Safety Essentials

Safety Essentials provide guidance on what must be in place and the checks that must be undertaken before commencing high risk activities. Our Safety Essentials are non-negotiable as nothing is more important to us than the safety of our people, contractors and community.

We relaunched our revised Safety Essentials to our internal stakeholders on 14 May 2018. 

Safety Essentials poster (May 2018)

Safety Essentials Leader's Guide (May 2018)

Contractors should continue to comply with their current contractual requirements, in some cases this means following the previous version, these are available below:

Safety Essentials poster (Dec 2014)

Safety Essentials booklet (Jan 2015)

Guides

  • The Leader's Guide outlines the mandatory system requirements that must be in place to support the management of high risk activities.
  • The Field Guide is a tool for field workers to check mandatory requirements are in place. The mandatory requirements for each Safety Essential can also be found listed below. Note: The Field Guide is not mandatory for Contractors, however the link is provided as an option to assist those in the field. The Leader’s Guide contains the mandatory system requirements. Expand the boxes below to see the mandatory system requirements for each high risk work activity.

The Leader’s Guide contains the mandatory system requirements. Expand the boxes below to see the mandatory system requirements for each high risk work activity.

When undertaking a task and the plan or conditions changes

1.1. A formal process must be in place to identify and manage change that has the potential to increase risk or introduce new hazards to site activities.

1.2. Leaders must be empowered to stop the task and positively challenge workers on how they have assessed changes in the work plan.

1.3. Formal consultation and escalation must be included within the managing change process to ensure the right people are involved and included in the approval authority.

1.4. A system that formally documents and records changes must be in place that details any design deviations or alterations including formal delegated authority for sign off.

1.5. A system must be in place to identify, track and record the competency of supervisors and employees to identify and manage change in the workplace.

Working in or near a confined space

2.1. A system to identify and record confined spaces must be in place and they must be signposted and have secure entry points.

2.2. Training and competencies for undertaking confined space entry work must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

2.3. A permit system must be in place for confined space work, which requires approval from an authorised person.

2.4. Communication methods to monitor the person entering the confined space must be established and maintained for the duration of the entry.

2.5. Atmospheric testing and monitoring equipment must be calibrated, used before and during a confined space entry, and records kept of readings.

2.6. Isolation of services and systems which may potentially discharge into the confined space must be identified and controlled before entering.

2.7. Barricading and signage must be available to prevent unauthorised access by workers and public into the work area.

2.8. Emergency response and rescue equipment must be identified, set up, tested and maintained.

Working on or near electricity or electrical equipment

3.1. Training, competencies and licences for undertaking electrical work must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

3.2. Access to electrical assets must be controlled to prevent unauthorised workers or public from gaining entry.

3.3. A lock out tag out process must be in place for electrical isolations.

3.4. A system which requires approval by a competent person must be in place before the commencement of the task.

3.5. Overhead and underground service voltage, location and minimum distances must be identified and maintained.

3.6. A testing for de-energisation process must be in place to verify assets or services have been de-energised before commencing work.

3.7. A planned maintenance and inspection schedule must be established, implemented, monitored and recorded for electrical assets and portable electrical equipment.

Working with or near plant, equipment or infrastructure which has the potential to release stored energy

4.1. Training and competencies must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained for undertaking work on assets and equipment.

4.2. Assets or equipment where there is the potential for an uncontrolled release of energy must be identified during the planning process.

4.3. The planning process must identify hazards associated with uncontrolled release of energy to prevent people from being in the line of fire.

4.4. A lock out tag out process must be in place for assets where there is the potential for an uncontrolled release of energy.

4.5. A planned maintenance and inspection schedule must be established, implemented, monitored and recorded for assets.

Working in or near an excavation

5.1. Training and competencies for undertaking excavation work must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

5.2. Potential contaminants that could create an unsafe atmosphere must be identified and controlled.

5.3. A system which requires approval by a competent person must be in place before the commencement of the task.

5.4. Overhead and underground service location and minimum distances must be identified and maintained.

5.5. Methods of preventing a collapse must be in place for excavations, and where deeper than 1.5 m, this must be approved by a competent person.

5.6. Access and egress methods for entering and exiting excavations must be identified and made available.

5.7. Barricading and signage must be available to prevent unauthorised access by workers and public into the work area.

5.8. An inspection process must be in place to ensure excavation stability is maintained, and undertaken and documented by a competent person.

5.9. Emergency response and rescue equipment must be identified, set up, tested and maintained.

Working where there is the potential to fall from one level to another

6.1. Training, competencies and licences for work that involves exposure to potential falls must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

6.2. A process for selecting equipment to prevent a fall must be established and aligned with the hierarchy of controls.

6.3. Barricading and signage must be available to prevent unauthorised access by workers and public into the work area.

6.4. A planned maintenance and inspection schedule must be established, implemented, monitored and recorded for assets and equipment.

6.5. Emergency response and rescue equipment must be identified, set up, tested and maintained.

Working with or near hazardous substances and dangerous goods

7.1. Training and competencies for workers who handle, transport or use hazardous materials must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

7.2. Hazardous materials are risk assessed and controls must be implemented prior to purchase, storage or use on site.

7.3. Signage and labels must be in place where hazardous materials are located and on the containers they are stored in.

7.4. A process must be in place to identify and register asbestos containing materials.

7.5. Material safety data sheets must be available and current for hazardous materials.

7.6. Emergency response and rescue equipment must be identified, set up, tested and maintained.

7.7. Where potentially exposed to hazardous materials, a process must be in place to record the potential exposure and monitor the health of workers.

Operating or working near lifting equipment

8.1. Training, competencies and licenses for lifting must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

8.2. Equipment, devices and accessories selected for a lift must be fit for purpose.

8.3. A process to determine the complexity of a lift must be established, documented and approved by a competent person.

8.4. Barricading and signage must be available to prevent unauthorised access by workers and public into the work area.

8.5. Communication methods must be established and maintained for the duration of the lift.

8.6. Loads must be secured before lifting and controls implemented to prevent workers from walking under a load.

8.7. A planned maintenance and inspection schedule must be established, implemented, monitored and recorded for lifting equipment, devices and accessories.

Operating or working near mobile plant

9.1. Training, competencies and licenses for operating mobile plant must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

9.2. A risk assessment process must be in place for the purchase, storage, registration and use of mobile plant, and to ensure the plant is suitable for the task.

9.3. Barricading and signage must be available to prevent unauthorised access by workers and public into the work area.

9.4. Communication methods must be established and maintained while operating plant.

9.5. A planned maintenance and inspection schedule must be established, implemented, monitored and recorded for mobile plant.

Operating or working near vehicles and trucks

10.1. Licenses, including training and competency requirements for driving vehicles and trucks must be identified, delivered, recorded and maintained.

10.2. Vehicle and/or truck selection must assess suitability of the vehicle or truck for the application, operating requirement, use, location and driver competencies.

10.3. A journey planning process must be in place to identify, plan, document and manage high risk journeys.

10.4. Cargo/load restraint must be in place when transporting goods.

10.5. A method of separating people from vehicles and trucks must be established, communicated and maintained.

10.6. A planned maintenance and inspection schedule must be established, implemented, monitored and recorded for vehicles and trucks.

The Field Guide is a tool for field workers to check mandatory requirements are in place. Expand the boxes below to see the field guide checks for each high risk work activity.

When undertaking a task, and the plan or condition changes, have you:

  • Understood your role within the process and know when to escalate decision making? (e.g. I understand my role and responsibilities before commencing)
  • Discussed the importance of identifying and managing change conditions and variations during the pre-start? (e.g. change in site conditions, agreed approach, weather, design, people, plant or equipment)
  • Escalated changes to the task design to your supervisor and received formal direction before proceeding? (e.g. don’t start a task that is different to the plan until re-assessed with input from your leader)
  • Identified potential changes, documented changes on the risk assessment and communicated controls to the work crew? (e.g. people impacted by the change have understood and assessed the change with subject matter experts)
  • Ensured the work crew are aware of the right to stop work if they feel the changes have not been adequately controlled? (e.g.if I am unsure, I won’t commence work until I have sought clarity)

When working in or near a confined space, have you: 

  • Considered the whether the confined space entry can be avoided? (e.g. use of cameras for inspection, clean externally)
  • Received training to enter, control or monitor a confined space? (e.g. work in confined space, atmospheric monitoring, OSH permits)
  • Obtained approval prior to entering a confined space? (e.g. confined space entry permit)
  • Established methods of communication between the person entering and the stand by person? (e.g. radio)
  • Tested the atmosphere and set up continuous monitoring? (e.g. oxygen concentration or airborne contaminants present)
  • Identified and isolated potential energy sources within the confined space? (e.g. lock out tag out)
  • Established an exclusion zone to prevent unauthorised entry? (e.g. barricading and signage)
  • Developed a rescue plan and checked emergency response requirements are in place? (e.g. emergency response plan, emergency response equipment).

When working on or near electricity or electrical equipment, have you:

  • Received training and authorisation to undertake this electrical work? (e.g. electrical workers license, high voltage operation, electrical compliance and safety, working near electricity network assets)
  • Identified other adjacent services and ensured that you have controls in place? (e.g danger zones, minimum working distances)
  • Been provided with personal protective equipment suitable for the task and will it protect you from arc flash energy and/or electric shock? (e.g. arc flash rated work-wear, gloves, hood and cotton undergarments)
  • Checked that electrical systems have been isolated and tested for de-energisation? (e.g. labelling, approved test device/ multimeter, lock out tag out)
  • Obtained approval prior to conducting this electrical work (e.g. clearance to work, approval to access)
  • Checked that controls to protect you from electric shock are in place? (e.g. tested and tagged, RCD, bridging cables)

When working with or near plant, equipment or infrastructure which has the potential to release stored energy, have you:

