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Builder's labourer

Builder's labourers lift, move, handle and stack a wide range of building materials. They undertake labouring tasks that vary with stages of construction for each project and site.


  • general clean and tidy-up of site including removal of rubbish, debris and excess materials, scraping floors, sweeping, vacuuming, emptying of bins using a bin tipper and redistribution of bins and mini-skips around site
  • manual demolition tasks as well as demolition using jackhammers and other power tools
  • lifting, moving, handling and stacking a wide range of building materials
  • assist with the unloading of various materials from delivery vehicles
  • use of wheelbarrows, digging trenches, pits and similar, shovelling soil, rubble and concrete
  • monitoring of site gates
  • checking in/out of deliveries
  • placing tools ready for use
  • builder's labourers lift and erect temporary fencing and barricades
  • lay and remove temporary protective coverings
  • assist with the erection of scaffolding and work platforms
  • assist tradesmen with specific tasks
  • general touch-up and repair tasks for defects
  • relieving of internal lift operator
  • peggie' duties - cleaning temporary site sheds, site amenities and replenish tea/coffee and consumables particularly on small sites
  • access to site may involve extensive walking, negotiation of uneven terrain, pushing/pulling of bins, skips, wheelbarrows and laden pallet jacks, the climbing of ladders and climbing of scaffolding
  • operation of a forklift for the moving and handling of materials (site dependant).

Personal protective equipment

  • gloves
  • hard hat
  • mask
  • visibility vest
  • trousers
  • safety boots
  • ear muffs/plugs
  • safety glasses
  • sunscreen.
Critical physical job demand descriptor% of time performedTask


  • standing
  • gripping of objects

34% - 66%

  • trunk flexion greater than 15 degrees (including periods of sweeping/shovelling)
  • lifting of objects weighing up to 15kg between floor and chest height

5% - 33%

  • kneeling and crouching positions
  • climbing of stairs
  • climbing of ladders
  • lifting of objects weighing up to 25kg between floor and chest height
  • carrying of objects weighing up to 25kg
  • pushing/pulling of objects
  • periods of exposure to vibration (use of jack hammers and other power tools)
  • periods of impact activities (use of hammers and sledge hammers)


  • lifting of objects weighing up to 15kg above shoulder height

Suitable duties

  • goals must be clear, realistic and achievable
  • must have 'buy-in' from the worker
  • worker helps to set the goals, and must be answerable if goals are not met (this allows barriers to RTW to be identified at an early stage and obstacles overcome)
  • workers need to understand they have an obligation to participate in rehabilitation and RTW as per Section 232 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

Host employment

In the event an employer is unable to provide suitable duties, a host placement may be required. If this is the case, the worker may be placed at a different employer in a graduated return to work plan until they're able to 'upgrade' back to his/her pre-injury role with their pre-injury employer.

WorkCover Queensland's Recover at Work program places injured workers in short term host employment with employers who have an established track record of successful return to work outcomes with their own workers.

More return to work resources