninderry, Taylor and Throsby.
Ms Agius said the strategy would be reviewed and changes made were necessary.
In the next six months she expected to see notices decline, following the spike in the first half of the operation which she said was a result of increased oversight.
"Once we hit the 12 month mark [of the operation], we should start to see a drop in figures."
Work Safety Minister Mick Gentleman attended the inspection on Tuesday morning, saying more needed to be done to prevent safety issues.
"Unfortunately, we are still seeing regular non-compliance and minimal improvement across the industry. My clear message to the construction industry is that we need your help to ensure the ACT's work sites are safe," he said.