Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (regulations), Section 3.143
Employers in WA have an obligation to provide and maintain, as far as practicable, a safe working
environment in which their employees are not exposed to hazards.
Safety in Western Australian workplaces is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act
1984 (the OSH Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
Section 3.143 of the regulations requires that all high-risk construction work done,
or to be done, at the site must be covered by a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS). Persons who have day-to-day
on-site control of high risk construction work must provide the main contractor with a SWMS or, failing that,
the main contractor must prepare the necessary SWMS and keep it up to date.
Any breach of Section 3.143 can result in a first-offence fine of $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a company.
Construction work is 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, or preparation of a building site. Under the model WHS Act, the term "demolition"
High risk construction work:
- involves a risk of a person falling more than 2 meters;
- is carried out on a telecommunication tower;
- involves demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing;
- involves demolition of an element of a structure that is related to the physical integrity of the structure;
- involves, or is likely to involve, disturbing asbestos;
- involves structural alteration or repair that requires temporary support to prevent collapse;
- is carried out in or near a confined space;
- is carried out in or near a shaft or trench deeper than 1.5 m or a tunnel;
- involves the use of explosives;
- is carried out on or near pressurised gas mains or piping;
- is carried out on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines;
- is carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services;
- is carried out in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere;
- involves tilt-up or precast concrete;
- is carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor in use by
traffic other than pedestrians;
- is carried out in an area of a workplace where there is any movement of powered mobile plant;
- is carried out in areas with artificial extremes of temperature;
- is carried out in or near water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning involves diving work.