Dual “Notifiable Incident” Obligations in Building Industry

THE Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) and Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) define “notifiable incidents” as the death or serious injury or illness of a person. Under the QBCC Act, it includes an incident that exposes a person to a risk of serious injury or illness. Under the WHS Act, it includes a “dangerous incident”. The QBCC Act requires licensees to report notifiable incidents to the Commission and the WHS Act requires a “person who conducts a business or undertaking” to report them to WHS Queensland. A QBCC licensee must also notify the Commission, in certain circumstances, if they become aware of breaches of the WHS Act.

Due to the rise in safety incidents relating to the use of non-conforming building products, the QBCC also now obligates “a person in the chain of responsibility for a building product” to report certain information and incidents involving non-conforming products.

The QBCC and WHS obligations are separate, but often overlap. If you have dual obligations, you need to comply with both.

QBCC and WHS work closely on safety matters, so they can identify discrepancies between incident reporting data. This recently led the QBCC to issue a media release stating “QBCC is now actively assessing which Queensland licensees could be failing to report notifiable incidents”. Breaches may result in penalties.

Additional obligations exist under the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013, which are not covered here.

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.

Walker PenderDual “Notifiable Incident” Obligations in Building Industry