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Construction - Housing

This page contains helpful occupational health and safety (OHS) information for builders, sub-contractors, workers and others involved in the housing construction sector.

OHS law assigns general and specific duties to persons with management or control, employers, self-employed persons and workers in housing construction. It also has specific duties for employers and self-employed persons undertaking construction work and projects.

A systematic approach should be taken by builders and sub-contractors to identify hazards and control risks, as well as monitoring site activities to ensure the controls are effectively managing the risks, especially for high risk construction work.

Risks must be eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable. If they cannot be eliminated, they must be reduced by implementing any mandated controls, then by:

  • substituting a new activity, procedure, plant process or substance
  • isolating persons from the hazard
  • using engineering controls, or
  • A combination of the above.

Remaining risks can be controlled by using:

  • administrative controls (e.g. safety training, work instructions)
  • personal protective equipment (e.g. eye protection and footwear), or
  • A combination of the above.

OHS duties cannot be delegated or removed through contractual arrangements between the builder and sub-contractor, even when both have the same duty. Often the builder and sub-contractor will have OHS responsibilities that overlap but each must ensure their responsibilities are met.

WorkSafe's housing interventions focuses on high risk construction work, structural stability, housekeeping, site amenities, public protection and worker supervision.

WorkSafe's advisory service provides general advice on OHS matters. The OHS essentials program provides free access to independent safety professionals for eligible employers. Most industry associations also provide OHS services.

The Law

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Asbestos

Concrete pumping

Construction checklists

Demolition

Electrical

Excavation

Housekeeping

Injury hotspots

Planning for safety

Plant, tools and equipment

Power lines (No-go-zones)

Protecting the public

Re-stumping

Safe work method statements (SWMS)

Site amenities

Supervision

Structural collapse

Traffic management

Work at height

Other hazards and topics