On 30 August 2013, Safe Work Australia released a revised draft
model Work Health and Safety Code of Practice for Construction Work
(Code) after it was determined that the original draft Code needed
to provide a greater level of guidance to participants in the
housing construction industry.
The Revised Code
The Code was originally developed to provide practical guidance
to principal contractors and other persons conducting a business or
undertaking (PCBUs), who carry out construction work, on how to
discharge their obligations under the model Work Health and
Safety Act and its associated regulations.
The revised Code contains information on various safety
requirements relating to construction work under the model Work
Health and Safety Regulations. This includes guidance on Work,
Health and Safety Management Plans and induction training, as well
as identifying common hazards and risks in the construction
industry. In summary, the revised Code addresses:
specific duties relating to construction work such as those on
PCBUs, officers, workers and other persons under the work, health
and safety legislation
managing risks associated with construction work, including
appropriate risk control measures
preparing, implementing and reviewing Safe Work Method
preparing, implementing and reviewing Work, Health and Safety
Management Plans for construction projects
information, training (including induction), instruction and
general workplace management arrangements.
The revised Code also contains examples and templates for SWMS
and Work, Health and Safety Management Plans to assist those in the
construction industry in discharging their duties.
Consultation and Revision
Along with the increased guidance for the housing and
construction industry, further revisions have been made to improve
the overall clarity of the document. These changes include
amendments to the previous SWMS template for high-risk construction
work to make it easier to understand and use. Once finalised, the
revised Code is intended to be the first point of reference for a
principal contractor or PCBU carrying out any type of construction
The public comment period for public submissions on the Code
will close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 2 October 2013. For copies of the
Code and further information on submissions, see the
Safe Work Australia website.
As Codes of Practice are admissible in court proceedings under
the Work Health and Safety legislation, it is advisable that your
organisation reviews the Code and makes submissions on matters
which are impracticable when implementing the Code in your
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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for Women citation acknowledging our commitment to workplace
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