This guideline is intended to provide relevant and practical guidance to ensure health and safety requirements are integrated into all stages of capital works projects.
The guideline provides information on ensure health and safety requirements for all major capital investment projects from design and documentation to the tendering and construction stages.
During the course of all capital investment projects, it is important that documentation be provided to the principal to the contract and the PCG to assist with their governance responsibility. Their responsibilities together with roles of the Principal Contractor, the consultants and CPSP are also set out to:
The Principal may delegate selected aspects however cannot contract out of their responsibilities. Examples have been set out together with the person delegated with responsibility for actioning the issue.
Other requirements regarding the tender selection process and contract administration are located in the accompanying text and templates.
Legislation and Other Compliance Publications
The principle legislation is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Secondary legislation includes:
Codes of Practice
There are Codes of Practice relevant to Occupational Health and Safety in capital projects. They may be obtained from the WorkCover websites, specifically referring to:
Objectives of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 are:
(a) to secure the health, safety and welfare of employees and other persons at work; and
(b) to eliminate, at the source, risks to the health, safety or welfare of employees and other persons at work; and
(c) to ensure that the health and safety of members of the public is not placed at risk by the conduct of undertakings by employers and self-employed persons; and
(d) to provide for the involvement of employees, employers, and organisations representing those persons, in the formulation and implementation of health, safety and welfare standards
Duties of Employers
The duties of employers under the Act are: (Selective extracts from the Act)
An employer must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain for employees of the employer a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.
1. A reference to an employee includes a reference to an independent contractor engaged by an employer and any employees of the independent contractor.
2. The duties of an employer extend to an independent contractor engaged by the employer, and any employees of the independent contractor, in relation to matters over which the employer has control or would have control if not for any agreement purporting to limit or remove that control.
3. Part 5.1 of the OHS Regulations recognises the unique nature of Construction Contracts and specifically allows for the appointment and authorisation of a Principal Contractor to manage and control the construction workplace. On behalf of the Principal, consultants are to include provisions in the contract for the appointment and authorisation of the Principal Contractor through the Special Conditions to AS 2124 contracts.
An employer must, so far as is reasonably practicable-
An employer must, so far as is reasonably practicable-
An employer must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees of the employer are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the employer.
Duties of the Principal to a Construction Project are:
The Principal to a construction contract is required to exercise such care and take such steps as are practicable in the circumstances to avoid a foreseeable risk of death or injury.
It is important that the Department or Agency be able to demonstrate due diligence in attempting to meet health and safety obligations when engaging Contractors. This may be achieved by taking steps that are reasonable in the circumstances to see that a competent Contractor with relevant experience is engaged; and that the Contractor and its employees carry out the work in safe premises, using proper and safe plant and substances, employing systems of work that are safe and include adequate instruction, training and supervision.
To fulfil their obligations, the Principal should:
Responsibilities of Designers
The OHS Act now covers the role of Designers, such as Architects and Engineers. The Act requires that Designers responsibility is to ensure that buildings and workplaces are safe for the purpose for which they are designed. They are to retain records showing how they have identified and deal with risks as part of their duties as a designer. In those instances where the contractor supplies designs or shop drawings, as part of the contract, the same obligations and conditions shall apply.
Designers must consider all locations of the building and site being designed and consult with representatives of the future workers who will use those locations; about the tasks and activities to be performed at each location. Each location must be so designed that it will be a safe workplace. In consulting with representatives of the future workers, designers must endeavour to seek out workers at the level who will use the location. It will not be adequate to limit this consultation to management representatives!
As well as designing workplaces to be safe for operational requirements of day-to-day users, they must also be designed to be safe for occasional users, such as those people who inspect, service, maintain or clean plant, equipment and the building.
Role of Capital Projects & Service Planning
Capital Projects & Service Planning is responsible for the management of capital investment projects of the Department of Health, specifically for health and community services facilities and infrastructure (excludes public housing).
Capital Projects & Service Planning's role and responsibilities include: