Principal Contractor – Working with other businesses

Businesses (PCBUs) that work together will often share health and safety duties in relation to work done. Businesses have a legal duty to consult, cooperate with, and coordinate activities with all other businesses they share overlapping duties with.

What does this mean and how can you ensure that people are not harmed, and you are complying with your legal obligations? Here are some expectations:

  1. Work with designers to reduce risks 
  2. Set clear health and safety expectations and incorporate these into your agreements with contractors
  3. Ensure contractors have appropriate health and safety procedures in place
  4. Prepare a Site Safety Plan for the job and share with all workers and contractors
  5. Establish health and safety reporting requirements with your contractor. A great tool for this is to use the HazardCo App to complete Risk Assessments, Incident Reports and more.
  6. Ensure site inductions take place. Coordinate and communicate site rules and procedures to everyone who accesses the work site, this can be done via the HazardCo App by scanning the QR code located on your Hazard Board.
  7. Set up clear requirements for information sharing for the duration of the project
  8. Ensure that there is effective communication between all parties (e.g. Toolbox Meetings through the HazardCo App)
  9. Monitor your workers and/or contractors you hire

The following key steps should be followed by Principal Contractor:


  • Consider health and safety risks prior to selecting contractors.
  • Discuss the project with potential contractors to make sure they are capable.
  • Document the process and store in the HazardCo Hub.


  • Ensure prospective contractors have effective health and safety procedures in place.
  • Keep records of contractors’ prequalification.
  • Get peace of mind your contractors are good to go, with an automated system to pre-qualify your contractors, check insurance, trade qualifications and more with HazardCo’s Pre-Qualification Tools. Find out more here, or get in touch with the team to find out if it’s right for you.


  • Select the contractors based on prequalification outcome and any other factors including availability, skills etc.


  • Create a Project in the HazardCo Hub, which creates a Site Specific Safety Plan, QR code and Hazard Board. Share the information with contractors.
  • Ensure induction expectations are understood by all workers, contractors and visitors.
  • Ensure all contractors have reviewed the information and agreement is reached and documented.


  • Regular communication regarding health and safety performance (e.g. toolbox meetings, site reviews, site inductions etc.)
  • Investigate any incidents and follow up on any outstanding issues.
  • Regular review during the assignment (e.g. Site Reviews)


  • Post contract review – It’s good practice to review the performance of your contractors at the end of the project. Look back at areas that were monitored during the project such as communication, incidents, Site Reviews, etc.

Working along other businesses is a natural part of residential construction. Everyone on-site has a duty to open up the lines of communication and look out for each other. 

You can read more about contractor management and overlapping duties here or if you have any questions about working with other businesses on-site, give our expert Advisory Team a call on 1800 954 702.