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In the world of construction, its common for duties and health and safety responsibilities to overlap. This can be managed simply, you just need to be organised, proactive and ready to collaborate with everyone on site.

The role of the business owner 

Business owners are required to manage the risk to health and safety of workers, other contractors or any visitors who might be affected by worksite operations.

On-site this means there can be a lot of overlapping duties, so the main contractor is responsible for coordinating with other businesses/trades/subcontractors so they can all meet their combined responsibilities. See the image below:

Venn diagram of your H&S duties and their H&S duties with overlapping in the middle

 

What are overlapping duties?

Duties can overlap in a shared workplace where more than one business and its workers influence the work on-site. There can be overlapping duties when business and workers do not share a workspace, see image below. 

Client, contractor and Subcontractor duties all combine into overlapping duties

An example of overlapping duties when not sharing a workspace is in a contracting chain, where contractors and subcontractors provide services to a main contractor (or client) for a project but  don’t necessarily share the same worksite.

The 3 C’s are here to help with overlapping duties!

Consultation. Cooperation. Coordination. The 3 C’s are here to make overlapping duties that little bit easier. Especially for businesses. Let’s break down how and why:

Consultation

The duty to consult means getting together, planning ahead and identifying any underlying health and safety issues, risks and methods of controlling these risks around the work being carried out. Consultation could require discussions around:

Cooperation

This simply means working together and sharing information. Putting in place a system for managing and controlling risk in accordance with any ground rules laid down during the consultation process.

Coordination 

Making sure everything is working together as it should. Coordinating on what systems or processes will be implemented and how to control the risks.

It is important to note this isn’t about one business pushing all the duties on another. It’s about everyone involved working together to avoid duplication, and effectively manage health and safety risks.

The benefits

What may seem like a hassle at first, is actually a huge benefit to on-site operations. For example certain contractors on-site will be better placed to identify risks that other contractors might not be aware of. In other circumstances, cooperation could save on cost with businesses avoiding duplication. 

Keeping people safe should always be the top priority on any construction site. What’s more, health and safety law actually requires this to be the case. Aligning yourself with other parties, and knowing what safety systems are in place is vital and could save lives. 

Seeking advice early on how you can help develop efficient strategies, and reading this article is the first step! To know more about safety on-site you can contact one of the HazardCo team today.

We’ve released some handy new tools to make managing your contractors and their overlapping duties really simple. Project Plus unlocks the HazardCo app for everyone to use on site , so your contractors can create and submit site reviews, toolbox talks and more. And the new pre-qualification tools included in the Complete plan will help with the heavy lifting when it comes to checking your contractors health and safety is up to scratch.

If you are a contractor and you have questions on how to best work with other businesses or the process you should follow, have a look at our working with other businesses blog.

What is a health and safety policy?

A Health and safety policy is a broad “statement of intent” for your business. It states how you will manage health and safety in general, or certain specific areas e.g. your stance on drugs and alcohol use.

What are health and safety procedures? 

Health and safety procedures are the steps you will take to meet your health and safety policies, for example, “we will do XYZ”. Your procedures should be shared with your workers, as well as businesses you work closely with, so they can understand what procedures you have in place and how to follow them. 

Why does my trade business or building company need to document our health and safety policies and procedures?

The Health and Safety Work Act says workers must “follow all reasonable policy or procedures they have been notified of,” so it’s important that you have both your policies and procedures documented and available to your staff.

These documents will outline your commitment to prompting a safe and healthy workplace and will explain how the business will operate safely and what everyone’s commitment to health and safety looks like. It will also explain what procedures are in place to manage risks, and what to do if something goes wrong. 

Businesses are often asked to provide their Policy and Procedures (P&P) document to clients or employers to show their commitment to H&S. For example, a main contractor such as a building company) might ask a plumbing business to provide a copy of their P&P document before they begin working with them. Being able to showcase your standard of health and safety can help you to stand out against the competition. 

How do I prepare a health and safety policy, procedure or manual?  

