The Construction Work Code of Practice was updated in November 2013 and it is important that your business is up to date with these changes. The Code of Practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and Regulations.
Who do the amendments apply to?
The amendments are largely targeted at businesses working within the housing construction sector and there are a number of amendments targeting “construction work’.
Construction work is defined as any work carried out in connection with the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, maintenance, refurbishment, demolition, decommissioning or dismantling of a structure.
So how do you know if this applies to you?
If you are you working within the “housing construction” sector relating to the following:
• detached houses
• attached dwellings, separated from each other by a fire resisting wall, such as terrace, row or town houses
• villa-homes, strata or company title home units or residential flats
• boarding and guest houses, hostels or similar with a floor area <300m² • ancillary buildings to the above, such as private garages, gazeboes and carports Persons who conduct a business or undertaking (PCBUs) who design a structure that is to be used, or could reasonably be expected to be used as, or at, a workplace have specific Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) duties that should be taken into account in the design. There may be multiple designers who are involved in the design of a structure and have the same duties, for example draftspersons, building designers, architects and engineers. A builder could be a designer if they design a structure themselves or are involved in altering the design for a building; even after construction work has commenced. How to stay up to date All PCBUs should review the Code and the other requirements under the WHS Regulations that may apply to construction work, for example: • Prevention of falls • Noise • Hazardous manual tasks • Confined spaces • Demolition work • Electrical safety and electrical work • Plant and structures • High risk work (licensing and registrations) • Hazardous chemicals, asbestos and lead, and • Resolving WHS issues. How Watkins Tapsell can help We have specialists in all key areas of Commercial Business who are experienced in the Property and Construction sector. So if you are unsure of how these changes might affect you make sure you contact our Workplace Law team.