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Contractor Safety Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope


(1) Southern Cross University is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for staff, students and visitors.

(2) To meet its obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (QLD) the University must ensure that its employees, contractors and service providers carry out work safely.

(3) To achieve this, the University and its contractors must ensure that risks from identified hazards are controlled to an acceptable level to avoid injury. This includes:

  1. the design and implementation of safe work procedures and submission of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS);
  2. undertaking hazard identification and risk, control activities, including the submission of a Risk Assessment (RA);
  3. providing Safety Data Sheets (SDS) as required;
  4. providing appropriate and safe equipment;
  5. provision and use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); and
  6. providing adequate instruction, training and supervision.


(4) These Procedures establish the effective integration of health and safety requirements into contract management activities.

(5) The intention of the Contractor Safety Procedures is to:

  1. provide a practical and relevant system for University officers charged with overseeing the work of contractors and service providers;
  2. ensure the integration of work health and safety requirements into contractor management;
  3. provide a system that incorporates a risk management approach;
  4. fulfill the University's work health and safety obligations to its contractors;
  5. assist in achieving the University’s obligations to provide a safe workplace as set out under the Work Health and Safety legislation relevant to the state where the work is being performed.

(6) The system incorporates a risk management approach when engaging contractors so potential risks to health and safety are identified, assessed and controlled. The system also facilitates the development of an overall safety management system for long-term high-risk contracts.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(7) For the purposes of these Procedures the following definitions apply:

  1. Contractor –  a person or firm that contracts to supply materials, service or labour. It does not include ‘Consultants’ who are subject to separate and specific consultancy agreements.
  2. Construction Work – Any work carried out in connection with construction, alteration, renovation, repair, maintenance, demolition, refurbishment, fitting-out or dismantling of a structure.
  3. Hazard – A situation with the potential to harm the health and safety of Workers or to damage buildings, plant or equipment.
  4. Incident – An unplanned event that caused, or could have caused, illness or injury to a Worker. This includes near miss events where no injury or illness occurred.
  5. SCU Responsible Officer – The nominated University employee responsible for the engagement, management and coordination of the contracted works.
  6. WHS – Workplace Health and Safety involves the management of risks for the health and safety of all persons onsite.
  7. Worker – An individual who carries out work in any capacity for SCU and includes working as:
    1. an employee;
    2. a volunteer;
    3. an apprentice or trainee;
    4. a student undertaking work experience (paid or unpaid);
    5. a contractor or subcontractor and their employees;
    6. labour-hire company employees assigned to SCU.
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Section 3 - Selecting and Engaging a Contractor

Duties, Obligations and Responsibilities

SCU Responsible Officer

(8) The SCU Responsible Officer is the primary individual responsible for engaging, liaising with and monitoring the contractor on behalf of the University. The Contractor must provide the required safety information as part of the procurement process (e.g. tender submission, quotation). This safety information must be considered when determining the contractor suitability to perform the contracted work and at a minimum, must include:

  1. A thorough understanding of the hazards and risks associated with the scope of works;
  2. Licenses, certificates, registrations and trade qualifications (as applicable to the work);
  3. Current insurance policies for Workers Compensation, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity;
  4. All Workers have the appropriate training with respect to the work;
  5. Safety documentation e.g. Risk Assessments; and
  6. Past performance, safety records and reporting.

(9) When a Contractor has been selected, the SCU Responsible Officer engaging the Contractor must ensure that a contractual agreement and approval is completed as outlined in the Purchasing Procedures. Prior to commencement and for the duration of the works, the SCU Responsible Officer must ensure the following activities are undertaken:

  1. Safety documentation completed, reviewed, and where applicable, approved;
  2. All Workers have completed the relevant inductions and are aware of all work health and safety requirements of the University;
  3. Contractors work safely and complete the work as specified in the contract/work order and safe work method statements;
  4. Implement a process of WHS audits and inspections for Contractors under their remit; and
  5. Keep relevant records and report incidents and hazards.

