The Queensland Building and Construction Commission will be empowered to take action where there is a threat to the safety of workers on building sites, with laws to be introduced to state parliament.

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni says the laws, to be tabled on Thursday, will ensure the QBCC be notified if there is a death or serious injury on a building site.

“The powers of the QBCC will be strengthened and clarified so it can decide to cancel a licence if a licensee has caused death or serious injury to a person on a building site or is causing serious risk to the health and safety of a person,” Mr de Brenni told parliament.

“Everyone should return home from work safely at the end of each day. Tragically this hasn’t been the experience for too many families.

“The measures that we are proposing are designed to prevent further tragedy.”

The minister cited the death of young labourer Jason Garrels in central Queensland in 2012, and the recent deaths of two workers at Eagle Farm racecourse, as the impetus for the changes.

The government last week flagged the introduction of a charge of “negligence causing death” in the workplace in response to the Dreamworld and Eagle Farm tragedies.

Ashley Morris, 34, and Humberto Leite, 55, were killed when sandwiched between two slabs of concrete in a construction pit inside the renovated racecourse on October 6.

Claudio D’Alessandro, the builder in charge of the site, was charged with two counts of manslaughter.

The workplace tragedy was followed by the deaths of four people on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride on October 25 after the usually tame family attraction malfunctioned.

Last year there were 40 Queensland workplace fatalities notified to authorities.


By Stuart Layt