New scaffolding rules for Queensland construction projects

Queensland construction workers and sites are now subject to updated scaffolding rules aimed at increasing safety for workers. 
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 The Queensland Government has released its revised code of practice, with increased work health and safety considerations, for scaffolding. 

A key change for the engineering profession includes the requirement for engineers, rather than scaffolders, to design and sign off on scaffolds.  

New entry and exit requirements are also in place to allow for emergency stretcher retrievals. 

Other changes include a smaller step height between scaffold stairs and the working platform, a higher level of detail for managing risks on scaffolding and regular testing of scaffold welds.  

Master Builders Workplace Health and Safety Manager Melanie Dawson said the changes to the code were an important step in addressing construction industry safety and are supported by WHS experts. 

“We will work closely with government and industry on the introduction of the code as there will be an inevitable cost posed on industry; however, codes of practice are important in addressing serious safety concerns and providing safe workplaces for everyone,” Dawson said. 

Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said a revised code of practice would make working on scaffolds much safer. 

“Construction activity has increased substantially in recent years and so has the potentially high-risk activity of using scaffolds,” she said.  

In Queensland more than 60 workers are seriously injured using scaffolding every year.  

Grace said the code brings a raft of features to substantially boost safety for workers. 

The updated Scaffolding Code of Practice 2021 can be found of the Worksafe Queensland website.