Undertaking a construction project

If the construction work is valued at $250,000 or more, it is called a construction project and a principal contractor must oversee the project.

You are the principal contractor, unless you appoint another principal contractor with authority to have management or control of the workplace and discharge the duties of the principal contractor.

As principal contractor, you must display signs visible to outsiders that highlight your name, 24-hour phone numbers and location of the site office.

As principal contractor, you must also prepare a work health and safety management plan before work commences, which includes:

  • the names, positions and specific responsibilities of those with health and safety responsibilities
  • the arrangements for consultation, cooperation and coordination of activities that you have with others who have work health and safety responsibilities at the site
  • the arrangements in place should a health and safety incident arise
  • site-specific health and safety rules
  • the arrangements to ensure that everyone at the workplace is informed of those rules
  • the arrangements for the collection, assessment, monitoring and review of SWMS’s.

Penalties may apply if the plan is not reviewed and kept up-to-date, and if workers are not made aware before commencing work of the content of the plan and their right to inspect the plan.

Keep a copy of the plan (and all revised versions) available for inspection and readily accessible to workers until the project is completed – or for at least two years if there is a notifiable incident.

You are also responsible for ensuring compliance with laws about:

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