Red flags – is it time to up your game?

When we hear the term “red flags”, we often think of warning signs when it comes to a particular situation. In the way of a construction site, this could be anything from a messy site, to using out of date H&S paperwork.

Some red flags are more visible or obvious than others, however it’s important to eliminate red flags on your site as they can cause injuries and other issues for you and your crew.


🚩 No site security fencing around perimeter

Why is this a red flag?

Not having a fence around the property perimeter could invite unauthorised entry. If your site isn’t secure, members of the public or children can enter the site, which could lead to injuries, property damage or stolen items.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

Easy, ensure your site has adequate fencing set-up around the perimeter to prevent unauthorised entry. Take into consideration the height and ensure it’s not only high enough, but also check that the gap at the bottom isn’t too big where people including children could squeeze through underneath.


🚩 Messy site

Why is this a red flag?

A messy site can lead to all sorts of problems. Waste and other objects left lying around can create obstacles for you and your crew. These in turn could cause slip and trip injuries, something we want to avoid!

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

Make sure your team is regularly cleaning up after themselves. Waste materials like cardboard, general rubbish and other lighter material to be placed/stored in such a way to eliminate tripping hazards and prevent them from flying off site especially during strong winds. Having a skip or bins available will make this task easier for everyone to get done.


🚩 No site signage displayed at the front of the site showing the Principal Contractors details

Why is this a red flag?

The site sign provides all of the important details including an after hours contact number. If something happens on site and the principal contractor needs to be contacted, it needs to be easy to find.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

Display a Principal Contractor sign in a visible location which includes the following information:

  • Principal Contractor name
  • Principal Contractor number 
  • Emergency contact details (e.g. site supervisor)
  • Project site office (if there is one)


🚩 High risk work being performed on site without adequate controls

Why is this a red flag?

If there is no process for identifying the hazards, assessing the risks and what controls are required for a task, it could pose a significant risk to workers onsite.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

SWMS are required for all high risk construction work. Ensure SWMS are accessible to the workers performing the task.

It’s important that SWMS are regularly reviewed. If the SWMS is not being followed due to a variation of work or conditions have changed, then work must stop until the SWMS is reviewed and updated.


🚩 Incidents, near misses, injuries and illnesses are not being reported or notified to the right people

Why is this a red flag?

There’s a few reasons why. When people are unaware of incidents or near misses occurring on site, it could lead to the same incident occurring repeatedly. The other issue is that some incidents legally need to be notified to WorkSafe/SafeWork. A fine can be given if this does not occur.

Reporting injuries is also important when it comes to making sure the worker receives appropriate treatment, (e.g. medical treatment) and other support, (e.g. return to work).

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

When incidents, near misses, injuries and illnesses occur on-site it’s important they are reported and investigated. By recording an incident via the HazardCo App, it automatically populates an incident register on your Hub so that all the incidents are recorded in one central location.

Investigations are important as they look at why the incident occurred and what controls can be implemented to prevent them from occurring again.


🚩 Out of date paperwork

Why is this a red flag?

H&S paperwork needs to be kept up to date to help keep your workers safe. If yours is out of date, it could contribute to an incident on-site.
Additionally, lack of H&S documentation (e.g. SWMS) could mean you’re not complying with Legislation so you could be liable for certain prosecutions and/or fines.

How can you remove this red flag from your site?

If you’re old school and don’t mind filling out H&S paperwork by hand, make sure you are using something that is current e.g. SWMS is specific for the high risk task.

If you’re like us and love using a digital system, use the HazardCo App to get your H&S done quickly and simply. All of our features including the SWMS and site review are regularly reviewed and kept up to date including when legislation changes.


If any of these red flags have made you stop and think, we’ve created a list so you can check off everything you need to do as a builder or trade on site.

Click here to download the Builder checklist. If you’re a trade,  email our team at and we’ll send you the Trade checklist.


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