Workplace Health and Safety Team

(10) The Workplace Health and Safety Team:

  1. Provide advice and support to the SCU Responsible Officer, when required, to determine the health and safety risk controls to be implemented for the contracted work; and
  2. Assist with monitoring Contractor compliance with agreed health and safety risk controls through review of incidents and on-site inspections and audits

(11) The University’s Manager, Workplace Health and Safety is a key contributor to scheduled and ad hoc reviews of these Procedures. 

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Section 4 - Planning the Work

(12) The SCU Responsible Officer must ensure all works are adequately planned and scoped with consideration to all risk factors and WHS requirements.  

(13) The planning assessment needs to classify the work with consideration to the hazards associated with the work, activities to be conducted, location of the work and complexity of work organisation. At this stage, the SCU Responsible Officer must identify and confirm the appropriate risk controls for the components of the work that the University has control over for inclusion in the scope / specification.

Works Classification

(14) The University classifies work into four categories which guide the risk management approach to contract management. Refer to Works Classification Table

Low Risk Works

(15) Low Risk works include light deliveries and supply of goods and includes consultants, visitors, volunteers and work experience candidates.

Routine Works: Contract Labour, Scheduled and Programmed Maintenance

(16) Contract labour is considered to carry a low risk of workplace injury or illness from the scope of operations. Contract labour does not involve and is not connected to any construction work.

(17) Contract labour can be labour-hire, contracts for cleaning and maintenance, professional services, security personnel, auditors, gardeners, vendors or stall operators.

Minor Works: Modifications and Refurbishment Works

(18) Works are classified ‘minor’ if they involve ad hoc service related work, and may include building maintenance, various trade or technical work, modifications and refurbishments.

Major Works: Construction and High Risk

(19) Works are classified ‘major’ if they pose a significant risk of serious injury or illness, involve, or are in connection with construction work and are typified by new building constructions but can also include refurbishments, installation of major items of plant and facility extensions.

(20) Other contracted works may also be classified as major if significant risk is identified through the risk assessment process or outlined in the legislation.

(21) Major Capital works are typified by High Risk work licensed work, high risk construction work and Principal appointed works.

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Section 5 - Contractor Responsibilities

Duties, Obligations and Responsibilities

(22) The Contractor must:

  1. Take all reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of Workers who are conducting work for the contract;
  2. Ensure the provision and maintenance of safe systems of work, safe plant and the safety of any workplace under the Contractor’s management or control;
  3. Provide such information, instruction, training and supervision to its Workers as are necessary to ensure that the services are provided in a manner that is safe and without risks to health;
  4. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that any sub-contractors engaged by the Contractor’s company to conduct work on its behalf, comply with the agreed WHS requirements for the work; and
  5. Notify the SCU Responsible Officer of any accident, incident, injury, property or environmental damage which occurs during or associated with the provision of the services.

Contractors (including subcontractors)

(23) A Contractor must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others. Specifically, a contractor must:

  1. Comply with WHS related legislation and the SCU specific contract and WHS requirements;
  2. Demonstrate that they have an effective WHS system;
  3. Provide information to SCU on how hazards and risks have been eliminated or minimized so far as reasonably practicable, prior to work commencing;
  4. Consult, co-operate and coordinate with SCU and any other key stakeholders;
  5. Provide relevant information, instruction, training and supervision to its Workers (including subcontractors) as necessary to ensure the works are completed in a manner that is safe and without risks;
  6. Take all reasonable steps to ensure that all employees, subcontractors and employees of subcontractors comply with relevant legislation and WHS requirements for the work;
  7. Notify the SCU Responsible Officer of any incident or injury which occurs as a result of the work;
  8. If undertaking construction work, provide SCU with copies of each general construction induction card (White Card) and retain copies for inspection.

(24) If supplying goods:

  1. Supply products that comply with Australian Standards and are fit for commercial use and which are designed and manufactured to eliminate or minimise risk so far as is reasonably practicable;
  2. Ensure safe installation/construction of plant or structures; and
  3. Provide information on the safe operation, handling, storage, maintenance and disposal of the product.

