Australia’s building and construction crisis will cost $6.2 billion in remediation and associated costs, according to new research commissioned by the construction union. The independent research by Equity Economics in collaboration with Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) analysed the additional costs to owners of remediating water leaks, fire safety breaches, structural failure…

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Leaking, cracking, flammable and creaking: by now, most of us are aware of defects plaguing high-rise residential apartment towers. There is an urgent need to re-build public confidence in a sector which, through poor self-regulation, has churned out more and more homes needing costly repairs. Some are uninhabitable. But we should also be asking about…

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Electrical contractors, electrical workers and metering providers involved in the roll out of smart meters must ensure that antenna/communication wiring systems are suitably segregated from electrical wiring in accordance with the Wiring Rules. Wiring systems must be selected and installed in a way to avoid any detrimental effects arising between: electrical installations and telecommunication/data cable…

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During March and April 2019, the Electrical Licensing Committee held disciplinary hearings against four licence holders: 1. An electrical worker performed non-compliant electrical work without holding a contractor’s licence and left exposed live parts. The worker’s electrical work licence was immediately suspended until completion of a competency assessment. His external licence recognition provisions were suspended…

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A safety observer must be used when there is no reasonable alternative to performing energised electrical work (live work). The only exception to not requiring a safety observer is when the live work consists only of testing and a risk assessment shows there is no serious risk associated with the proposed work. Although safety observers…

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Battery powered devices such as energy monitoring systems (pictured below), timeclocks or communication equipment, if not maintained, can leak an alkaline substance onto equipment located below, creating a potential electric shock hazard and damaging equipment. You should be aware of and control this risk when working on switchboards and meter panels near unmaintained battery powered…

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In April 2019, a worker was seriously burned while attempting to decommission a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank from a motor vehicle at a workplace. It appears he was removing screws on the LPG tank using a battery-operated screwdriver which created an ignition source and started a fire. Preventing a similar incident Gas systems are…

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Following yet another arc flash injury caused by failing to test a circuit before work started in a switchboard, the Electrical Safety Office is issuing an urgent callout to electrical workers – it’s time to reset your safety focus and test before you touch. The ESO is investigating three other serious electrical incidents where electrical…

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The owners of buildings clad in potentially lethal combustible material have been left the bill after the Queensland government rejected pleas to help cover the repair cost. Following the Grenfell Tower fire in Britain in June 2017, which killed more than 70 people, flammable cladding was found on 237 Queensland buildings, including five owned by…

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This question, though complex, in this article will be attempted to be distilled down to four main (along with various miscellaneous contributing factors) arguable contributing factors. One potential cause (and this article is in no way meant to cast aspersions on particular sections of the building and construction industry in Australia or more generally) is…

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