It is not just builders who should be aware of the risks of asbestos. Any type of tradesperson has the potential to come in contact with asbestos, whether it be a plumber while fixing up a drain to the street of a suburban home or a fire installer when installing a smoke detector.
Asbestos dust exposure when inhaled has been found to cause chronic health effects such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Australian building materials between the 1940s and 1980s commonly contained asbestos.
The Queensland Government has developed the Queensland Building Plan to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable building and construction industry; one where businesses benefit from better processes, consumers have confidence in the industry and subcontractors have improved security of payment.
The new security of payment laws in Queensland will be included in one security of payment Act, making it easier for subcontractors to find and interpret the laws that protect their payments.
An estimated 12,000 Queensland buildings are captured by new cladding laws which require building owners to report to the QBCC about the material on the exterior of their building.
The Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation (2018) came into effect on 1 October 2018 meaning that, by law, some building owners must complete the online Safer Buildings combustible cladding checklist to assess their building’s safety.
Concerns have recently been raised about some builders’ failure to adhere to mandated fire safety precautions during the construction process. In these cases builders had not ensured that the required firefighting equipment mandated under Part E1.9 of Volume 1 of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) was provided during construction.
The QBCC regularly conducts fire audits on wet systems to ensure that persons conducting fire protection work, namely working with hydrants, hose reels and water base sprinklers, are appropriately licensed. This month one of our QBCC Investigators visited a property in Redlands to conduct a fire audit. The Investigator called ahead to organise a time to visit the property. As a result the occupiers organised for the fire protection company who maintain the building’s fire protection system to be present at the time of the audit.
In addition to QBCC licence requirements, national regulations require all technicians who install, decommission, service or maintain gaseous fire suppression systems or portable extinguishers containing ozone depleting substances (ODS) or synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG) (like FM200® and NAF blends) to be licensed with the FPIB (Fire Protection Industry Board). For more information, please read our Tradie Talk blog.