Health and Safety
Master Builders Australia strongly supports the principle that all businesses and all employees have a basic duty of care to safeguard their own and others health and safety.
Master Builders' OH&S policies have been formulated to achieve two main objectives:
- improved building and construction industry OH&S performance,
- national, consistent OH&S arrangements in the establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework.
Building a Safer Future: Master Builders Occupational Health and Safety Policy Blueprint 2009-2015 sets out five outcomes and 26 recommendations to achieve these objectives. The April 2010 edition of the Blueprint includes an update of the statistical analysis section to incorporate the latest available data.
Master Builders is committed to the National OH&S Strategy and to achieving the strategic priorities and targets in that strategy, including the more effective prevention of occupational disease.
In July 2009 Master Builders released its national policy for the management, control and removal of asbestos.
This paper examines the interaction of reporting requirements for dangerous or contaminated material in the ABIC Major Works contract with statutory reporting requirements in State and Territory contaminated land legislation. In particular, this paper considers the question of whether contractors have obligations under State and Territory contaminated land legislation to report the discovery of asbestos in soil at a construction site.
This paper examines corporate manslaughter legislation introduced in the UK in 2007 and considers its relationship to OHS duties of care and to industrial manslaughter offences in the Australian Capital Territory. The paper also sets out Master Builders’ policy on industrial manslaughter. The paper concludes that the Model Work Health and Safety Bill, which will establish the harmonised OHS framework in Australia, will provide an appropriate framework for dealing with workplace deaths and that industrial manslaughter provisions are unwarranted.
Australian Consumer Law - Mandatory reporting of death or serious injury or illness caused by consumer goods
This paper outlines the reporting obligations under the Australian Consumer Law, which comes into effect on 1 January 2011, considers their application to builders and the relationship between these obligations and the notifiable incident obligations in the Model Work Health and Safety Act.
Master Builders’ research paper Losing control? The impact of the primary duty of care examines the primary duty of care in the harmonised OHS legislation and how it is likely to apply. The paper concludes that concerns that principal contractors will be held responsible for every aspect of work on a construction site are partly misplaced because the notion of control will be relevant when considering what is reasonably practicable for a duty holder to do. Control is also used in the legislation to apportion responsibility for meeting duties of care between duty holders.
This paper considers the obligation in the model for duty holders to consult, coordinate and cooperate with other duty holders who have a duty in relation to the same matter. The paper considers the implications of this duty for the construction industry, in particular for principal contractors and subcontractors. The paper does not address the duty to consult with workers.
The building and construction industry’s OH&S performance remains a matter of concern to all industry participants. However, the industry has responded to the various pressures for improved occupational health and safety management, and according to the data analysed here, OH&S performance is improving.
This paper considers the exercise of right of entry to consult and advise workers outside of mealthimes or other breaks in work. The paper finds that this aspect of the Model Work Health and Safety Act is unclear, in particular regarding the extent to which this right of entry can disrupt work at a workplace. The paper concludes that clear guidance is needed from the regulators on right of entry. In the absense of such guidance, right of entry to consult and advise workers is likely to be subject to disputes.