Some workers have even tried to pass themselves off as having completed mandatory training when they have not done so by using cards that are issued after the completion of safety training which belong to their fellow workers.
WorkSafe Victoria says construction induction training, formerly known as red card training, has been mandatory throughout Victoria since July 1, 2008. Since that date, all workers entering domestic or commercial construction sites across the state have been required to have either a red card or a construction induction (CI) card – also called the white card – or an interstate equivalent.
But according to John Darcy, OHS Manager for Master Builders Association of Victoria, WorkSafe inspectors still come across tradesmen that have not done any construction induction training, particularly in regional areas.
“What is most concerning is there are workers who have been caught on sites trying to pass themselves off using other workers CI cards,” Darcy says. “The worst example involved a team of plasterers all carrying the same CI card and other forms of identification.”
Darcy says it is an offence for a builder or subcontractor to allow any worker on site without having completed the training. He says builders should ensure that everyone coming onto their site to do construction work has completed the training and been issued a card.
“To protect you and your business, it is recommended that builders regularly request workers CI cards (e.g. at a toolbox meeting) and cross-reference the names with other forms of identification (e.g. a driver licence),” Darcy says. “Builders who find subcontractors bringing workers onto their sites without a card, or are passing themselves off as someone else, should take appropriate action to ensure their subcontractors immediately rectify the situation.”
WorkSafe says there is no precise way of knowing how many of the 210,000 workers employed across the Victorian construction industry have completed the training as red card has been around since 2001 and many workers had been trained prior to the training becoming mandatory.