Five workers have collapsed in heatwave conditions. (File picture)
Five workers have collapsed in heatwave conditions. (File picture)

Builders warned after workers collapse

QUEENSLAND'S construction watchdog has slapped a warning on two builders after five of their workers collapsed on a construction site in Brisbane's north during heatwave conditions.

It is understood two workers were hospitalised and a further three treated at the scene with heat-related illnesses after they were allegedly made to pour concrete in temperatures above 37C at the University of the Sunshine Coast's Moreton Bay site in Petrie on Wednesday.

Piling work starts at on USC Moreton Bay's foundation building.  Source: Pine Rivers Press.
Piling work starts at on USC Moreton Bay's foundation building. Source: Pine Rivers Press.

Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd and Adcon Qld Pty Ltd have a week to explain why the Queensland Building and Construction Commission shouldn't impose strict conditions on their construction licences.

Hansen Yuncken has a Category 7 licence under the QBCC, meaning the company has a turnover of over $240 million a year, while Adcon Qld is Category 6 (between $120-240 million).

A QBCC spokesman told The Courier-Mail that both companies faced audits if their responses were not satisfactory.

"If the conditions are imposed, the companies will be required to provide an audit report of their safety management systems, for the purpose of demonstrating compliance with Work Health and Safety Act requirements," the spokesman said.

Hansen Yuncken has been hit with a please explain. Picture: Mark Wilson
Hansen Yuncken has been hit with a please explain. Picture: Mark Wilson

Under QBCC regulations, the companies could be suspended if they are caught breaching their licences again.

The spokesman said it was standard practice for builders to suspend work on hot days.

"Heat stress is a serious issue and construction companies are urged to mitigate the risk for their workers."

"When extreme temperatures are forecast, this includes scheduling work at cooler times of the day."

A Workplace Health and Safety spokeswoman confirmed their investigators had attended the site in Petrie and a full investigation would be completed over the coming months.

Hansen Yuncken Queensland state manager Greg Baumann said the company had strict protocol in place to protect workers.

"Hansen Yuncken has stringent hot weather management processes in place, and the WHSQ Inspectorate responsible for ensuring safety standards provided comment to support this fact."

Mr Baumann said Hansen Yuncken employees were responsible for protecting themselves and calling off work.

"We also ask and expect workers to take precautions in response to the weather conditions."

"We will work with the QBCC in responding to any matters that they may raise with us."

Adcon Qld has been contacted for comment.