Tradie Talk

Conflict of interest and pool safety inspections - Are you at risk?

Backyard swimming pool

The Code of conduct for swimming pool safety inspectors (the code) sets out the standards of conduct and professionalism expected of swimming pool safety inspectors (PSIs) in the performance of their pool safety inspection functions.

Section 4 of the code provides that a PSI must not perform a pool safety inspection function where there is the potential for a conflict of interest. 

That would include inspecting a pool owned by you and may include inspecting a pool owned by somebody with whom you have a personal, professional, commercial or financial relationship. 

Electrical Safety Office urges contractors to stop unsafe practices

Low powered light bulb in a darkened room

Our friends at the Electrical Safety Office have just released important information about following the correct process to disconnect electricity supply when carrying out demolition or renovation work:

Interference with the electricity distribution network

Contractors and tradespeople who disconnect electricity supply or bypass the Energex or Ergon Energy supply abolishment processes before they conduct demolition or renovation work are being urged by ESO to stop this unsafe and illegal practice before a serious incident occurs.

Expansion of PSI role when owners work on own fences

Pool fencing

An amendment to the pool laws means that all pool owners may perform fencing work without a building approval, if the only part of the building code that applies to the work is the pool safety standard.

This is on the proviso that the owner engages a pool safety inspector (PSI) beforehand, and PSIs may see an expansion of their role as a result.

Previously only owners of pools with houses or townhouses could replace their pool fence without a building approval in certain circumstances. 

Update on the gun nailing of tie–down connectors

Grouping of gun nails

You may have recently received a blog from QBCC regarding the inappropriate use of gun nails in framing anchors and straps.

QBCC received a great deal of response from industry practitioners and associations.

To provide further detail and clarity about the QBCC’s requirements, the QBCC convened a forum on 16 December 2015 consisting of leading connector manufacturers (MiTek, Multinail, Pryda), truss suppliers, Building Certifiers and industry associations such as the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association and Timber Queensland.

Whack a cap in it

Timber decking

Our Building Inspectors see all types of timber products and applications when out and about on work sites.

It is not always widely known that certain types of timber can only be used for internal purposes, unless it is protected in some way.

Timber materials that are exposed to the elements must be installed and protected strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

If timber is not installed correctly then the life of the material may be substantially reduced and the installation is considered to be defective work.

It’s time to update your advertising materials

Contractor referring to his notes

As a licensed contractor, it is important to ensure that your advertising materials are up to date.

All your advertising materials must include your QBCC licence number. Advertising can include anything from newspaper advertisements to Facebook pages and vehicle signage.

And if you are still referencing the ‘QBSA’ or ‘BSA’, it is time to update your wording so that it refers to the ‘QBCC’.    

Remember, some new home owners may not have heard of the BSA, so it is in your best interests that they know at a glance and be reassured that you are licensed with us.

Commencement notice for domestic contracts of $20,000 or more

Builder and owners in kitchen discussing plans

For all domestic building contracts priced at $20,000 or more, you, as a contractor, are now required to give owners a ‘commencement notice’ within 10 business days of the contracted work commencing on site.  

The notice must state the exact date work commenced on site and the date for practical completion.

Some contracts, including those available on the QBCC website, include a ‘commencement notice’ ready for you to fill out.

Download a contract for domestic building work.


When the owner withdraws during cooling-off period

Home owner mailing paperwork.

If an owner chooses to withdraw during the cooling-off period (which is five business days), then they must give you, as the contractor, a written withdrawal notice.

You are entitled to receive or retain an amount equal to any out-of-pocket expenses you have reasonably incurred up to the time the owner withdrew, and if you have given the owner the required documentation you are also entitled to an additional $100.

Making changes to address issues with PAS

Man sitting at desk working on a computer

The QBCC is making changes to address the systems outage issues and errors experienced when lodging Notifiable Work forms through the Plumbing Application Service (PAS) system. 

Our service provider recently deployed upgrades to the current PAS system that has provided some interim improvements. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that a replacement system has been commissioned. 

Gun nailing of framing anchors and straps

Gun nail fixings

The QBCC has recently investigated a number of complaints and issues about the inappropriate use of gun nails used to secure framing anchors and the like.

Over a number of years our industry appears to have gravitated away from hand-driving the special purpose connector nails supplied by bracket manufacturers, and tradesmen are instead securing these brackets using power-driven fasteners, such as gun nailing.