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.
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
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.
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
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 the work of contractors engaged by 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 FAQs
- USC Contractor Package:
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. 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
6.1 USC Council and Vice Chancellor and President
The USC Council and Vice Chancellor and President(VCP) hold the ultimate responsibility for providing a safe and healthy workplace as far as is reasonably practicable under the WHS Act 2011.
6.2 Executive Staff of USC
Accountable for ensuring that their portfolios act in a manner which is consistent with the requirement of the WHS Act 2011, with respect to the work of contactors and the engaging of contractors in areas under their control.
6.3 Managers and supervisors
Managers and supervisors are responsible, within the scope of their authority to ensure that contractors and USC staff engaging contractors are fulfilling their statutory obligations and working in accordance with this guideline and other USC documents pertaining to contractor management.
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 Safety Induction Guide' and associated documents
6.5 The USC contact person
The USC staff member who engages the services of a contractor to undertake work at or 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
- ensure that this guideline is adhered to, as far as is reasonably practicable
6.6 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.
7. Contractor management
7.1 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.
7.2 Information to be sent to a contractor
The USC contact person is required to send the contractor the contractor package (USC Contractor Safety Induction Induction Guide, USC Contractor Checklist and USC Contractor FAQs) 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 FAQs’ for details.
7.3 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.
7.4 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 safety training. 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 safety training, 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 safety training, 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 safety training. It is the USC contact person’s responsibility to ensure that the safety training has been successfully completed prior to commencement of contracted work.
The USC Contractor Safety Induction Guide stipulates check in and out procedures for contractors. This can also be clarified with the USC contact person.
7.5 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
7.6 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 Facilities Management 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.