Health and Safety for Contractors | Hasmate health and safety
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Health and Safety for Contractors Onsite

Health and Safety for Contractors Onsite

What health and safety documentation do I need on site?

We often get asked these questions:

  1. Do I (or my employees) have to have all my health and safety systems with me, when onsite?
  2. Do I have to have the machine-specific safe work method statements/safe operating procedures (SOPs) attached to all my machinery?

The answer to these questions is that there is no requirement, but the information, as required for each situation, must be in a manner that the user can access and understand.

Today, most people have access to a mobile phone and cloud based technology, so any supporting information can be made readily available to an employee. The benefit to this is that by having a central depository of read-only documents, the business can then maintain a reliable document control process, and ensure that their employees have access to the latest versions of the information.

About 5 years ago, Hasmate used to manage the health and safety for 30 different log cartage businesses – who preferred everything as paper-based. If an industry-based change to health and safety procedures was made, there was the marathon job of printing and distribution of the new documents. Some businesses still choose to maintain a paper-based system.

A simple, but effective, method we used for distributing health and safety and other industry information was the development of “the Truck Book” (a plastic pouch with all the necessary information, as a resource point for each driver). The changing of documents then became the responsibility of the business owner.

Health and Safety for Contractors Onsite

Keeping health and safety information and other supporting documents onsite are useful for:

  1. Accessibility for the site managers and employees;
  2. Visits by the contract owner;
  3. Site audits, informal or not;
  4. WorkSafe NZ inspections; and
  5. For project managers or local authorities to check.

Apart from the plans, specifications, and contractual documents held onsite, the following are a list of health and safety documents for consideration:

  1. The completed Job Safety Analysis (JSAs) or SSSP, for managing the identified contract hazards/risks and management plans;
  2. Health and safety meeting forms (or Yellow Card form) that can also act as the incident and accident recording system;
  3. Supporting health and safety systems;
  4. Safe operating procedures, as required;
  5. The site noticeboard. This should be reviewed and updated every week to include current safety information;
  6. It may be required to also have records of the certification for the use of machinery, and trade training of employees. If the business is running a cloud-based software solution, this information should be accessible by accessing the program as required.

Site Audits

From time to time, safety audits will be carried out on civil construction sites by:

  1. The civil contracting company’s own representative;
  2. The client’s health and safety representative;
  3. WorkSafe NZ (WSNZ); and/or
  4. Local bodies.

The audits will be instigated by several ways:

  1. A notified audit of the completion of contract documents. This allows the operator to have everything in order; and/or
  2. The sprung audit where the civil contractor, the client, other parties or WorkSafe NZ will just turn up on the site, especially following a notified incident.

Whatever the reason, it always pays to have the health and safety systems and records filed, so they can be easily accessed, especially for sprung audits.

Whatever the audit type, audits should never be viewed as a negative exercise if notified and planned.  They are a positive way to improve the quality and efficiency of the company’s health and safety systems and plans.

From any audit, there should an outcome report, and from this should be recommendations for improvement. It is important that all audit reports be discussed by the management team where corrective actions must be implemented, and equally important, be discussed with the site employees, so they in turn can add to the continuous improvement of the company’s health and safety plans.

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Please contact us if you would like to discuss.