When you build a house, school or any other structure - several parties (like the client, builder and other subbies) work together. Under the law (the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992), all these groups have responsibilities to make a safe site and prevent anybody from being hurt.
A typical construction contractor arrangement could look like this:
Health & Safety is integral to the success of any project, from design and construction to subsequent operation maintenance and management of the property.
Early engagement of supply chain partners is critical to enabling good Health & Safety performance and minimising life cycle costs.
Three key reasons prevail:
- Good clients want their contractors and staff across the whole supply chain to be safe at work and be able to go home at night
- There are legal duties that need to be complied with for good reason
- There are business benefits to proactively manage risk ie projects completed on time, on budget and to a high quality
What does Health & Safety include?
- All projects are scoped and have a hazard register which includes occupational health & safety key risks
- Your project aspires to being accident, incident and injury free
- Utilising information such as guidance material produced by the Client Construction Group, Site Safe New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - Labour's Guideline Contract Management
- All professional and site staff are adequately trained to identify and manage hazards associated with the project ie Site Safe Passports and higher level Site Safe training
- Demonstrating compliance with the duties of a Principal under Section 18 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act).
How do you do it? For a clearly visible action plan and more click here to read the Clients Construction Guide.
A contractor (also an employer), or self-employed person have legal obligations to effectively manage the safety of employees while at work by taking all practicable steps. The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE) requires that hazards are systematically identified and managed; a good method of doing this is via a hazard register.
Section 25 of the HSE Act requires employees to maintain a register to record accidents and serious harm. An accident register meets this need and can also be an effective tool to manage your businesses health and safety through its monitor and review tasks.
Phil Brosnan, Managing Director at Brosnan Construction describes what they have as the basic Site Safe model. "We use Site Specific Safety Plans at the start of a job; we use Site Safe's Wall Charts both on site and in the main office as a tool for data collection. Our Site Managers run regular toolbox talks on site and reports of these are collected and reported back to the office where I read through everything. Our own staff and I have a monthly toolbox talk back at the office so that I can keep tabs in an over-arching way on how all the sites are running." When asked about relationships with subcontractors around health and safety, Phil says "It is just a basic standard to working with us, we clearly explain that we run the Site Safe system at the tendering stage - we let them know that we expect high standards of health and safety compliance."
When tendering for a job, main contractors expect to be shown how every contractor on site is managing their health and safety. Useful tools to clearly communicate this are:
A simple step-by-step process for managing health and safety over an entire site project:
|1. Completing a project plan: |
Along with scoping required critical skills, plant, equipment, and costs, the plan must also show how health and safety will be managed.
| 2. When negotiating a contract: |
The client must provide details about known hazards. Documents such as original site plans should also be requested to provide information about hidden hazards.
|3. When a contract is awarded: |
Safety plans must be fully developed, and the responsibilities and lines of communication are agreed upon by all parties at a pre-start safety meeting.
| 4. On the job: |
All registers must be continually reviewed and monitored to ensure that all parties are holding to their agreements. Regular safety meetings should be held to provide ongoing communication.
|5. After the work is completed: |
All parties provide feedback on success and lessons learned. Evaluations should be fed back into the tendering process to assist in the next job.
To ensure a safe site, everyone involved needs to clearly understand their own and each others health and safety roles and responsibilities. Through a clear sense of leadership, management can effectively influence safe behaviours. By encouraging staff and contractors to follow the safe systems implemented on site a culture of safety can be achieved with many positive benefits throughout the entire project.
You can find more information on the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 from www.dol.govt.nz.