The following is an abridgement of an article originally published on the Safe Work Australia website.
Safe Work Australia has launched a new interactive online tool to help the construction industry understand and meet their work health and safety (WHS) duties under the model WHS laws.
What is the tool and how does it work?
The tool, called Know Your Duties, provides information about the WHS duties for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) and workers in the construction industry. It also explains how to meet these duties, common hazards and how to manage risks in construction.
The tool is easy to use and navigate. Users can select from different topics and scenarios to find relevant information and guidance. The tool also provides links to other resources and contacts for further assistance.
What are some of the topics and scenarios covered by the tool?
The tool covers a range of topics and scenarios related to WHS duties in the construction industry, such as:
- Incident reporting: how to report a work-related injury, illness or dangerous incident to the WHS regulator, and what records to keep.
- Emergency plans: how to prepare and implement an emergency plan for the workplace, and what to include in the plan.
- First aid: what first aid equipment and facilities to provide, and how to ensure workers have access to first aid.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): what PPE to provide and maintain, and how to ensure workers use it correctly.
- Labour hire: what WHS duties apply to labour hire PCBUs and workers, and how to consult and cooperate with each other.
- Safe design: how to ensure the design of a structure or product is safe and without risks to health and safety.
The tool also provides information on common WHS hazards in the construction industry, such as:
- Outdoor work: how to protect workers from the risks of working outdoors, such as heat, sun, noise and insects.
- Working at heights: how to prevent falls from heights, and what measures to take when working at heights.
- Scaffolding: how to erect, use and dismantle scaffolding safely, and what training and supervision to provide.
- Electrical work: how to prevent electric shocks and fires, and what precautions to take when working near power lines or underground cables.
- Demolition work: how to plan and carry out demolition work safely, and what hazards to identify and control.
Where can I access the tool and find more information?
You can access the Know Your Duties tool for the construction industry here. You can also explore the tool for the agriculture industry, which covers similar topics and scenarios for the farming sector.
For more information on WHS laws and regulations for other industries, please visit the industry and business information page. You can also contact your WHS regulator for specific advice on how WHS laws apply in your workplace.
Determining safe work methods is only the first step. Dedicated safety management software modules are valuable additional companions in the formalisation and maintenance of safe practices.
New interactive WHS tool for the construction industry by Safe Work Australia, 6th November, 2023.