Building health and safety into contract management

Health and safety obligations can overlap in a contracting chain, where contractors and subcontractors provide services to a head contractor or client.

While as a client or head contractor you can’t contract out of health and safety obligations, you can enter into reasonable agreements with other PCBUs to ensure risks are collectively managed. These agreements can be reflected in contract arrangements.
If you have agreements in place with other PCBUs, this does not mean you no longer hold any health and safety obligations. You must still monitor the other PCBU to ensure they follow through on what was agreed.
We have guidance on building health and safety into contract management. A principal’s guide to contracting covers:

  • scoping work
  • pre-qualifying the contractor
  • contractor selection and negotiation of terms
  • awarding the contract
  • monitoring the contract
  • post-contract review.

While this guidance has not been updated to current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it still contains useful information on how to build health and safety into contract management.

A principal’s guide to contracting to meet the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (PDF 2 MB)