Contractor management - Guideline - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Contractor management - Guideline

Download PDF
Designated officer
Director, Human Resources
  1. Definitions
  2. Introduction
  3. Purpose
  4. Scope
  5. Contractor classification
  6. Safety breaches
  7. Responsibilities
  8. Contractor management

1. Definitions

Contractor: a person or business which provides goods or services to another entity under terms specified in a contract or consultancy agreement (verbal or written). This includes people who provide goods or services on a voluntary basis (ie volunteers).

Contractor’s workers: this includes the contractor and their employees as well as any sub-contractors or labour hire personnel and their employees.

High-risk contractor: a contractor who engages in high risk work during the course of their contract.

High-risk work: as defined by Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, is any work that involves any of the following:

  • a risk of a person falling more than 2m
  • work carried out on a telecommunication tower
  • demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing or otherwise related to the physical integrity of the structure
  • is likely to involve, the disturbance of asbestos
  • involves structural alterations or repairs that require temporary support to prevent collapse
  • work carried out in or near a confined space
  • work carried out in or near:
    • a shaft or trench with an excavated depth greater than 1.5m, or
    • a tunnel
  • involves the use of explosives
  • work carried out on or near pressurised gas distribution mains or piping
  • work carried out on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines
  • work carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services
  • work carried out in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere
  • involves tilt-up or precast concrete
  • work carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor that is in use by traffic other than pedestrians
  • work carried out in an area at a workplace in which there is any movement of powered mobile plant
  • work carried out in an area in which there are artificial extremes of temperature
  • work carried out in or near water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning
  • involves diving work

Moderate-risk contractor: a contractor whose work represents a moderate to high risk (as deemed by the USC contact person) but is not undertaking any high-risk work—as defined above.

PCBU: person conducting a business or undertaking (The Act s5):

  • whether the person conducts the business or undertaking alone or with others; and
  • whether or not the business or undertaking is conducted for profit or gain

Principal contractor: a person engaged for a construction project that has been given the authority to manage or control the workplace or part thereof. For the purpose of the project the principal contractor is considered the PCBU for the workplace under their control until the work is completed.

USC contact person: a USC staff member who engages a contractor (or their nominated representative) and is responsible for overseeing the work of that contractor.

The Act: The Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011

USC: All campuses and learning nodes

Volunteer: a person who works for USC without payment or financial reward.

WHS: work, health and safety

Additional terms are outlined in the glossary of terms for policy and procedures.

2. Introduction

Under the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011, USC has a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of contractors whilst they are working at or for USC, as far as is reasonably practicable. Whilst working at or for USC, contractors are exposed to existing hazards and, by the nature of their work, may be introducing additional hazards that can potentially expose them and/or others to health and safety risks. To ensure that USC is fulfilling its duty or care to workers (which includes contractors) and others who may be impacted by USC activities, USC has an obligation to ensure that all contractors:

  • are appropriately selected to undertake the work they are engaged for (eg. qualified, licensed, competent, experienced etc)
  • are inducted to USC (relevant training, policies and procedures, site hazards etc.)
  • have appropriate risk assessments, safe operating procedures, safe work method statements etc., as they pertain to the work they will be undertaking
  • are supervised or monitored, to ensure that they are working in accordance with above

3. Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to provide information and resources that enables USC to fulfil its health and safety duty of care to contractors and to any person/s that may be impacted by contractors engaged to undertake work at or for USC. It is also intended to inform contractors working at or for USC, of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

To achieve this purpose there are supporting documents to be used in conjunction with this guideline:

  • USC Contact Person Checklist
  • USC Contact Person Q & A
  • 'USC Low-Risk Contractor Package’:
    • USC Low-Risk Contractor Induction Guide
    • USC Low-Risk Contractor Health and Safety Checklist
  • ‘USC Moderate and/or High-Risk Contractor Package’:
    • USC Moderate and High-Risk Contractor Induction Guide
    • USC Moderate and High-Risk Contractor Health and Safety Checklist

4. Scope

All staff, students, volunteers and contractors at USC must comply with this guideline, when engaging contractors to undertake work at or for USC, or when contracted to undertake work at or for USC.

5. Contractor classification

Contractors will be classified according to the level of risk associated with the work they will be undertaking at or for USC, to ensure that they receive appropriate health and safety information.

The three groups are:

  • Low-risk contractors
  • Moderate-risk contractors
  • High-risk contractors

Contractor classifications are defined in Section 1.

