Health and Safety Obligations within a Contractual Chain

by Oct 11, 2022All Posts, Uncategorized, WH&S

A contractual chain is the circumstance in which multiple contractors and sub-contractors are apart of the same project or task, contracted to undertake works specified within a contract. This is particularly common within the building and construction, transport, event, and hospitality management industries.

The person that is conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has the primary duty of care to ensure that a workplace is healthy and safe for workers, as is reasonably practicable. The PCBU often refers to the employer, however it is important to note that this responsibility extends to sole traders, self-employed individuals, companies, corporations, associations, and government entities.

Those working within contractual chains should be aware of the WHS obligations which sees each contractor responsible for maintaining a duty of care and for eliminating and reducing risk, as is reasonably practicable, to ALL workers on site not just those within said contracted service. This is inclusive of risk reduction via hazard and risk awareness, such as signs and written notice, as well as the provision of adequate knowledge, training, instruction, and supervision to see workers undertake tasks appropriately and safely, minimizing the risk to themselves and others.

All those partaking within a contractual chain project, need to assist in the co-ordination and development of a workplace specific, ‘reasonably practicable standard’. This entails a risk management approach in accordance with the safe work ‘Code of Practice’ that considers:

  • The likelihood of a hazard or risk occurrence and the degree of harm that such poses;
  • Availability and suitability of potential methods to reduce hazards or risk; and
  • Costs associated with the suggested risk reduction or elimination strategies.

Assurance HR Management have WHS specialist representatives who can assist you in conducting WHS Reviews of your workplace and off site locations. Should you have any queries surrounding your role within a contractual chain, call us today on 1800 577 515 and allow us to talk you through your responsibilities and how we can assist you in fulfilling such.

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