  • Received training to Lock Out and Tag Out equipment? (e.g. lock out, tag out, OSH permits)
  • Identified potential energy sources? (e.g. electrical, mechanical,gravity, chemical, pneumatic, and hydraulic)
  • Isolated potential energy sources? (e.g. fluid system isolation plan, isolation request form and isolation handover form)
  • Attached the correct lock and tag onto the isolation point(s)?(e.g.personal danger lock and tag for each isolation point)
  • Checked that no one is in the line of fire? (e.g. protection during isolation and re-energisation, potential to be hit by moving object, equipment movement, dropped objects, sparks, hydraulic/pneumatic pressure)
  • Checked that the equipment has been isolated and tested? (e.g.a physical check in the field ensures the equipment has been isolated)

When working in or near an excavation, have you:

  • Received training to undertake excavation works? (e.g. excavation awareness, install trench support, excavator ticket, competency verification, use locating devices)
  • Obtained approval prior to entering the excavation? (e.g. clearance to work, excavation competent person, confined space entry criteria considered)
  • Identified overhead and underground services? (e.g. DBYD, site plans, ground penetrating radar, potholing, vacuum excavation)
  • Implemented controls suitable for the soil condition to prevent a collapse? (e.g. batters, benching, dewatering, trench boxes)
  • Established methods of access and egress? (e.g. ramp, ladder, stairs)
  • Installed exclusion zone to prevent uncontrolled entry? (e.g. barricading and signage)
  • Scheduled ongoing inspections to check the excavation stability? (e.g. excavation inspection)
  • Organised emergency response requirements and checked they are set up and tested? (e.g. emergency response plan and equipment).

When working where there is the potential to fall from one level to another, have you: 

  • Received training to undertake work where there is the potential to fall? (e.g. prevention of falls, FIPS, scaffolding license, EWP license)
  • Selected the appropriate prevention of fall control(s)? (e.g. elevated work platform, scaffolding, fall restraint, limited free-fall, fall arrest)
  • Installed exclusion zone(s) to prevent uncontrolled entry and control the risk of dropped objects? (e.g. barricading, signage, drop mats, tool lanyards) 
  • Inspected your equipment and does it display a current inspection tag? (e.g. scheduled inspections, visual check)
  • Organised emergency response requirements and checked that are they are set up and tested? (e.g. emergency response plan, emergency response equipment).

When working with or near hazardous substances and dangerous goods, have you: 

  • Received training to handle, store and work with hazardous materials? (e.g. asbestos awareness, chlorine awareness, chlorine operations, dangerous goods and hazardous substances)
  • Checked that hazardous materials are correctly stored, labelled and signposted? (e.g. bund, containers labelled)
  • Checked the asbestos register for the area you are working in? (e.g. lupin, QR code to asbestos report)
  • Obtained the current Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the hazardous materials you are working with? (e.g. ChemAlert, site MSDS folder)
  • Organised emergency response requirements and checked that they are set up and tested? (e.g. emergency response plan, safety showers, eye wash, spill kits, calcium gluconate).
  • Checked location and operation of safety showers and eye wash prior to commencing?

When operating or working near lifting equipment, have you:

  • Received training for your role in the lift? (e.g. high risk work license, competency verification)
  • Selected the correct lifting equipment, devices and accessories for the task and are they fit for purpose? (e.g. gantry crane, vehicle load crane, chains, slings, shackles)
  • Checked that a lift study is in place for critical lifts? (e.g. over or near critical operating plant , above 80% of cranes rated capacity, multi crane lifts)
  • Installed exclusion zone(s) to prevent uncontrolled entry to the lift zone? (e.g. barricading, signage, spotter)
  • Checked your lifting equipment, devices and accessories have been inspected? (e.g. riggers check for damage, tagging, equipment is correct for the task)
  • Checked the load is secured and communication methods are agreed? (e.g. radio contact with operator, agreed hand / horn signals)

When operating or working near mobile plant, have you:

  • Received training to operate the mobile plant? (e.g. high risk work license, competency verification)
  • Checked that guarding is in place to protect you from being caught in the equipment? (e.g. guards on equipment, pre start checks, inspections)
  • Separated mobile plant and people? (e.g. designated parking, warning signs, exclusion zones, walkways)
  • Agreed communication methods with the operator? (e.g. radio contact with operator, agreed hand / horn signals)
  • Checked your mobile plant has been inspected and maintained? (e.g. maintenance on mobile plant and pre-start check)

When operating or working near vehicles and trucks, have you:

  • Received training and are licensed to drive? (e.g. valid licence class, defensive driving, fatigue management)  
  • Completed a risk assessment to select the most appropriate vehicle for the task? (e.g. 4WD)
  • Developed a journey management plan prior to starting your journey? (e.g. driving on high risk routes, unfamiliar with route)
  • Secured goods being carried? (e.g. cargo barriers and load restraints).
  • Separated vehicles or trucks and people? (e.g. traffic management plan, designated parking, warning signs, exclusion zones, walkways)
  • Checked your vehicle or truck has been inspected and maintained? (e.g. maintenance on vehicles and pre-start inspection)