Health & Safety
This page gives some basic starting points for a Health & Safety scheme for your site.
You MUST update / revise it for your own use.
You need a Health & Safety Policy and a Site Specific Safety Plan.
You will need a site warning / hazards sign (available from building supplies companies)
You are responsible for your own Health & Safety Practices and for ensuring they are up to date.
QuickBuild Homes takes no liability.
Some Starting Points
Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP)
Unlike the Health & Safety Policy which is a single document: the Site Specific Safety Plan or SSSP (triple S P) is created for each individual site.
Many sites are very similar in the hazards they present, but no two sites are exactly the same.
One site might be a higher wind zone, one might have a crazy client, one might be in a neighbourhood where kids are more likely to use the site as a play ground.
They all have their subtle differences.
Health and Safety Agreement
This is to make sure multiple PCBU's (A PCBU is a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’) have consulted each other before you begin.
If there is only one builder, this is not necessary. If there are more than 2, you might want to consider having multiple SSSP's.
Hazard and Risk Register
This is the guts of any SSSP.
It is where you keep a list of the hazards introduced, your risk assessment (use the table in the SSSP) and possible controls.
Toolbox talks should involve discussions on which controls should be implemented.
This only needs to be done for high risk activity, new or complex activity, or when a contract specifies a task analysis.
You breakdown the job into tasks, identify the hazards related to that task and determine the controls (which should all be in your hazard register)
Hazardous Substance Register.
This is one of two documents that are mandatory.
You MUST have a Hazard Register on site
This is a record of the competencies, certificates and qualifications your staff have. It can be a good selling point with clients if you have well qualified workers.
You should establish emergency plans and communicate these with everybody who comes on site through inductions.
A means of documenting your toolbox talks.
This is proof you have communicated and engaged workers with health and safety decisions.
You must engage your workers. This is one way of recording that.
Site Inspection Checklist
This list is a backup to make sure you don't forget anything. It should be done at least once a week.
Incident and Injury Register
This is mandatory. It is the only other part of the SSSP that is a MUST have.
What is a PCBU?
A PCBU is a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’.
While a PCBU may be an individual person or an organisation, in most cases the PCBU will be an organisation (for example, a business entity such as a company).
An individual, such as a sole trader, can also be a PCBU.
While the terms ‘business’ and ‘undertaking’ are not defined in HSWA, the usual meanings of these terms are:
‘business’: an activity carried out with the intention of making a profit or gain
‘undertaking’: an activity that is non-commercial in nature (eg certain activities of a local authority).
Individuals or organisations can be PCBUs if they carry out work, regardless of their legal structure.
Examples of PCBUs are:
A business in the form of an incorporated company.
A sole trader or self-employed person.
A general partner in a partnership (if the partnership is a limited partnership).
A partner in a partnership (if the partnership is not a limited partnership).
An organisation created by legislation (eg government department, university, school or local authority).
Who is not a PCBU?
The following are not PCBUs:
home occupiers who employ or engage someone to do work around the home
persons to the extent they are solely a worker or an officer in the business or undertaking
statutory officers to the extent they are officers or workers in the business or undertaking
other persons declared by regulations not to be PCBUs for the purposes of HSWA or any provision of the Act
Kitchen Construction Limited (KCL) operates a small business which specialises in building and renovating kitchens.
Simon is KCL’s sole director.
KCL employs several full-time staff and regularly contracts Jill, a self-employed electrician, to do electrical work for KCL’s projects.
KCL is a PCBU conducting the business of building and renovating kitchens.
KCL’s employees are workers of KCL (so are not PCBUs).
Simon is an officer of KCL (so is not a PCBU).
Jill is a PCBU conducting her electrical business.
Jill is also a worker of KCL because she is engaged by KCL to complete electrical work on KCL’s projects.
What is the primary duty of care?
A PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and that other people are not put at risk by its work.
This is called the ‘primary duty of care’.
This means ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable:
The health and safety of workers who work for the PCBU (eg employees or contractors, including their subcontractors or workers) while they are at work in the business or undertaking the health and safety of workers whose work activities are influenced or directed by the PCBU while the workers are carrying out the work, that other persons are not put at risk by the work of the business or undertaking (eg a visitor to the workplace, or members of the public who could be affected by a work activity).
A PCBU who is a self-employed person must also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, his or her own health and safety while at work.
The primary duty of care is a broad overarching duty. It includes but is not limited to, so far as is reasonably practicable:
Providing and maintaining a work environment that is without risks to health and safety
providing and maintaining safe plant and structures
providing and maintaining safe systems of work ensuring the safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances
providing adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work for the business or undertaking, including ensuring access to those facilities
providing any information, training, instruction, or supervision that is necessary to protect all people from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking
monitoring the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace for the purpose of preventing injury or illness of workers arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.
PCBUs must also maintain any worker accommodation that is owned or managed by the PCBU and provided because other accommodation is not reasonably available. The accommodation must be maintained so the worker is not exposed to health and safety risks.
Who has the primary duty to ensure health and safety?
All PCBUs have the primary duty of care.
Is a registered charity a legal entity under HSWA?
HSWA does not define legal entities, it only defines a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).
The legal form of a PCBU is not relevant in terms of its coverage by, and duties under, HSWA.
If an organisation meets the definition of a PCBU it has the duties of a PCBU regardless of its legal construct.
Is my business in the 'high risk' category?
There is a legal ‘high-risk’ category which has special rules about health and safety representatives (HSRs) and health and safety committees (HSCs). (Refer to HSWA s62(4b) and s66(3b)).
All businesses with 20 or more workers or who are in one of the high-risk sectors or industries listed in the Regulations for Worker Engagement, Participation and Representation, must:
Arrange the election of HSRs if requested by a worker, and consider whether to set up an HSC if one is requested by an HSR or five or more workers.
The high-risk sectors or industries this relates to are defined using the Australia New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) codes, and include the following:
A03 Forestry and logging
A04 Fishing, hunting, and trapping
B06 Coal mining
C11 Food product manufacturing
D28 Water supply, sewerage, and drainage services
D29 Waste collection, treatment, and disposal services
E30 Building construction
E31 Heavy and civil engineering construction
E32 Construction services.