The Work health and safety management systems and auditing guidelines (edition 5) have been developed to enable NSW government agencies which undertake construction and infrastructure projects to work with the construction industry in a manner that:
- improves safety outcomes for all construction industry participants
- provides a consistent minimum standard across all NSW government construction projects that construction industry participants must meet
- facilitates a safety management systems approach by construction contractors
- increases productivity and efficiency by improving planning and reducing accidents
- supports NSW government agencies in demonstrating they are meeting their obligations under work health and safety laws.
Acceptable work health and safety (WHS) management systems
The guidelines require that for all contracts valued at $1 million or more, or as determined by an agency, the tenderers must provide evidence of an acceptable corporate WHS management system. Corporate WHS management systems must comply with the requirements of the Work health and safety management systems and auditing guidelines (edition 5).
Corporate WHS management systems must contain procedures which will ensure compliance with WHS legislation and other relevant legislation.
Accreditation under the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme (Office of the Federal Safety Commission) is deemed to comply with the requirements of the NSW Government WHS management systems and auditing guidelines (edition 5).
Organisations can obtain free one-on-one workplace safety advice and assistance from a large business in their industry through WorkCover's mentor program.
Evidence of acceptability
Agencies may accept a corporate work health and safety management system if they are provided with:
- Evidence that the corporate work health and safety management system was accredited in accordance with the NSW Government Occupational health and safety management systems guidelines edition 4 within the preceding three year period; or
- An audit report by an OHS auditor (in compliance with the Work health and safety management systems and auditing guidelines (edition 5) attesting that the corporate work health and safety management system:
- complies with the documentation requirements of the Work health and safety management systems and auditing guidelines (edition 5)
- appropriately comprehends all current Work health and safety legislation and other work health and safety requirements
- includes requirements for audit, by an OHS auditor independent of the contractor, of compliance, currency and effective implementation at intervals of not less than three years.
OHS auditor means a person certified by a JAS-ANZ personnel certifier such as RABQSA or equivalent, as a principal, lead or business improvement auditor, or, an employee of an agency approved by the agency as having the requisite competencies which may include:
- successful completion of training, similar in duration and content to the management system audit course conducted by RABQSA or equivalent
- TAFE or similar formal attainment.
An agency may, at its discretion, accept an assessment of an OHS auditor who is not certified by a JAS-ANZ personnel certifier, such as RABQSA or equivalent, but who has been approved by another agency.
The contractor must provide:
- a statement confirming the contractor is not in default of any fine issued for a breach of work health and safety laws
- details of all work health and safety prosecutions/fines imposed on the contractor in Australia and a description of the actions taken in response to each prosecution/fine, or a statement that the contractor has not incurred prosecutions/fines.