To create a comprehensive policy and procedures document, you’ll need expertise in health safety, including a deep understanding of relevant legislation and best practice. Seeking assistance from a qualified health and safety advisor is the best option. 

Luckily, if you’re a HazardCo member, we’ve created a combined policy and procedures document for you. It’s written by our team of health and safety experts especially for NZ tradies and builders operating in the residential construction industry. If you’re already a member, you can download your policy and procedures document from the HazardCo Hub. 

The HazardCo P&P includes policies on Injury Management / Return to Work, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Mental Health and Wellbeing and Environmental. 

Walk the talk

We recommend that you read through the P&P document (make sure it all makes sense – give us a bell if it doesn’t) 

The next step is to communicate and consult! Get your team together and have a toolbox meeting to make sure they are aware of all the policies and procedures, and talk to your team about what changes will need to be made within your business. This will assist with making sure that everyone is managing H&S well.

Remember it’s important to regularly monitor and review your H&S practises across the whole business including out on-site. This will help you to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all and continually look for areas of improvement.

As a building company, you’re responsible for the H&S of everyone on-site, not just your direct employees. We know that getting contractors involved in H&S is a big challenge for building companies and is exposing you to additional risk.

Of course, building companies often tell us that although they have some influence over contractors on-site, getting them to engage with health and safety is a challenge, as they don’t have the same level of control over contractors compared to direct staff. Too often, contractors arrive on-site without an established H&S system and need a lot of support from the main contractor. If they do have their own system it creates a paperwork nightmare for the building company that is responsible for ensuring reports are completed and collected.  

What does good contractor management look like?

First, you need to make sure contractors have the right skills and experience to do the job, and second, you need to make sure they are going to carry out the work safely. Once they are onboard, you need to monitor throughout the build if the contractor is following good health and safety practices on-site.

 

We’ve created a number of new tools that will help you to manage your contractors before they begin working with you and while they are on-site. We’ve also made it easier to monitor your contractor’s H&S activity, even when you’re in the office. It’s one system for everyone. 


How does it work? 

Pre-site – Do your homework before you start working with contractors to reduce the risk to your business 

On-site – Love the HazardCo app? Now contractors can use it too. One H&S tool for everyone under one roof 

Oversight – Get the big picture view of all H&S activity taking place  

Managing your contractors and ensuring their safety on-site is non-negotiable, so make it simpler, and let our digital and automated tools do the heavy lifting. Get in touch with the HazardCo team to find out more about these pre-qualification tools, and how we can help you to manage contractor safety on-site.

Book a demo here

What is Contractor Management?
“Contractor management” is a health and safety term used by building companies. It’s referring to the process of checking if your contractors are competent and work safely.

As a building company, what do I need to do?
Your obligations as the main contractor are pretty straightforward. First, you need to make sure contractors have the right skills and experience to do the job, and second, you need to make sure they are going to carry out the work safely. Once they are on board, you also need to monitor if the contractor is following good health and safety practices on-site.

Collecting evidence of this process is important so we recommend putting a system in place so nothing falls through the cracks.   

What you should be asking your contractors for:

Pre-qualification company checks once a year:

Induction of workers:

On-site induction of workers:

On-site health and safety:
As a yardstick, good health and safety on-site would be your contractor completing at least two Toolbox Meetings and Four Risk Assessments each month, and a Task Analysis anytime high risk work is carried out. 

How to stay on top of all these checks:

Stay on top of these checks with an automated system.

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. As it’s automated, you won’t have to chase contractors for outstanding documents, and you’ll even get a notification if someone scans-in who hasn’t been approved.

Find out more about HazardCo’s Pre-Qualification Tools here, or get in touch with the team by giving us a call on 0800 555 339 or email info@hazardco.com

It takes a team to build a house. Health and safety takes teamwork too. Here’s a how-to-guide on shared responsibilities.

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) is essentially any business doing work of any sort. PCBU’s are required to ensure the health and safety of workers, other contractors, or visitors who might be affected by work operations.

