Safe Work Australia issued the revised draft code for Work Health and Safety Code Practice for Construction Work last 30 August 2013. The new Code incorporates templates for SWMS, case studies and Health and Safety Management Plans to enlighten those employees in the construction industry, in carrying out their duties.
Originally, the Code was written to bridge the practical knowledge between the contractors and individuals conducting a business of undertaking (PCBUs). The Code outlined best practices on how to discharge their obligations, patterned after the model Work Health and Safety Act and its associated regulations.
The revised code of practice reports various safety needs related to construction work associated with the regulations of Work Health and Safety. Specifically, it includes induction training as well as determining usual work hazards and risks associated in the construction industry. The Code, in its new form, addresses the following topics:
- Clarity on specific duties associated with those on PCBUs, workers, officers and other individuals under the work, health and safety legislation.
- Management of risks related with construction work which include appropriate risk control measures.
- Formulating, implementing and reviewing Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)
- Formulating, implementing, and reviewing Work, Health, and Safety Management Plans for construction projects.
- General information and process training that include induction, on-the-job instructions, and supervision.
- General workplace management arrangements.
More revisions have been made to improve the overall clarity of the document, along with the increased guidance for the housing and construction industry. These alterations are amendments to the previous SWMS template for high-risk construction work to make it more efficient and easier to comprehend and apply it to work. After the finalisation of this document, the revised Code is issued to be the initial point of reference for a principal contractor or PCBU carrying out any type of construction work.
It is advisable that the organisation should review the Code comply with submission on matters which are impracticable in implementing the Code regulations in the business organisation. The Codes of Practice are admissible to be utilised in court proceedings under Work Health and Safety Legislation.
The public is entitled to comment on the Code and this will end at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, 2nd of October 2013. Please check the Safe Work Australia website for copies of the Code and more instructions on making submissions.
Neglect of Employee Safety
A company in Northern Territory was charged for failing to report a notifiable incident under the revised work health and safety laws. The Darwin Court of Summary Jurisdiction prosecuted Perkins Welding & Fabrication Pty Ltd for not reporting a notifiable incident after the worker was injured.
Doug Phillips, a representative of Work Health Authority made a statement by saying, “Under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act, companies must immediately report notifiable incidents to NT WorkSafe.”
Perkins Welding was also charged for not granting compulsory workers compensation insurance in compliance with the Northern Territory Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act.
Consequently, the company was fined $16,000 for failure to report while a $58,225 fine was charged for not taking out the workers compensation insurance.