Meeting PCBU shared responsibilities Part 3 - Site Specific Safety Plans

Site Specific Safety plans


Kevin Thompson gives a brief perspective on the need for a Site Specific Safety Plan.

Over the years I have reviewed thousands of plans from contractors, which range from inadequate to exceptional.  The quality of the plan and how in depth the management of it should alert you to how committed the contractor will be in their delivery and the level of exposure they may create for your business.

Once you have chosen your contractor, you should start sharing information with them straight away. This should always be documented in the form of a Notice to contractor (NTC) or in an e mail so these is a record of communication.

There are numerous templates out in the market place, and no one document is perfect.  The plan must however be comprehensive in telling you how they intend to deliver on their obligations to you.

As head contractor you should develop your own contract-specific health and safety plan, for the client and give this to your contractor as soon as possible including advising them of the known risks you have considered and expectations around but not limited to:

  • KPI expectations on safety delivery.
  • Reporting hazards and incidents on site
  • Attending site meetings.
  • Holding their own on site toolbox meetings.
  • Site inspections.
  • Monitoring of their own contractors.

Your contractor in return must prepare a site specific safety plan of their own, setting out how they intend carry out the work and tasks they have been engaged for.

This specific plan must cover;

  • Important contact people and phone details.
  • An in depth Hazards and risks Task analysis, SWMS or JSA for each type of work.
  • Notifiable works.
  • Permits to work.
  • Hazardous substances management.
  • Obligations for engaging subcontractors.
  • Site inspections.
  • Tools and equipment certifications.
  • Competencies for staff.

Once this document has been received back from the contractor it must be thoroughly scrutinised to ensure you feel comfortable with the information and the processes, before approving it.

The standard you accept may be the failure that Worksafe may pick up during any site evaluation or incident investigation.  YOU HAVE TO GET THIS RIGHT.

Once signed off and approved and work commences, we move onto the next obligation around the monitoring of the contractor during the contract.