ABOUT THIS GUIDEThe construction industry is one ofNSW’s highest risk industries. Every year,too many workers are killed or injured onNSW construction sites.The most common causes of serious injury or death onconstruction sites are: falls from heights contact with electricity being hit by falling objects moving plant.This guide provides useful information for commonhealth and safety issues on small construction sitesrelevant to New South Wales WHS laws. It will help youmanage the health and safety of workers and otherson and around your worksite. Links to more detailedinformation are included where relevant.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSAfter the devastating earthquakes that struck Christchurchin 2011, SafeWork NSW Inspectors provided on-the-groundassistance to help rebuild Christchurch safely. The New ZealandAbsolutely Essential Health and Safety Toolkit was recognisedby industry and the Inspectorate alike as a useful tool toassist small builders comply with safety requirements. Theirpocket toolkit inspired NSW to develop this Pocket Guide toConstruction Safety.Version: 02 Date published: August 2018The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety2

QR CODE INSTRUCTIONSIn this guide you will find a number of QR codes whichwill direct you to further information.To use the QR code you must download a QR readerapplication to your mobile device. Free apps areavailable on the App Store (iOS) or Google PlayStore (Android).Once you have downloaded the QR reader, open itand scan the QR code on the page. This will open thedocument where you can find further information,videos, publications, etc.VIEWThe Pocket Guide to Construction Safety3

CONTACTSAFEWORK NSWOur main contact number is 13 10 50.People with a speech or hearing impairment can makeor take phone calls using the following: For voice calls or telephone typewriter (TTY)call 133 677 then ask for 13 10 50. For a speak and listen service call 1300 555 727then ask for 13 10 50. For an SMS relay service call 0423 677 767then type 13 10 50.Notifying usIf there is a serious injury or illness, a death or adangerous incident, you must report it to usimmediately on 13 10 50 as an urgent investigationmight be needed.Incidents can be notified 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.MORE CONTACT INFORMATIONMake an internet relay callthen type 13 10 50The Pocket Guide to Construction SafetySafeWork NSW

CONTENTSAbout this guideQR Code instructionsContact SafeWork NSWMANAGEMENT CHECKLISTSPreparing for emergenciesGeneral managementContracting and subcontractingConsultation and toolbox talksHAZARD CHECKLISTSWorking at heightsScaffoldStairways and voidsLaddersWorking on roofsElectricity and essential servicesTraffic, vehicles and mobile plantSite security and protecting the publicWalkways, access and egressTrenches and excavationsLoading and unloading materialsHazardous manual tasksTools and machineryHEALTH HAZARD CHECKLISTSSun safety, workloads and fatigueAsbestosAmenities and facilitiesHazardous chemicalsNoisePersonal protective equipmentDisclaimerThe Pocket Guide to Construction 2333536375

MANAGEMENTCHECKLISTSThis chapter provides questionsrelating to management activitiesrequired to meet your Work Healthand Safety obligations.If you answer yes to the questions,you are on your way towardsachieving compliance.The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety6

PREPARING FOREMERGENCIES Are there emergencyprocedures? Do people on site knowwhat the procedures areand where the nearestmedical centre/hospital is? Is there a means of raisingthe alarm and does it work? Is there a way to contact the emergency servicesfrom site? Are there enough suitable escape routes and arethese kept clear? Is there a stocked first aid kit kept on site? Is there someone available who can administerfirst aid if needed?MORE INFORMATION ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURESCode of Practice: Managing thework environment and facilitiesThe Pocket Guide to Construction SafetyCode of Practice: Firstaid in the workplace7

GENERAL MANAGEMENTAs an employer or business owner, do you make sureyour workers: hold a General Construction Induction training card(“white card”) are inducted to the site? are trained, competent and fit to do the job safelyand without putting their own or others’ health andsafety at risk? have adequate supervision and are givenclear instructions? have access to hand washing and toilet facilities? have the correct tools, equipment, plant andprotective clothing to do the task safely? are involved in discussions or toolbox talks abouthealth and safety issues? are covered by your workers compensationinsurance policy?The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety8

