Another multi-agency on the Gold Coast has uncovered numerous building offences.
Over two days last week 10 local, state and federal agencies swept 66 residential and high-rise building sites, checking the licences and work of 379 people.
This is the second time this year that a multi-agency blitz has been carried out on the Gold Coast.
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Multiple offences were detected, including one that could have had tragic consequences.
QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, says various building and safety issues were identified, including the discovery of an unsupervised, unlicensed minor performing electrical work, while reportedly posing as an apprentice.
“This was a potentially lethal activity, and the employer responsible for that person now faces disciplinary and enforcement action from the Electrical Safety Office and disciplinary action from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s Quality Training Team,” Mr Bassett said.
He said the incident was a sad reminder of the tragic electrocution of 20-year-old Jason Garrels at a Clermont worksite in 2012, after nine days on the job.
“There are no ifs or buts with safety – and to put this unqualified young worker in a position where he was risking his life, and the lives of others, is inexcusable.
“If this company cannot meet its obligations to keep its workers safe, what confidence can a property owner have that work being done in their homes will be up to scratch?
“These audits shine a spotlight on non-compliant and unsafe practices in our industry, so that we can help to protect home owners and anyone working on Queensland construction sites.
“This multi-agency approach helps to ensure there are many eyes and ears on the ground to share relevant information now and into the future, to help identify and prevent dangerous and non-compliant work.
“This new approach to old issues like unlicensed and illegal building work is already proving to be an effective tool for identifying offences and taking appropriate enforcement action,” Mr Bassett said.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Electrical Safety Office, City of Gold Coast and Australian Border Force were involved in the blitz, and say the number of offences reiterate the need for vigilance in checking building standards.
Site were checked across the Gold Coast, specifically in the suburbs of Robina, Bilinga, Palm Beach, Mermaid Beach, Southport, Chevron Island, Runaway Bay, Labrador, Arundel and Surfers Paradise.
Here’s a full list of results found in the audits:
– 14 apprentices interviewed onsite with 1 referral to the Electrical Safety Office for non-compliance and an audit of the employer by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training regarding unsupervised apprentices
– 2 x Infringement Notices issued to a builder for a breach of section 119 of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 (person not holding the appropriate licence)
– 1 x Infringement Notice issued to a plumber for a breach of section 120 of the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 (a licensed person directing or supervising unlicensed work)
– Ongoing inquiries into 4 persons identified as performing regulated plumbing and drainage work
– 5 x Electrical Safety Protection Notices issued under the Electrical Safety Act
– 10 x Improvement Notices issued under the Electrical Safety Act
– 4 Counts of verbal direction / advice issued under the Electrical Safety Act
– 4 Improvement notices issued under the Work Health Safety Act
– 3 Prohibition notices issued under the Work Health Safety Act
– 10 Rectification Notices (issued by City of Gold Coast)
– 36 WorkCover reviews
– Education provided on 42 occasions
– A number of ongoing activities, including further warnings to be issued, follow-up investigations, and interagency referrals.