Major builder put on notice over carpark project failures
THE high-profile builder behind the $18 million Brisbane Road Carpark was found in breach of COVID-19 protocols and to have exposed workers to risk of fall, amid a raft of other failures identified by Workplace Health and Safety.
Mooloolaba-based Evans Built was fined $3600 on May 20 for failing to properly store toxic chemicals, was issued 11 improvement notices and two prohibition orders which related to unsafe scaffolding on the building's second level, and voids above work areas where objects could fall and injure workers.
Among the improvement notices, viewed by the Daily, was one that accused Evans Built of failing to comply with the COVID-19 social distancing and sanitation protocols at the worksite located on Brisbane Rd, facing Smith St and First Ave.
A WHS officer identified disinfectant equipment was not available for cleaning shared surfaces, as advised by the Australian Government's Health Department.
Construction body CFMEU said Evans Built was also put on notice for a raft of other breaches including substandard electrical installations and inadequacies in regards to access, egress, edge protection, emergency procedures and stabilisation of workers' eating area.
In response to the notices, and the criticism from the CFMEU, Evans Built director Sean Evans said "safety is paramount at Evans Built".
"In response to the notices received the $3600 infringement has been paid," Mr Evans said.
"In resolution of all matters we today (Wednesday) welcomed a senior inspector from Workplace Health and Safety back to site. Tat inspection resulted in no further notices being issued."
Evans Built is the firm behind the Maroochydore city centre's first building, Foundation Place.
Construction of the $30 million commercial premises began in July last year and at the time, was forecast to open mid-2020.
The Evans Built website boasts a suite of high-profile jobs across the southeast corner and Sunshine Coast including Pulse Oceanside Medical in the Kawana hospital precinct, Sunshine Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, Cricks Volkswagen Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Grammar School Aquatic Centre, Buderim Men's Shed, Peregian Village Market and New Leaf Early Learning Centre in Alexandra Headland.
In May last year, Sunshine Coast Council entered into a contract with Evans Built to design and deliver the much-anticipated, eight-storey Brisbane Road Carpark by December this year.
At that time, Mr Evans said he anticipated 400 workers, including local contractors, would be involved throughout construction.
CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham accused Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson of having a "shortsighted fixation with cost over quality", and Evans Built of demonstrating a "gross disregard for the building code and basic safety procedures".
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said safety was always council's "top priority" in delivering its capital projects, and it had high expectations of its contractors in that regard.
"While the principal contractor has primary responsibility to ensure safe work practices on the Brisbane Road Carpark site, council nonetheless expects a high standard of safety delivery and compliance," the spokesperson said.
"Council was made aware of the notices issued by Work Health and Safety (WHS) Queensland on Thursday, 21 May, 2020 and immediately engaged with the contractor (Evans Built, a locally-owned and operated business) and WHS Queensland to ensure they were addressed."
They said Cr Jamieson would not respond to Mr Ingham's "ill-informed" comments.