CONTRACTING ANDSUBCONTRACTINGIf you are a principal contractor, or a contractor whosubcontracts work to others, do you: check the health and safety performance of thepeople you plan to work with? check that their Workers Compensation is currentand has a sufficient level of coverage? give them the health and safety information theyneed for the work? collect and review their Safe Work MethodStatements for High Risk Construction Work anddiscuss safety prior to commencing? hold regular discussions about how the work isgoing, including safety problems and concerns? make sure that you have provided everything you arerequired to (such as safe scaffolds, the appropriateplant, access to toilets and other amenities)?The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety9

monitor subcontractors’ performance and recordany non-conformances and corrective actions taken? ensure that the principal contractor has prepareda WHS management plan (if the construction workcosts more than 250,000) and reviewed it?The Code of practice forConstruction Work is apractical guide to achievingwork health and safetyrequirements under theWHS Act and Regulations.It contains specific information and templates relating to: safe work method statements work health and safety management plans induction requirements.The Housing industry – Site Safety pack provides thetemplates and framework for a WHS system to assistsmall subcontractors (0-10 workers).MORE INFORMATIONCode of practice forConstruction WorkThe Pocket Guide to Construction SafetyHousing industry– Site Safety pack10

CONSULTATION ANDTOOLBOX TALKSConsultation gives your workers theopportunity to participate and shareinformation about health and safetyat work.Have you discussed: the method of consultation to adopt on theproject such as committee, HSR’s or otheragreed arrangements? the risks associated with the task they are aboutto perform? proposing changes that may effect the work healthand safety of workers? making decisions about any work health andsafety procedures? the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers?MORE INFORMATIONSee the Code of Practice: Workhealth and safety consultation,coordination and cooperationThe Pocket Guide to Construction Safety11

HAZARDCHECKLISTSThis chapter provides questionsto help you manage the hazardsand risks on site.If you answer yes to the questions,you are on your way towardsachieving compliance.The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety12

WORKING AT HEIGHTSWARNING: Extreme care shouldbe exercised for any work on roofs,scaffolding and/or ladders. Can you avoid working at heights by using differentequipment or a different work method? Have you ensured there is appropriate training andfit-for-purpose controls to prevent workers fromfalling from heights? Have you planned the work properly and identifiedsuitable precautions to make sure work can becarried out safely? Are you using fall protection equipment such asscaffolding, guard rails or an elevated work platform? Will weather conditions, such as rain and wind,threaten the health and safety of those carrying outthe work? Have you thought about all the options and are youcertain that you are using the safest means possible?MORE INFORMATIONManaging the risk of fallsat workplaceThe Pocket Guide to Construction SafetyPreventing falls inhousing construction13

SCAFFOLD Is the scaffold erected, altered and dismantled bycompetent/licensed scaffolders? (A High Risk WorkLicence is required where a person can fall morethan 4 m) Is the scaffold erected using safe work methods andis it implemented in accordance with the supplier’sand/or manufacturer’s instructions and relevantAustralian Standards? Do you get a competent/licensed scaffolder toinspect the scaffold regularly (such as every 30 daysand after alteration, damage or bad weather)? Has a hand-over certificate been provided bythe scaffolder? Are all standards provided with base plates and,where necessary, timber sole-boards? Is the scaffold adequately braced? Is the scaffold adequately secured to the building orstructure to prevent collapse?The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety14

Are there handrails, mid-rails and toe boards (orother suitable protection) at every edge to preventpeople and objects falling? Are guards provided to prevent stacked materialssuch as bricks falling from scaffolds (such askickboards, brick guards, steel mesh)? Are the working platforms fully planked and are theplanks arranged to avoid slipping or tripping? Are there effective barriers or warning noticesin place to stop people from using anincomplete scaffold? Has the scaffold been designed to carry the weightof people and materials stored on it, and arethese evenly distributed? Are gates (including guardrails being used as gates)and hatches across access points self-closing? Is the gap between the building/structure and thescaffold less than 225 mm to reduce the risk ofpeople or materials falling through? Are scaffolds at least 4 m from powerlines? If not,have you consulted with the service provider? Are the wheels of mobile scaffolds lockedwhen in use and are the platforms cleared beforethey are moved? Are outriggers on mobile scaffolds in placeand secure?The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety15

