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Hunter Expressway Safety Alliances to protect workers

Posted On September 1, 2011

WorkCover NSW, the RTA and principal contractors for the Hunter Expressway, Thiess and Abigroup will commit to providing safe workplaces throughout the project when they sign new safety agreements today.
The 40 kilometre Hunter Expressway project will provide a new dual carriageway between the F3 Freeway and the New England Highway near Branxton. The project will provide six strategic interchanges along the route to service local communities and provide significant traffic relief to the New England Highway between the F3 Freeway and Branxton.

The Hunter Expressway Safety Alliances commit WorkCover and Hunter Expressway project members to work cooperatively and provide industry leadership which creates a safety culture that delivers improved workplace health and safety, and injury management.

General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson, said, as a critical infrastructure project for NSW, it was vital that employees and contractors work in a safe environment.

“Working on roads can be extremely dangerous, requiring the management of multiple and fluctuating hazards,” Mr Watson said.

“In the 18 months to March 2011 five workers were killed and 10 were seriously injured while working on public roads across Australia.

“With hundreds of employees and contractors expected to be employed throughout the jointly funded $1.7 billion project, the signing of today’s alliances gives their families increased reassurance that their loved ones will return home safely at the end of the working day.”

General Manager of the RTA’s Occupational Health & Safety branch, Shailendra Tripathi, said as a leader in occupational health and safety practices, the RTA is delighted to be part of the Hunter Expressway Safety Alliances.

“The RTA believes safety is a core value and the safety of employees and contractors is just as important as delivering this significant piece of infrastructure,” Mr Tripathi said.

Cameron Silverthorne, Abigroup’s Project Director for the western section of the project, welcomed the opportunity to be a member of the alliance with Workcover NSW and the RTA.

“The Alliance Agreement is an example of Abigroup’s commitment to working with WorkCover NSW and the RTA to achieve safer workplaces.

“The alliance works because both organisations have the same primary objectives as Abigroup in looking after the safety and welfare of our workers,” he said.

Peter Chatburn, Thiess’ Alliance Manager for the eastern section of the Expressway said Thiess and its alliance partners would continue to manage the work to ensure the health and safety of its employees in cooperation with Workcover.

“This alliance demonstrates the priority that we give to health and safety in our daily operations,” Mr Chatburn said.

“Thiess looks forward to developing further its relationship with Workcover and RTA, and the safety environment on this project.”

“WorkCover recognises that those dealing with risks on a daily basis are well placed to assist with the development of relevant and effective work health and safety solutions,” Mr Watson added.

“WorkCover is committed to developing proactive relationships with employers and employees to reduce incidents and fatalities.”

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