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Builders Beware: Notifiable Safety Incidents Must Be Given To QBCC

By John Carey

4th December 2018

The little known Section 54A of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act (‘the Act’) provides that if a licensee becomes aware of a “safety matter” it must give the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (‘QBCC’) notice of the safety matter as follows:

    1. In the fastest way possible by telephone or in writing.
    2. The person giving notice by telephone must give details of the safety matter requested by the Commission and if required give a written notice within 48 hours of being asked to by the QBCC.

That written notice must be in a form approved by the QBCC.

If the notice is given by telephone and a written notice is not required by the QBCC, then they must give you details of the information received and an acknowledgement of having received the notice.

The QBCC is currently prosecuting a licensee for the first time under this little known section because the licensee did not inform the QBCC about a notifiable WH&S incident on site. The licensee did inform Workplace Health & Safety Queensland but this has apparently not satisfied the QBCC.

A “safety matter” is:

  1. A notifiable incident on a building site under the licensee’s control, or on which the licensee is carrying out building work; and
  2. Where a person carrying out building work on a site under the licensee’s control, or on which the licensee is carrying out building work, has contravened or is contravening a notice or injunction under the Work Health & Safety Act or under the Electrical Safety Act.

A licensees obligations extend to circumstances where they are in control of the site or where they are performing work on-site as a sub-contractor. Fines will apply.  This obligation is in addition to any notice obligations licensees are required to give Workplace Health & Safety Queensland.

For more information contact John Carey of our office.

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