6. Safety breaches

USC treats instances of health and safety breaches very seriously. If at any time a contractor or one of their workers is observed by a USC employee to be acting unsafely, the contractor will be instructed to suspend their work and take immediate action to rectify the situation. If repeated health and safety breaches are observed, this may be considered a breach of the contract and the contractor may be instructed to leave the site.

Examples of health and safety breaches include (but are not limited to):

  • failure to wear PPE
  • incorrect handling of hazardous materials
  • inappropriate or inadequate barricades, hoarding or fencing
  • any work that is not in accordance with the contractor’s risk assessments

7. Responsibilities

7.1 Executive staff of USC

Senior staff have an overarching responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of workers (including contractors), students and other persons in USC workplaces, and/or associated with the undertaking of USC activities.

7.2 Managers and supervisors

Managers and supervisors have a responsibility to know their statutory obligations regarding work in their area that is being undertaken by contractors.

7.3 Contractors

A contractor must, so far as is reasonably practical provide and maintain a working environment in which people are not exposed to hazards. To achieve this, a contractor must work in accordance with:

  • WHS legislation, Codes of Practices and relevant Australian Standards
  • USC policies procedures and guidelines relevant to the work they are undertaking
  • 'USC Contractor Induction Guide' and associated documents
7.4 The USC contact person

The USC staff member who engages the services of a contractor to undertake work at r for USC becomes the USC contact person for that contractor and has the responsibility to:

  • select contractors on the basis of their commitment and competence in WHS issues, as well as their suitability undertaking the required work
  • determine contractor classification
  • ensure that this guideline is adhered to, as far as is reasonably practicable
7.4 USC Human Resources (HR) Health Safety and Wellbeing

USC HR Health Safety and Wellbeing, are to provide advice and guidance to assist USC personnel to adhere to this guideline.

8. Contractor management

8.1 Engaging a Contractor

The USC staff member who engages the services of a contractor becomes the USC contact person and is hence responsible for not only engaging an appropriate contractor but for overseeing the work of that contractor.

8.2 Classifying a Contractor

The USC contact person is required to classify the contractor and provide them with information appropriate to their classification and the work they are to undertake. Assistance with contractor classification can be obtained from HR HSW.

8.3 Information to be sent to a contractor

Once the contractor has been classified the USC contact person is required to send the contractor the appropriate contractor package and any additional information that may be required. Eg. USC policies, procedures and guidelines that may apply to the work they will be undertaking at USC, information on parking, contractor induction requirements, the requirement to submit risk assessments and/or other safety documents etc. Please refer to the ‘USC Contact Person Checklist and Q&A’ for details.

8.4 Information received from a contractor

The contractor is required to submit safety documents, including necessary qualifications and licences,  as per the instruction provided by their USC contact person. The USC contact person is required to ensure that the contractor documentation is appropriate before the contractor is to commence work at USC.

8.5 Commencing contract work at USC

Prior to commencing work at USC, all contractors and their workers (including any sub-contractors or labour hire personnel and their employees) must complete USC’s online contractor induction training prior to commencing any work at USC. There are no exceptions. If the work is urgent and the contractor has not been able to complete the induction prior to arrival at USC, the USC contact person must make arrangements for the contractor to complete the online induction, prior to commencing contracted work.

If the work is urgent and outside of USC business hours, the USC contact person or the emergency on call person for USC must ensure that the contractor completes the online induction, prior to commencing contracted work.

It is the USC contact person’s responsibility to inform contractors of this requirement and give them information regarding how to access the appropriate training. It is the USC contact person’s responsibility to ensure that the induction training has been successfully completed prior to commencement of contracted work.

The USC contractor induction guides stipulate check in and out procedures for contractors. This can also be clarified with the USC contact person.

8.6 Site induction

USC contractors require a site induction when they arrive on site, prior to commencing contracted work. This must be arranged by the USC contact person and include:

  • location specific emergency procedures (eg exit routes and specific emergency evacuation assembly point)
  • location of amenities
  • information regarding any area specific hazards and/or requirements
8.7 Monitor and review of contractor work

The USC contact person is required to monitor the work of the contractor while they are undertaking work at, or for USC. Any observed breaches or complaints regarding contractor work and/or conduct, are to be dealt with by the USC contact person (as per Section 6).

The USC HR HSW and Asset Management Services may also randomly audit contractors to ensure that the requirements of their contract are being met and that they are working in accordance with their health and safety responsibilities.