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Contractors must commit to managing drug and alcohol risks to win bids for Victorian Government construction projects.

The new guidelines came into effect this week.

For construction projects over $10 million, tenderers must include an outline of their drug and alcohol management plans and commit to providing a project-specific work health and safety (WHS) plan when bidding for projects.

In outlining the management of drugs and alcohol, tenderers must include the medical tests and thresholds that the contractor will use to test for drugs and alcohol. People selected for testing and the frequency of testing are among other criteria that must also be included.

The head contractor must submit the WHS management plan before the project begins.

For construction projects under $10 million, contractors still have to ensure drug and alcohol and WHS policies are in place. Contractors will also be audited for compliance.

For more details see the guidelines.

Published on 3 July 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

06 Feb 2014

Cutting Corners

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Learning to love the devil in the detail.

Selecting a bidder based on bottom line measures is fraught with risk – for while organisations can contract out significant parts of their business, they can’t do the same with their health and safety responsibilities.

“The days of selecting on price alone are long behind us,” says Michael Tooma, head of occupational health, safety and security, Asia-Pacific, with Norton Rose Australia.

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Published in National Safety magazine, April 2013.

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06 Feb 2014

Are you game?

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Taking up arms in the name of pest control brings new meaning to work health and safety.

In 2013 The Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 (NSW) was amended to allow the use of guns on land used by the public, to assist with pest control. This introduces a new issue for businesses and undertakings using such land, and for those managing and maintaining it.

The risks involved in allowing hunters to use guns on parkland to which the public has access are clear:

People may be blissfully unaware that someone is using a rifle nearby.

This issue provides a real test for the new horizontal consultation obligations in the model Work Health and Safety laws.

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Published in National Safety magazine, June-July 2013.

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09 Jan 2014

A question of trust

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How much room do employers feel comfortable leaving for contractor innovation and expertise? 

Businesses accept that they have to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all workers, including contractors. But too often, there is uncertainty about ‘how far’ an employer must go to take reasonably practicable steps for his or her contractors.

An employer may seek to resolve ambiguity by simply ‘doing more’—taking over the role of the contractor, directing it about how to perform its tasks; by imposing its own process manual on the contractor; or by seeking power of ‘approval’ over the work methods or procedures employed by the contractor.

By so doing, the employer may be placing him or herself in a position of ultimate authority over how the work is to be done. Unfortunately, such an approach may well increase, rather than decrease, the legal risk to the principal and leave little room for the contractor to bring its expertise to bear and to implement best practice systems and process.

This article is only available to NSCA Members. Login to continue reading.
Not a member? Find out how to access these and many more resources.

Published in National Safety magazine, April 2013.

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