Principal Contractor

(25) It is a requirement of WHS legislation that a Principal be appointed to a place of work where:

  1. Construction work is undertaken and the cost of the work exceeds $250,000
  2. High risk construction work is undertaken but the cost of the work does not exceed $250,000

(26) The University will be the Principal for construction work that it commissions unless it engages another PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) and authorises it to have management or control of the workplace and allocates the duties of a Principal on to them.

(27) The Principal Contractor is responsible for the contracted work at all times until the work is completed.

University Inductions

(28) Prior to commencement of any work all Contractors are to complete and pass the SCU online contractor induction. The induction process is mandatory for every individual and is organised through Property Services by completing the Contractor Induction Request Form.

(29) Local site inductions may also be required to address specific work site hazards. For example: Laboratory Induction. It is the responsibility of the SCU Responsible Officer to ensure that each Contractor has completed the relevant inductions and provided Property Services all the required licenses and safety documents prior to the commencement of works. Records of these inductions are retained by Property Services.

(30) After successfully completing the SCU online contractor induction, swipe access cards will be generated and made available for pick up at the relevant campus location. Workers must apply for a swipe access card in their Contractor Induction Request Form and provide a head and shoulder image of the relevant applicant.

(31)  Refer to the Contractor Safety Induction Policy

Safe Work Method Statements

(32) A Safe Work Method Statement must be completed for all contracted activities and must be prepared, complied with, reviewed and subsequently stored until the work to which it relates is completed.

(33) A Safe Work Method Statement must be provided to the SCU Responsible Officer prior to work commencing. If a notifiable incident occurs in connection with the work, the person conducting the business or undertaking must keep the statement for at least two years after the incident occurs.

WHS Documentation and the Management Plan

(34) WHS legislation requires that the Principal of a construction project greater than $250,000 in value, prepares a written WHS Management Plan for the workplace before work on the project commences.

(35) The WHS Management Plan should outline the Principal’s WHS structure, roles, responsibilities and authorities, methods of consultation, induction and training, risk management process, subcontractor’s management, injury management and continuous monitoring and review.

(36) The plan should also include a Safe Work Method Statement, together with any other risks and hazards, and is to be implemented onsite.

(37) Where the works are assessed as being of lower value or risk, the Contract Manager should refer to the University’s WHS Risk Management Procedures and direct the Contractor to manage risk in accordance with these Procedures.

Permits to Work

(38) Permits to Work are required for the following tasks:

  1. Asbestos removal
  2. Lead paint removal
  3. Working at heights (including scaffolding, use of EWP, use of ladders with risk of fall > 2m etc.)
  4. Working in confined spaces
  5. Fire systems isolations
  6. All excavation and ground penetration work
  7. Hot works (including welding)
  8. Dust works (creating excessive dust)

(39) A Permit to Work must be completed and approved a minimum of 48 hours prior to the commencement of any work. Applications forms can be accessed on the Property Services Contractor Website.

(40) Where SCU has permit forms or systems available they must be used unless otherwise directed by the SCU Responsible Officer.

Lock-Out Requirements

(41) The SCU Lock Out and Tag Out Procedures are required when a Contractor will be conducting work on any plant, equipment or service that has one or more energy sources that creates a potential hazard for conducting the work.

Certificates of Currency

(42) Contractors must verify that they have current workers compensation insurance and public liability insurance to the amount of $20 million on any one occurrence by providing a copy to Property Services prior to commencing work.

(43) Contractors involved in construction work must also provide evidence of Professional Liability insurance in the amount of $10,000,000 during the term of the agreement and for five years after the agreement is terminated or expires

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Section 6 - Carrying out the Work

(44) In managing Contractor works the SCU Responsible Officer is required to fulfil the University’s obligation of health and safety requirements with a duty to identify hazards; eliminate risks, implement the hierarchy of control to minimize any identified risks as far as reasonably practicable, and maintain and review any relevant controls that have been identified for the works being carried out.

