Construction Industry Up in Arms

The media has recently been reporting about a wave of walkouts planned by union members over the Turnbull government’s new laws.

Recently the Senate waved through a bill fast tracking the controversial rules limiting union influence on government funded sites such as roads, schools and hospitals.

It is estimated that around 3000 construction companies have a few months to replace their union friendly agreements before they become eligible to attain lucrative federal contracts again.

The CFMEU’s plans were blasted by employment minister Michaelia Cash who said they prove why tougher laws are necessary.

Read more at:

Beefed Up Construction Laws in WA to protect Subcontractors

The complaints of subcontractors that aren’t being paid or are being paid late by big construction companies have been heard and the WA government has beefed up laws to protect these subcontractors.

Under the law large construction companies that don’t pay subcontractors will be banned from applying for government work.

A new code of conduct applies to the building and construction industry.

Changes are aimed at supporting small business, help prohibit anti-competitive behaviour such as price fixing and sham contracting.


Construction Workers Beaten For Trying to Stop a Fight

A 21 year old construction worker was left beaten and bruised after being attacked by a group of young people at St Kilda Beach.

The man was shaken by the incident which happened at the construction site where the man was working. He was packing up for the day when he noticed the fight and shouted at the youths to stop as it was a construction site, but they then turned on him.

He said they then started beating him and his workmate.

Both the men were hospitalised after the beating, having been left bloodied by the incident. The young construction worker blacked out and was taken to hospital.


New Register to Address Non-Conformance Issues in Construction

house start

NATSPEC is a new organisation formed to evaluate whether a proposed substitute product meets Australian standards and has documented proof of doing so.

The organisation formed by government and industry bodies is being headed by Richard Choy who explained that the organisation was aimed at mitigating the risks posed by the large amount of non-conforming products.

This is an important issue, given that between 2006 and 2012, there were numerous reports of products that did not meet standards. Some of the products include copper pipe tubing, fire collars and glass sheets, structural steel bolts etc.

Find out more at

Man in Hospital After Being Impaled at Work

Photo source: 7 News
Photo source: 7 News

The second serious construction accident in 2 days took place on September 26 at a construction site in Sydney’s north, involving a 24 year old construction worker who had his leg impaled by a piece of steel.

The worker fell from a construction site and landed on the steel, which pierced through his left thigh at a worksite in Pymble.

The worker was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital in a stable condition.

SafeWork NSW is apparently investigating the accident at the Pymble site.


Employment Minister Tackles Suicide in the Construction Field


MATES in Construction and R U OK recently held a joint initiative at a Brisbane construction site for Fly the Flag Day, attended by Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace to raise awareness about suicide among construction workers.

Ms Grace explained that suicide among Australian construction workers is too high and in Queensland the problem is particularly alarming with 25 per cent higher than the suicide rate for the rest of the state’s population.

Construction workers are encouraged to ask their mates the question, “R U OK?” and if they need help themselves, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask.

On the day, 170 Queensland construction sites supported suicide prevention activities around the state. Read more at

Construction Worker Safety


August is Tradies National Health month and tradies are being urged to pay particular attention to musculoskeletal disorders, the most common injuries among tradespeople.

WorkCover Queensland said it’s a good time for tradies to keep a check on their safety, health and wellbeing.

Musculoskeletal disorders are injuries that occur to the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissues, manifesting as conditions such as muscle sprain and strain, back pain, abdominal hernia, soft tissue injuries, fracture and dislocation, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Musculoskeletal disorders can occur as a result of a sudden, singular event or over time.

Find out more at

The Worst Plumbing Fails

plumberAn article on highlights the worst plumbing fails contractors commit.

If you’re a contractor and are unwittingly committing one of these mistakes, you may be doing yourself more harm than good.

  1. Trying to be the low price leader
  2. Charge for time and materials instead of giving a price upfront
  3. Plumbing fast, trying to cram as many clients into one day as you can
  4. Don’t leave any open time.
  5. Continue to plumb the same old fashioned way as always

Find out more at

Tradies Bring Thief to Justice


Tradesmen in Melbourne west recently brought a thief to justice after they spotted him driving down the wrong side of the road in an ute stolen from a building site.

The workers chased the man down the road from a building site in Derrimut where they herded him into a carpark before he crashed. The man was trapped in the vehicle by one worker who sat on the door so that the man, apparently affected by drugs, couldn’t esape.

The thief, a 20 year old man from Robinvale wasn’t hurt when the vehicle flipped and was arrested at the scene.

The man will face charges of vehicle theft and dangerous driving. It is not known whether the tradies will also face charges.






Michaelia Cash calls for return of Australian Building and Construction Commission


The Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has called for the reinstatement of the construction industry watchdog.

Earlier this month the minister called for the return of the Australian Building and Construction Commission following the decision by the  Federal Court to once again impose penalties on the Construction Division of the CFMEU.

The construction union together with 8 of its senior officials were fined a total $151,000 for organising and carrying out a violent blocade on Melbourne streets in front of Grocon sites in 2012.