WorkCover NSW and NSW Public Works have signed an interagency agreement to improve consistency in workplace health and safety standards across more than a billion dollars of public assets.

WorkCover CEO Lisa Hunt said the agreement would have wide-ranging benefits due to the large amount of work carried out by NSW Public Works, and ensure greater consistency and co-operation in safety standards.

“NSW Public Works is the key agency that oversees the procurement, designs, construction and maintenance of more than $1 billion worth of State public infrastructure, services and facilities for the NSW community each year,” Hunt said.

“WorkCover NSW administers the Work Health and Safety legislation and Worker’s Compensation Scheme which aims to ensure the safety of around three million workers in NSW, spread across more than 265,000 businesses.

“Through this agreement, WorkCover will assist NSW Public Works maintain consistency across their main construction and maintenance projects,” she said.

Hunt said it is essential that injury prevention on all their projects is of the highest priority.

“With such a high volume of work, many of NSW Public Works’ projects are contracted out, and their needs to be consistency for everyone to ensure at the highest level of work health and safety,” she said.

“It is also important that in the event of an injury, workers across all projects are offered consistent, high-level support through the Worker’s Compensation Scheme and helped back to work as soon as possible.

NSW Public Works deputy director general Brian Baker said the agreement demonstrated a joint commitment by both agencies to achieve safe workplaces.

“This agreement will improve work health and safety, injury management, return to work, and workers compensation in the government construction sector - which will undoubtedly impact upon the construction sector as a whole,” Baker said.

“This agreement will also further enhance the already solid communication between WorkCover NSW and NSW Public Works, and bring about a co-operative and collaborative working arrangement between the two agencies and their respective stakeholders.”