If you are the main contractor engaging contractors, then ‘workers’ will include not just your direct employees but all engaged workers including other PCBU’s employees.

When it comes to overlapping duties, businesses need to consult, coordinate and cooperate so they can all meet their shared responsibilities. 

Some examples of duties you are likely to share include;

*These listed duties are not in their entirety and have been simplified for readability. This is not a full list of duties, it is important to make yourself familiar with health and safety duties. WorkSafe has useful information at WorkSafe.govt.nz, or talk to our Advisory team if you have any questions.

When might duties overlap?
Duties can overlap in a shared workplace where more than one business and its workers influence the work on-site. Another example of overlapping duties might be in a contracting chain, where contractors and subcontractors provide services to a head contractor (or client) and don’t necessarily share the same workplace.

For example, a builder calls a supplier for some material to be dropped off at site, they coordinate that a HIAB is the best way to deliver the goods. The builder will communicate via a Toolbox Meeting to the team that the materials will be delivered, to create a clear stable area for drop off, and to keep clear of the HIAB while offloading. 

Understanding the extent of your duty
When there are overlapping duties on-site, how do you determine the extent of your duty? 

You will need to consider the extent to which you can influence or control the risk in question. 

This can be determined by considering the following: 

Ultimately, the more influence and control you have over the site or workers, the more control you have over the risk – the more responsibility you have. 

Health and safety doesn’t just start at the building site, it will span throughout the entire build cycle. It can start as far back as the concept and design, choice of materials, pricing, and scoping of the works. 

Keeping people safe should always be the top priority on any construction site. And what’s more? Health and safety laws actually require this to be the case. Aligning yourself with other parties, and knowing what safety systems are in place is vital and could save lives. 

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 it with all workers and contractors
  5. Establish health and safety reporting requirements with your contractors. A great tool for this is to use the HazardCo App to complete Task Analysis, Risk Assessments, Incident Reports, and more.
  6. Ensure site inductions take place. Communicate site rules and procedures to everyone who accesses the worksite, 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

WorkSafe also expects businesses to use sound contractor management processes. The following key steps should be followed by the Main Contractor:

 Scope

Prequalify

Select

Appoint

Monitor

Review

Stay on top of these checks with an automated system.

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. As it’s automated, you won’t have to chase contractors for outstanding documents, and you’ll even get a notification if someone scans-in who hasn’t been approved.

Find out more about HazardCo’s Pre-Qualification Tools here, or get in touch with the team by giving us a call on 0800 555 339 or email info@hazardco.com.

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 Main Contractor:

 

Scope

Prequalify

Select

Appoint

Monitor

Review

 

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 0800 555 339.

Even if you are self-employed you still carry the same duties under the legislation as the main contractor.

If a contractor, in turn, engages other businesses then they too must assume some of the responsibility for their work. A contractor is most likely to have the greatest influence and control of their own work activities and workers (or contractors).

There should be a way of recording your planning and the ways in which you share this information. All businesses should have access to information to keep themselves or their workers safe.

Your primary duty remains to prevent harm arising from your work. Identify risks that could arise and share information between relevant parties.

The following key steps should be followed by contractors:

Scope

Prequalify

Select

Appoint

Monitor

Review

 

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 0800 555 339.

What is it?

Have you been asked to complete an external pre-qualification and you’re scrambling for all the information that you need to get through it?

Going through a pre-qualification process helps to determine how well contractors manage health and safety. It asks businesses to demonstrate an effective health and safety management system and for information on managing specific risks. 

You can also use pre-qualification as an opportunity to assist and support businesses to improve their health and safety practices.

How to complete it

To successfully complete a pre-qualification it is important that you have an active health and safety system. This includes evidence to show that your health and safety system is working effectively.

You only need to complete a pre-qualification if you have been asked to. You don’t need to complete a pre-qualification from an external provider unless you have been requested to, this process can easily be managed internally. 

