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Work Health Safety Act
Under the Work Health and Safety Act (Cth) 2011 (WHS Act), we must ensure the health and safety of workers. This includes contractors while they are on our sites.
This Act requires contractors to deliver services and products while ensuring they meet the work health and safety measures. They must take into consideration safety of:
- other contractors
- third parties
- customers, at or near our workplaces.
A contractor is a worker who carries out work with us and we don’t directly employ them.
Duty of care
Contractors have specific duties of care under the WHS Act when:
- supplying goods, material and substances
- using dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals
- installing plant and equipment.
Contractors also have a duty as workers under the WHS Act. A contractor must take reasonable care for their own health and safety. They must ensure their acts do not negatively affect the health and safety of others.
Health and safety duty holders including a person conducting a business, as defined by the WHS Act, must:
- consider safety in planning and developing projects
- demonstrate an effective work health and safety (WHS) management system
- consult with us about WHS risks and risk management
- comply with contract specific WHS requirements
- understand failure to achieve WHS standards can result in ending the contracted services
- appoint people responsible for managing contractor activities
- identify processes to deal with safety issues during the contract.
The contract management requirements for a contractor activity will vary depending on the activity.
Managers of contractor activities must:
- include potential WHS risks and requirements linked to engaging contractors in project planning, including implementing risk controls
- evaluate the WHS standards as part of any tender evaluation process or procurement process
- establish monitoring systems for contractor WHS performance
- liaise with workplace managers and staff members identified as safety contact officers for the work
- provide a copy of our contractor safety management procedures to contractors, who will work on our premises
- work with workplace managers and safety contact officers to ensure they get information about the work they will be doing, and about the safety issues and requirements
- ensure that there are clear contact instructions for identifying WHS issues and their effective outcome.
Contractors who work on our sites, including labour hire workers, must receive a safety induction that includes information about:
- emergency procedures, including emergency local response guidelines in service centres
- health and safety contacts, including first aid officers and health and safety representatives
- health and safety procedures
- the asbestos register, where applicable
- the safe use of any of our equipment.
Contractors must complete a safety induction checklist along with the staff member who gave the induction briefing session.
Contractors and visitors do not require a safety induction briefing if:
- they have a staff member escorting them at all times
- they are not doing construction and maintenance work
- they are not doing work that has work health and safety hazards, such as installing electrical equipment.
The contractor receiving keys and passes must keep them secure and return them to us at the completion of the work. No one is to copy any keys. Report any losses to the Corporate Security Team as soon as possible. Close doors, gates, windows and other access points as practical to prevent illegal entry. Entry points must not be open unless someone is watching on site.
Storage and deliveries
The contractor shall not store any plant, equipment or supplies on site. We can give permission where appropriate.
Coordinate deliveries with the workplace taking into account method and times.
All staff and contractors should treat each other with respect and courtesy in the workplace. We expect all staff to adhere to the APS Code of Conduct. Read more about the Code of Conduct on the Australian Public Service Commission website.
Our workplace is a smoke free place and all contractors must comply with these arrangements. Our sites have designated smoking areas. Check with the site’s reception to find out where they are.
Reporting and investigating safety incidents
Staff must report any safety problem. They should report to their:
- manager or supervisor
- safety contact officer
- health and safety representative.
Report all incidents using the procedures in our WHS incident reporting rules, which can be obtained from the site contact.
We may investigate safety incidents in accordance with our procedures. We require contractors undertaking any contract work to follow our procedures. We will follow up with these investigations to ensure contractors implement safety improvements. Comcare may investigate some incidents as the Commonwealth safety regulator. Comcover, as our public liability insurer, may also investigate.
Staff working at contractor controlled premises
Sometimes staff members need to work in areas controlled by a contractor. If this occurs, the staff member must comply with the safety requirements established by the contractor.