From 1 January 2012 the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) has effect in the ACT, replacing the Work Safety Act 2008. The information on this page is in the process of being updated to reflect the new WHS Act. Click here for further information on the WHS Act.
The commencement of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act) signals a new era for workplace arrangements across Australia, with the requirement for general construction induction applying in all States and Territories. The Act places a duty on all employers, irrespective of size, to provide workers with appropriate information, instruction, training or supervision to ensure that workers can carry out their work safely.
The Construction industry involves people working in a dynamic and ever changing environment. Hazards and risks change frequently on a site as construction work progresses and as workers move from project to project.
A large majority of the industry’s workforce are employed as sub-contractors who undertake work on many different sites managed by different contractors, and often within different sectors of the industry.
The instruction and training required to ensure people can work safely on a construction site needs to recognise the pattern of employment and the way the construction industry operates.
What does the legislation require?
The WHS Regulation requires that all persons who carry out construction work must complete general construction induction training before they can carry out construction work on the site. There are a few exceptions that are explained later.
It is an offence to allow a worker to carry out construction work without that worker first undertaking general construction induction training. The maximum penalty is $3,600 for an individual or in the case of a body corporate $18,000.
The Regulation requires that after completing General Construction Induction Training, a person applies to WorkSafe ACT for a General Construction Induction Card as evidence of them completing the training. The application form can be found here.
What is Construction Work?
The Regulation defines construction work as any work carried out in connection with the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, maintenance, refurbishment, demolition, decommissioning or dismantling of a structure. It includes the following:
Are there any people exempt from General Construction Induction Training?
The only persons who are exempt from undertaking Construction Induction Training are people involved in:
General Construction Induction Training: What is it?
General Construction Induction Training is a nationally accredited competency unit known as “Work safely in the construction industry”.
The competency unit is a formal face to face training program that provides workers in the construction industry with an awareness and understanding of:
The competency unit is approximately six hours in duration, and can only be delivered by Registered Training Organisations (RTO) that have the competency unit “Work safely in the construction industry” on their scope of registration.
RTOs that can deliver Construction Induction Training
Click here to view a list of Registered Training Organisations [RTOs] that can deliver Construction Induction training in the ACT.
How does a person obtain a Construction Induction Card?
After successfully completing the General Construction Induction Training, the RTO will issue the person with certification. The person must then apply to the ACT Office of Regulatory Services for a General Construction Induction Card within 60 days. Applications should be made by using a form which can be obtained from the Office of Regulatory Services or downloaded here.
Whilst that application is being processed, the certification will be sufficient for a person to commence work.
If for any reason an application for General Construction Induction Card is not approved, or the card is cancelled or suspended, the person must stop work immediately.
Is Induction Training all that is required?
General Construction Induction training on its own is not sufficient to fully discharge all legal obligations in relation to training. Other forms of training, instruction, information and supervision may be need on a regular basis to ensure currency of skills and knowledge and to manage risks associated with the changing nature of the work and workplace.
Other training that is appropriate includes:
Site Induction, providing information and instruction to anyone engaged on particular site with a knowledge of the contractor’s rules and procedures for site safety, emergency management, the supervisory and reporting arrangements, and other site specific issues; and
Task-specific induction, by providing information and instruction to anyone undertaking a particular construction activity of the risk factors and control measures relating to that task.
General Construction Induction Training is only one element of managing safety on construction sites. While induction training may help reduce the likelihood of deaths and injuries resulting from a lack of awareness of typical construction hazards and risks, it is important to remember that it is an administrative control measure.
An effective safety management system relies on the following:
Management commitment to health and safety means that safety should be the employers or principal contractor’s priority and appropriate resources should be allocated, including those required for induction training and risk management.
A well designed safety management system can improve productivity, reduce incident and injury rates and create cost savings in relation to workers’ compensation.
Click here to download the above material in the form of our Guidance Material on Construction Induction.