STAIRWAYS AND VOIDS Are all voids protected by covers that are securedin place and clearly marked as voids? Are all stairways and/or ladder access pointsprotected against falls risks by the installationof fences and/or barriers?ONLINE VIDEOSSee how to prevent falls using simple void protectionTemporary stairsThe Pocket Guide to Construction SafetyVoid cover16

LADDERS Choose the right tool for the job – can you buy orhire some alternative equipment that would providea safer means of access (such as mobile scaffold,elevated work platform or platform ladder)? Is the ladder in good condition and rated forcommercial use? Is the ladder set up on a flat, stable surface? Do you need ladder safety devices like leg levelers,anti-slip gutter guards and stabilisers? If you’re using an extension ladder, is it secured at thetop and bottom to prevent it slipping sideways andoutwards? If this isn’t possible then have someonehold the ladder in place while in use. Do extension ladders rise at least 1 m above thelanding place? Does it rest against a solid surfacethat can support it and you? Is the extension ladder angled at a ratio of 1:4 (thebase of the ladder 1 m away from the structure forevery 4 m of height)? Are the ladders high enough so that users don’t haveto over-reach? If you have to stand on the top tworungs of a stepladder it means you will not be ableto maintain three points of contact with the ladder.A taller ladder is required. Can users maintain three points of contact? Neverlean or reach away from the ladder while using it. Are materials being transported safely (ie notcarried up a ladder)? Use a pulley or rope andbucket system instead.The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety17

WORKING ON ROOFS Is there edge protection, such as scaffolding or roofsafety rails, to stop people or materials falling? Has the angle/pitch of the roof been consideredwhen determining safety control measures? Have you identified brittle roof materials that arenot safe to walk on, such as concrete tiles, cementsheets, asbestos sheeting and sky lights? Have you taken precautions to stop people fallingthrough brittle or fragile roof materials by providingbarriers, covers or working platforms? Has an exclusion zone been set up below theroof work? Are roof workers trained and experienced torecognise the risks and are they competent to dothe work? Are workers competent in the setting up and safe useof harnesses if required?The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety18

ELECTRICITY ANDESSENTIAL SERVICES Have you contacted Dial Before You Dig to identifyand assess underground services? For underground services, have you planned,prepared and potholed before proceeding? Have you clearly identified, marked and/or isolatedexisting services present on site (above and belowground, such as electric cables, gas mains, watermains and phone lines)? Where there are overhead powerlines, has theservice provider been contacted?The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety19

Where there are overhead lines, has the electricitysupply been turned off, or have other precautionsbeen taken, such as providing ‘tiger tails’, ‘goal posts’or taped markers and/or barriers as an identifier toprevent inadvertent contact? For electrical tools on site, is a Residual CurrentDevice (RCD) or Isolating Transformer usedand tested? Are tools and equipment well-maintained, checkedregularly for defects and taken out of service if adefect is found? Are temporary switch boards, tools and electricalitems regularly inspected, tested and tagged by acompetent person? Are cables and leads protected from being damagedor creating trip hazards? Is the switchboard easily accessible?MORE INFORMATIONManaging electrical risksin the workplaceThe Pocket Guide to Con

Hazardous manual tasks 27: Tools and machinery 28: HEALTH HAZARD : CHECKLISTS 29 Sun safety, workloads and fatigue 30 : Asbestos 31: Amenities and facilities 32: Hazardous chemicals 33: Noise 35: Personal protective equipment 36: Disclaimer 37: The Pocket Guide to Construction Safety 6: MANAGEMENT CHECKLISTS: This chapter provides questions :