The Commonwealth Government has recently updated the workplace health and safety laws for building and construction industry participants.

Made under section 43 of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (Cth), the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) (Accreditation Scheme) Rules 2019 (Cth) repeal and replace the previously-prescribed accreditation scheme for persons who wish to carry out Commonwealth-funded building work. 

Among other things, the Rules:

  • set out how persons who wish to carry out building work funded by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority are accredited;
  • provide for pre-accreditation audits;
  • prescribe the building work to which section 43 of the Act does not apply;
  • set thresholds for both directly funded building work and indirectly funded building work; and
  • empower the Federal Safety Commissioner to revoke a person's accreditation for a breach of conditions.

Under section 43 of the Act, the Commonwealth cannot fund building work unless contracts for the building work (with a value of $4 million or more) will be entered into with accredited builders.