Demolition work means work to demolish or dismantle a structure, or part of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of the structure, but does not include —
- the dismantling of formwork, falsework, or other structures designed or used to provide support, access or containment during construction work; or
- the removal of power, light or telecommunication poles.
Definition as per Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (the Regulation), Schedule 19 – Dictionary.
Examples of hazards
Demolition work involves controlling exposure to hazards such as:
- falling objects, including part or all of a structure or debris
- being struck or crushed by an operating mobile plant
- airborne contaminants, such as asbestos or silica.
You should notify WHSQ at least five days before commencing demolition:
- of a structure or part of a structure that is load bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of the structure (only if 6 m or higher in height)
- involving load shifting machinery on a suspended floor
- involving explosives.
The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation) provides more information on demolition notifications.
Other requirements in the WHS Regulation may apply to the demolition or dismantling of a structure.
Asbestos and demolition
There are additional requirements where demolition of a structure that contains asbestos materials is to occur.
Find out more about asbestos and demolition of a domestic structure.
What laws apply
The WHS Regulation requires that a demolition work licence be held by a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).
The WHS Regulation, Part 4.6 Demolition work is summarised below.
|Specific legislative requirements for demolition work|
Notice of demolition work
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) that proposes to carry out any of the following types of demolition work must provide written notice to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland at least 5 days before the work commences:
Notice must be made using Form 65: Notification of licensed asbestos removal work, demolition work or emergency demolition.
WHS Regulation 2011, s142(1) and (2)
Notice of demolition work by an emergency service organisation
Emergency service organisations must give notice of any notifiable demolition work (see s142(1)) as soon as is practicable, whether before or after the work is carried out, when the demolition work is carried out while rescuing or providing first aid to a person.
Notice must be made using Form 65: Notification of licensed asbestos removal work, demolition work or emergency demolition
WHS Regulation 2011, s142(2), (3) and (4)
Licence to carry out demolition work
A PCBU must not carry out demolition work, or allow or direct a worker to carry out demolition work, unless they are licensed to carry out that work.
View information about obtaining a demolition work licence
WHS Regulation 2011, s143
Nominated competent person must be present or readily available
The person nominated under a demolition licence to supervise the work must be readily available to any worker carrying out the demolition work
WHS Regulation 2011, s144(1)
Training for workers
The PCBU holding a licence to carry out demolition work must provide appropriate training to workers to ensure that the demolition work is carried out safely and competently
WHS Regulation 2011, s144(2)
Demolition work is considered construction work under the WHS Regulation and must be carried out in accordance with the relevant regulations
WHS Regulation 2011 – Chapter 6 – Construction Work
Safe work method statements
Safe work method statements are required for all high risk construction work, including any construction work that involves the demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of a structure
WHS Regulation 2011, s291 and s299
The collapse or partial collapse of a structure is a dangerous incident and must be notified to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
View additional information about the notification of dangerous incidents, including the notification form
Work Health and Safety Act 2011, s35, s36, s37, s38 and s39
- Last updated
- 02 May 2017
Request a free Safety advocate visit
Our advocates share their personal stories to remind workers to stop and think about workplace safety.