(45) Contractors must provide adequate supervision to Workers to the satisfaction of legislative requirements and SCU. A suitably trained and qualified Contractor Supervisor must nominate and be available to supervise and control the works, if not onsite they must be contactable at all times.

(46) Directions and explanations given by the University to the Contractor must be deemed to have been given to sub-Contractors and their Workers.

Monitoring Contractors

(47) It is the responsibility of the SCU Responsible Officer to determine the appropriate level of monitoring activities required for the work being undertaken. Monitoring will be conducted to ensure the Contractor’s activities complies with:

  1. WHS legislation;
  2. SCU WHS requirements and
  3. Work specific safety and risk management plans.

(48) Monitoring of contractors may include:

  1. Documented pre-start meetings;
  2. Scheduled and random site inspections and audits;
  3. Audits against contract documentation;
  4. Incident management follow up (as required);
  5. Scheduled meetings with contractors as required

Contractor Audits

(49) The University on an adhoc basis may request review information relating to the Contractor’s WHS management systems of work.

(50) The Contractor must make available copies of WHS inspection and audit reports when requested by the University. University representatives may carry out periodic and unannounced WHS inspections on any University premises. These inspections form part of the University WHS Policy. The Contractor’s WHS representative may also accompany the inspection

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Section 7 - Incident Management

(51) The University's WHS Risk Management Procedures sets out how incidents and hazards are reported via the online management system RiskWare.

Notifiable Incidents

(52) Any notifiable incident (fatality, serious injury/illness and dangerous incident – potentially resulting in injury, or a pollution incident with potential to materially harm the environment) must be reported immediately:

  1. To the Emergency Services on 000 and then to SCU Security on 73333 for incident response and first aid.
  2. To the University’s Director, Property Services and Manager, Workplace Health and Safety.

(53) Where a notifiable incident has occurred on site, the Contractor must take measures to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed until an inspector arrives at the site or any earlier time that an inspector directs. This does not apply where interference is necessary to aid or revive any person involved in an accident or to prevent further injury to persons or property.

(54) Definitions of a notifiable incident can be found at NSW Safe Work ‘Notifiable Incidents’ and  QLD WorkSafe ‘Confirm if an incident is notifiable’.


(55) If a Contractor is found in breach of their contract or any WHS requirements, all work with regard to that activity will be suspended. The Contractor will be alerted to the matter in writing by the University. Work will not recommence until the University is satisfied that adequate controls are in place to avoid risk of injury or further breaches.

(56) Inadequate WHS performance, including one-off instances or continuous breaches, can lead to the termination of a contract and failure of being awarded further contract work. Breaches are to be reported to the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety.

(57) Examples of WHS breaches may include non-compliance with legislation, SCU WHS requirements or not observing controls as stipulated in a safety document.

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Section 8 - Incident Management

(58) The SCU Responsible Officer will at the completion of the works:

  1. Conduct an inspection of the area where the work was carried out to confirm it has been left free of hazards. If there are geographical restrictions, this inspection may be performed by an appropriate SCU delegate;
  2. Provide information to the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety if required for updating relevant WHS risk registers etc;
  3. Make sure all isolations are removed and permits are signed off and closed out; and
  4. Confirm all required documentation and training of new installations, including safety processes have been undertaken with all relevant stakeholders.
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Section 9 - Records Management

(59) During the procurement and engagement of contracted works, the SCU Responsible Officer must establish a contract information record structure within the University’s systems with the correct access controls and keep key contract information updated as described in the University’s Contract Management Framework.

(60) All Contractor records must be retained in accordance with the relevant legislation.

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Section 10 - Review

(61) In order to ensure that these Procedures continue to be effective and applicable to the University, the Contractor Safey Procedures will be reviewed every 3 years by the Director, Property Services in consultation with the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety and other key stakeholders. Conditions which may warrant a review of the Procedures on a more frequent basis  include:

  1. reported hazards or injuries;
  2. non-conforming systems; and
  3. Health and Safety Representative concern.

(62) Following the completion of a review the Procedures and Induction documents will be amended as necessary.