MBA ACT has been busy this week with the continued advocacy for changes to the silica regulations, which came into effect from 18 October 2022.
The Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulation 2022 (No 2) (‘Amendment Regulation’) does contain a transitional period to further delay the commencement of the requirement for a PCBU to implement the use of a wet method for the cutting of a silica containing material (other than engineered stone). The commencement of these provisions will come into effect from Monday 31 October 2022.
This week, MBA ACT met with the ACT Government and WorkSafe ACT along with other industry stakeholders and invited members to discuss the impractical regulations that have been introduced to manage silica dust exposure in the construction industry. MBA ACT has again met with the ACT Government to further discuss additional potential changes to the silica regulations, however, at the time of writing, there have been no further changes that can be reported on.
It is our position that we advocate for positive change to the regulations so that they are workable across all sectors of the construction industry. The priority from these discussions is to ensure that all reasonable attempts have been made to find a satisfactory resolution to the Amendment regulations which both appropriately manage the risks of exposure to airborne respirable crystalline silica, but can also be safely implemented by industry with practicable control measures based on a risk assessment rather than as prescribed by the legislation.
MBA ACT appreciates that the Amendment regulations may still not be practical in some circumstances, however, encourages Members to review the Amendment regulation and to comply with any relevant legislation from Monday 31 October 2022. If you have any queries relating to your obligations under the Amendment regulations, please reach out to Kristie Burt, Legal Counsel, on 6175 5900.
Inclement weather and impacts on construction works
MBA ACT appreciates that the weather forecast for the next week is not great, especially in the lead up to Christmas. Industry has been hammered over the last few years between continuous wet weather, COVID-19, material and labour shortages, this week is also going to add to the pressures already felt by industry.
Members are encouraged to ensure that if your works are impacted by the weather events likely to be experienced over the next seven days, that you do what is required of you to make your claims for extensions of time under your contracts. We are calling on clients to keep this in mind when receiving an extension of time claim where works are delayed because of the wet weather. These claims might also include some time after the wet weather stops, to allow sites to dry out so that access can be obtained, etc.
We are also calling on industry, as principal contractors, developers as well as homeowners and Government to ensure that they are adhering to payment times under a contract or terms of trade.
If you do have questions about claiming extensions of time under your contract or if you require assistance in getting paid for works completed, please reach out to the Workplace Relations and Legal Team on 6175 5900. General advice can be provided as part of your member services. Additionally, MBA Legal may be able to assist – where legal services are required (Note: fees and conditions apply).