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Nebulae developer | Site Safety

               Both principal contractors’ and subcontractors’ workplace health and safety plans must be reviewed and updated at least once a year. In addition principal contractors must update their plans whenever there is a significant change in work activities at the workplace. Subcontractors must update their plans whenever a significant hazard associated with the work is identified that have not already been considered.

            Under section 26 of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995, if a regulation or ministerial notice prescribes a way of preventing or minimizing exposure to a risk, a person must follow the prescribed way. Where an advisory standard or industry code of practice exists, the person must either follow the standard suggested or adopt and develop another way that gives the same level of protection against the risk.

             Following is a brief discussion of potentially hazardous equipment, substances, situations and activities that could arise on a civil construction site for which regulations, advisory standards or industry codes of practice may have been developed. More detail may be found in the guides to the regulations, advisory standards etc. Where these are available, appropriate reference has been made. While these set out ways to prevent or minimise certain risks from the activities concerned, they do not cover all the things an employer, self-employed person or principal contractor might have to do to ensure workplace heath and safety. The risk management process described in the introduction should always be observed to identify and deal with specific hazards in individual workplaces.            The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997 covers the following civil construction hazards with specific information on:
  • Electrical Safety
  • Hazardous substances
  • Noise
  • Underwater diving work
  • Confined Spaces.
             At a minimum, when using electricity, employers, self-employed people and principal contractors have an obligation to ensure that:
  • Extra safety measures are taken when working near elevated power lines or underground power (and other services, gas/water, etc);
  • Extension leads and flexible cables are protected from damage
  • Residual current devices are used
  • Specified electrical equipment is inspected, tested and tagged by a competent person (i.e. a licensed electrician) at prescribed intervals
  • Electrical equipment is tested and tagged by a licensed electrician on a regular basis
  • Double adaptors and “piggy back plugs” are not used .
  • Employers and self-employed people are also obliged to ensure that electrical equipment is maintained in a safe condition as part of fulfilling their obligations under the Act. Electrical work (eg appliance repair, wiring etc) can only be done by a licensed electrician).
  • The regulation identifies different requirements for different classes of work. Most civil construction work would fall into the category of class one work. This requires employers and self-employed people to ensure that
  • Double adaptors and piggy back plugs are not used