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Construction projects

The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) [WHS Regulations] place specific requirements on construction projects. Under Regulation 292, where the cost of construction work is $450,000 or more, it is defined as a construction project.

A principal contractor must be appointed for a construction project and should be either:

  • a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) that commissions a construction project, unless it engages another PCBU as principal contractor for the construction project and authorises it to have management or control of the workplace and to discharge the duties of a principal contractor, or
  • a PCBU engaged directly or indirectly by the owner of a residential premises to undertake a construction project in relation to the premises, if the person has management or control of the workplace.

A construction project has only one principal contractor at any time.

Principal contractors

The principal contractor of a construction project must:

  • prepare a written Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Plan for the project before work commences
  • ensure each person who is to carry out construction work in connection on the project is made aware of the written WHS Management Plan, before commencing work
  • review, and as necessary revise, the WHS management plan to ensure that it remains up-to-date
  • ensure that a copy of the WHS Management Plan is kept until the project is completed
  • take all reasonable steps to obtain a copy of the Safe Work Method Statement relating to high risk construction work before any such work commences
  • display signage identifying the principal contactor.

Additional health and safety duties of a principal contractor are outlined in Chapter 6, Part 4, of the WHS Regulations.

WHS management plans

A WHS Management Plan for a construction project must include:

  • the name, position and responsibilities of everyone at the workplace who has specific health and safety responsibilities for the project
  • arrangements in place, between any PCBU at the workplace where the construction project is being undertaken, for consultation, co-operation and the co-ordination of activities in relation to compliance with their duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and the WHS Regulations
  • arrangements in place for managing any work health and safety incidents that occur
  • any site-specific work health and safety rules, and the arrangements for ensuring that everyone at the workplace are informed of these rules
  • arrangements for the collection, assessment, monitoring and review of Safe Work Method Statements at the workplace.

Refer to Regulations 309-313 of the WHS Regulations for details of more specific obligations relating to WHS Management Plans.