Contractor Safety Management on Hazardous Sites

In a fantastic workshop yesterday in Melbourne, there was a great discussion about contractor safety at hazardous worksites. In line with case law, Principal Contractors at hazardous work sites are entitled to rely upon contractors to manage risks arising from their work, BUT must take greater care to confirm that contractors are aware of site risks, and have taken them into account when designing their method of work. E.g. where a plumber is working at a major hazard facility they are still entirely responsible for undertaking their work safely, say managing work at heights when installing guttering, BUT the major hazard facility must make sure the plumber is aware of and has designed their method of work to ensure they do not “activate” any site risks e.g. create a spark that will interact with the site risk, and cause an incident. Therefore supervision of the plumber’s work .e.g reviewing SWMS, should focus on the contractor’s risk controls relevant to the PC’s site risks. This ties in with the Barangaroo case (which I have reread closely and changed my view of (as we ladies are allowed to do).