Site safety management plan: Walker Corporation
The Broadway Shopping Centre, originally the landmark Grace Bros department store on Broadway, was built in 1904 with distinctive and iconic clock towers and globes.
In redeveloping the Broadway Shopping Centre, it was necessary to consider a number of unique obstacles. For example, the shopping centre falls under Heritage Commission guidelines. This restricted the changes that could be made to the existing building. In addition, the Broadway Shopping Centre has approximately 28 000 visitors each day and the expansion was carried out while the centre continued to operate. This meant that much of the work was conducted outside operating hours to reduce the impact on those working in or visiting the centre.
Moving with the times
In 1998 the Walker Corporation redeveloped the shopping centre in compliance with Heritage Commission guidelines. The latest expansion of Broadway Shopping Centre commenced in March 2006 for completion in 2007. The works included the addition of a new level to the three floors of retail space and three additional car parking floors.
The expansion involved the demolition of the temporary office floor space, the construction of new stores and rearrangement of car parking spaces and access.
As the Broadway Shopping Centre continued to operate during the expansion, it was crucial that visitors and tenants were not placed at risk.
At the end of each shift, cranes, elevated work platforms and other evidence of construction were moved from public view and the centre was cleaned in preparation for the return of shop employees and visitors.
Site safety management plan
A site safety management plan was developed using a template from the Walker Corporation Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Management System. The plan was reviewed and amended as conditions at the site changed.
The site safety management plan included:
- agreed roles and responsibilities for Walker Corporation personnel
- management of subcontractors
- a risk management strategy
- training and induction plans
- consultation arrangements
- management of plant and equipment
- management of inspections and audits
- first aid/emergency procedures
- accident/incident reporting.
All subcontractors were provided with a package that included relevant drawings, details of the scope of work and documentation that clearly outlined WHS requirements. Subcontractors had to provide documentation that met safety standards prior to receiving permission to start work on site. Feedback and guidance were provided to those who did not meet safety standards.
Audits were regularly conducted on subcontractor management systems, while frequent inspections occurred on worksites and safe work method statements for subcontractors were reviewed and signed off by employees and management.
A risk register was established for the project and has been kept up to date with any new scope of work and the appointment of all subcontractors.
A risk management strategy formed a major part of the site safety management plan. The strategy included the management of noise, dust, general materials handling, traffic, shop employees, the general public, construction in the existing car park, workplace amenities and safe working procedures in general.
Emphasis was placed on the importance of continually identifying and assessing risks on site, while control measures were implemented or amended where necessary. For example, the increased traffic due to deliveries of plant, materials and equipment resulted in the incorporation of more detail in relation to traffic management into the site safety management plan. This helped address possible issues before they arose.
Communication and consultation
Communication was a key factor in developing the site specific plan. The roles and responsibilities of positions on the project were made clear to all personnel, contractors and subcontractors, with a strong emphasis placed on WHS.
A site safety committee was also established as part of the risk management strategy. The committee conducted weekly safety inspections, had regular formal meetings and distributed rectification lists for action to all subcontractors.
Team briefings for employees were held on a daily basis and acted as a forum to:
- discuss any new safe work method statements, plant or substances on site
- report on any incidents or accidents from the previous day
- discuss the work planned for the coming day and WHS in general.
Walker Corporation engaged a consultant to develop an IT system to assist with managing safety and general administration. The SMARTEK system allows for:
- photographic induction cards
- monitoring of certificates of competency
- changes in induction certificates
- currency of workers compensation certificates
- scanners to ensure an accurate tally of personnel on site (for use in an emergency).
As a result of the site safety management plan, site safety committee and SMARTEK system the Broadway Shopping Centre expansion was a safety conscious environment catering to shop employees, visitors and construction workers.
This project won an award for safety in the Master Builders Association of NSW awards and was a finalist in 2006 of the Master Builders Australia National Building & Construction Awards.
For further information about this safety initiative contact: Walker Corporation Head Office Ph: 02 8765 5000
About these case studies
The Australian Government is committed to improving the WHS standards for all workers on building and construction projects.
These case studies have been developed to share practical ideas that can be adopted by industry to assist in their own management of WHS issues.
The Federal Safety Commissioner consults widely with industry, WHS authorities and other relevant agencies to promote a cooperative approach to improving WHS performance.
The vision of the Federal Safety Commissioner is a building and construction industry where no one is harmed.