Our Advisory Team can step you through the typical questions you would see in an external pre-qualification and advise you on how the HazardCo system can support your application. E.g managing inductions on site, communicating with your workers, how to complete risk management. If you’re keen to access these resources or need assistance with completing a pre-qualification, give us a call on 0800 555 339 or e-mail advisory@hazardco.com

HazardCo Services

If you need help preparing for a pre-qualification, we can offer this through HazardCo Services in addition to your membership. We can arrange to carry out a review of your health and safety system and provide advice on areas for improvement, prior to you having to complete a pre-qualification. 

We can also provide in-house support to help you complete the pre-qualification, or review your pre-qualification before it is submitted and provide recommendations to assist your application. 

If you are interested in learning more about HazardCo Services you can give us a call on 0800 555 339.

Whenever there are multiple businesses on-site at once it can be a bit confusing who is responsible for what. 

The simple rule of thumb is each business must do what they can, within reason, to keep everyone safe. This relates to their own team, other workers or anyone that steps on-site. The best way to do this, work together and communicate. 

 

It’s everyone’s responsibility

On-site it is everyone’s responsibility to manage health and safety. Businesses must work together to keep all workers on-site safe. Chances are there will be overlapping health and safety activities and obligations when multiple companies are working together. 

In this case, it’s critical everyone follows the 3C’s – consult, cooperate and coordinate. 

By following the 3C’s businesses are ensuring that everyone is aware of any overlapping duties, so roles can be clearly defined and work isn’t impacted. 

 

The importance of communication 

Communication is key. Worksites are busy places. With contractors and subcontractors coming and going, there are a lot of moving parts. To maintain a safe working environment for all, communication must be prioritised. 

As a PCBU, if a new team comes onto site, make sure to run them through a full induction. 

If it arises there may be an overlap in responsibilities, seek them out straight away and follow the 3 C’s. 

 

Covering the gaps 

When there is an overlap, why is this communication important? Two reasons. 

Firstly, it allows both parties to clearly define roles and responsibilities and establish an action plan for how health and safety will be managed. 

Secondly, they may recognise risks that you may not and vice versa. Working together can increase the scope of the hazards recognised – ultimately making site safer! 

Gaps can occur when businesses: 

  • Have a lack of understanding about each others roles 
  • One assumes the other is responsible for a risk 
  • The business managing the risk is not the best equipped to 
  • Not knowing the works other businesses are undertaking

 

Understanding the extent of your duty 

When there are overlapping duties on-site, how do you determine the extent of your duty? You will need to consider the extent to which you can influence or control the risk in question. 

This can be determined by considering the following: 

  • Control over the work activity – if you are the business managing or running the work being undertaken
  • Control over the site – if you are the main contractor or subcontractor
  • Control over your team – a business will have more control over its own team or contractors than others on-site 

Ultimately, the more influence and control you have over the site or workers, the more control you have over the risk – the more responsibility you have. 

 

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. 

In the world of construction, its common for duties and health and safety responsibilities to overlap. This can be managed simply, you just need to be organised, proactive and ready to collabo...
What is a health and safety policy? A Health and safety policy is a broad "statement of intent" for your business. It states how you will manage health and safety in general, or certain speci...
As a building company, you’re responsible for the H&S of everyone on-site, not just your direct employees. We know that getting contractors involved in H&S is a big challenge for build...
What is Contractor Management? “Contractor management” is a health and safety term used by building companies. It’s referring to the process of checking if your contractors are competent and ...
It takes a team to build a house. Health and safety takes teamwork too. Here’s a how-to-guide on shared responsibilities. A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) is essentially a...
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 wit...
Even if you are self-employed you still carry the same duties under the legislation as the main contractor. If a contractor, in turn, engages other businesses then they too must assume some...
What is it? Have you been asked to complete an external pre-qualification and you’re scrambling for all the information that you need to get through it? Going through a pre-qualification p...
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whenever there are multiple businesses on-site at once it can be a bit confusing who is responsible for what.  The simple rule of thumb is each business m...