Master Builders Australia Welcomes Phased Approach to Enforcement of Drug & Alcohol Fitness for Work Amendments


Master Builders Australia has welcomed the phased approach to implementing the drug and alcohol fitness for work amendments for the construction industy under the Building Code 2013.

The fitness for work amendments under the Building Code 2013 came into effect on Friday 16 October and mean that contractors should have a comprehensive policy for managing drug and alcohol issues in the workplace. Part of this policy includes mandatory drug and alcohol testing on Commonwealth funded projects.

Fair Work Building and Construction will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the new code and will approach the auditing of drug and alcohol testing requirements in 3 stages.



Downward Trend among SA Housing Approvals

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Despite a downward trend in Australian housing approval rates, they are still at their highest in a long time and South Australia in particular is booming.

Building activity in the state had a resurgence after a 30 per cent rise in building approvals in August. This was the greatest increase of any Australian state.

Last month SA recorded $349.5m of residential construction projects which brought the total value of works for the year to more than $2.9 billion.

The state had 990 approvals with 667 houses, 671 other dwellings and 10 other buildings approved in the month of August.


Construction Worker Rescued after Fall down Elevator Shaft

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A construction worker had to be rescued after falling down an elevator shaft. The man apparently lost his footing and fell 2 storeys down an elevator shaft from the fifth floor to the 3rd floor.

The worker sustained neck injuries and rib fractures but is lucky to be alive. He is recovering in hospital in a critical but stable condition. This incident is another reminder of how high risk work on a construction site can be, especially when there is the risk of falling.

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We Need to be Proactive in Addressing Declining Apprentice Numbers

Source: WorkSafe Queensland

Figures released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) in September indicated that the number of apprentices starting and completing their training has declined.

Compared with the previous 12 month period, apprenticeship and traineeship commencements between March 2014 and March 2015 declined by 19.8 per cent.

It is time that we started to encourage young people back into the construction industry, which can prove to be a challenging and rewarding career path.

Young people starting in construction are often nervous, eager to please and inexperienced in the work place, which is why they should complete construction induction training (white card training) before they set foot onto a building site.

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