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Transport Project Delivery - Safety in Construction

A Message from the Executive Director, Jon Whelan

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) delivers valuable social infrastructure that improves the lives of South Australians every day. DPTI is committed to ensuring all projects are delivered safely, with zero harm to workers and members of the public. Safety performance is a key deliverable and the ultimate non-negotiable for DPTI.

A tragic fatality at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site in February 2016 impelled DPTI to intensify efforts to make all work sites under its control safer.

Workplace injury and death impose large costs on economies. These costs accrue to the individual workers who suffer, their families and to the employing companies.

By reducing injury rates companies can increase productivity in both overall equipment effectiveness and unscheduled downtime. Companies can drive profitability by investing in keeping their workers safe.

There is always more that can be done in the safety realm and together, DPTI and industry can raise the safety performance bar higher.

This site provides a means to share 'Safety in Construction’ approaches, information and learnings. It is an additional and complementary safety resource to the informative SafeWork SA website.

I encourage all of our construction partners to make every construction worksite in South Australia safer and more productive.

Together we can make a difference.

Jon Whelan

Knowledge Centre

PDF Document  Dial Before You Dig SA Guide for Dial Before You Dig Builder icon
PDF Document  Building & Construction Industry Guideline Guideline for safe electrical practices on construction and demolition sites Builder icon
PDF Document   Circular Saws

Safe Use of a Handheld Circular Saw

Circular saw icon
PDF Document   The Importance of Exclusion Zones

Diagrams depicting what a dozer driver can see.

Icon dozer view

PDF DocumentConcrete Pumps

Ext gifConcrete Delivery Requirements

This document gives tips to identify the risks associated with concrete pumping and the controls which should be in place. It may save someone from injury or death.

Boral's guide to the requirements for the safe delivery of concrete.

Icon concrete pump

PDF Document Load Restraint Guidelines

PDF Document Load Restraint Guide

Guidelines and performance standards for the safe carriage of loads on road vehicles

Some information and extracts from SafeWork SA and Load Restraint Guide

Icon load restraint

PDF Document Workzone Traffic Management

SA Standards for Workzone Traffic Management

Stop icon
Tyre Changes on site Video on Tyre Cages for safe tyre changes on site Tyre cage

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Trench Rescue and Fatality

As part of the DPTI Fresh-Eyes safety program, SAFEgroup has regularly highlighted the need for proper planning and selection (and validation by competent person/s) of appropriate risk control measures before commencing trenching works.

Attached to this email is a link to a news article which unfortunately details a recent fatality and is a stark reminder about the hazards associated with trenching, the criticality of developing, implementing and embedding effective risk control measures for any trenching works and also having in place appropriate rescue and retrieval plans for when work plans go wrong.

Click here to read article.

You may consider using this tragic incident as part of your toolbox talks/safety scrums to reinforce the requirement of identifying critical risks and the validation of the effectiveness of selected risk control measures prior to the commencement of work.

Please note that the investigation into the incident has not been completed and no factual matters have been released by the Regulator at this stage.

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Safety Alerts

Finger Injury August 2019

Working near Overhead Power Lines July 2019

Using a Harness on a boom type Elevated Work Platform July 2019

Using non-slewing mobile cranes April 2019

Skip Bin Loading Incident Jan 2019

View full list of Safety Alerts

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 Safety Alert icon 

DPTI's Minimum Construction Safety Expectations

DPTI’s Minimum Construction Safety Expectations specify Worker Health & Safety requirements applicable for all DPTI construction worksites.

These requirements do not diminish or replace any responsibilities, duties, requirements under the WHS Act and Regulations 2012, South Australian Codes of Practice and Australian Standards, nor do they prevent organisations from implementing higher levels of safety practices. They provide clarity as to what DPTI expects as a safety minimum on all construction sites.

Together, DPTI’s Minimum Construction Safety Expectations and DPTI’s Safety Culture Measures describe the operational and behavioural safety standards required of everyone working on DPTI construction sites.  They do not prescribe ‘how’ to do your business, but clarify ‘what’ is expected onsite to make it safe for everyone.

View DPTI’s Minimum Construction Safety Expectations.

View Slideshow

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 Min Safety icon

Safety Culture Measures

DPTI has introduced a guiding set of Safety Culture Measures to assist organisations  ensure their safety systems are compliant with legislation, site-specific and translate into a positive safety culture on the ground.

The Outcome-Based Safety Culture Measures will form the basis for safety audits conducted on DPTI construction projects.

View Safety Culture Measures.

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Safety Walks

In addition to 'business as usual' safety inspections and safety audits, DPTI undertakes Safety Walks on all of its infrastructure projects. Safety Walks focus on compliance with procedures, ensuring that identified hazards are made safe, that site employees are trained and that our contractors have functioning safety systems in place.

Safety Walks assist in the identification of:
  • improving safety practices
  • hazards and unsafe conditions on project sites
  • good practice initiatives and approaches and the opportunity to share them.

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 UHF Radio

Preferred UHF channels on a construction site

Identified Hazards

  • Site conditions unsafe - e.g. No defined flagged off areas for supplies or pedestrians on some worksites.
  • Site workers not wearing compliant PPE / Unsafe behaviour - e.g. Some workers not wearing PPE (gloves for example) on sites that show on their site signage is mandatory.
  • Non-compliant electrical tools - e.g. Tools on worksites not all electrically tested and tagged. Good Initiative: Testing station at entrance of worksite. Ensuring isolation/protection of electrical switchboards.
  • Plant/Equipment unsafe areas - e.g. Plant not delineated from other equipment and pedestrians. Good Initiative: Blue cone area for 'swing zones' and effective delineation between heavy and light vehicles. Ensuring trucks on site have been subject to a prestart inspection each day and operators are wearing seatbelts.
  • Site entrance signage - e.g. Incorrect information regarding correct PPE to worn on specific worksite.
  • Site storage / untidy site setup - e.g. Some containers with stored equipment very untidy.
  • Safe Work Method Statements - e.g. SWMS not followed or generic (not site/task specific).
  • Traffic Management - e.g. Unclear traffic management setups/non compliant PPE worn. Good Initiative: Full reflective safety suits to be worn at night, alternative safety lights/devices to be used to replace workers in the direct traffic line.
  • Cranes and Lifting equipment failing - e.g. Compliant chains and slings to be used. Pre-check of chains and slings to be conducted before use.
  • Lack of attention on nightworks - e.g. ensuring lighting towers/ appropriate night PPE(reflective suits/change over sunglasses to clear glasses) has been set up before night falls.
  • Appropriate use of UHF radios - e.g. Good Initiative: Site's preferred UHF channels which are compliant.
  • Unsafe grinding/cutting tools - e.g. Poorly stored/maintained grinding or cutting disks which may also be poor quality imports.

Photos of common hazards

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Example of good delineation of heavy vehicles and light vehicles

Photos of Good and Bad Practice

The following key learnings are taken from recent Safety Walks and identified hazards:

  • Gaps between documented systems and what is happening on the ground.
  • Traffic and pedestrian management – need a stronger focus.
  • ‘Generic’ SWMS – risk assessments not site specific.
  • Obvious departures from safety requirements not called or immediately addressed.
  • Practices not consistent with relevant codes and standards.

Photos of good and bad practices

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Example of good practice - designated spotters on site

Contractor Contributions

Gas Transmission Pipeline Awareness

Plant Maintenance / Potential Class 1 Motor Vehicle Accident

Hook Failure (Back-hooking/Chocking) Caused Fall

Asbestos Cement Pipes

Uncontrolled Load Release

Overturned Forward Tipper Truck

Crush Incident - Telehandler Overbalanced

Road Plates - Unsecured

Pile Driver Fatality

Cement and Grout Products Burn - Lessons Learnt

Working at Height - Exposure to Falling

Loading and Unloading Heavy Equipment Dangers

Near Miss - Excavator - Projectile Dipper Arm Activator Pin

Cable Failure

Concrete Line Blockages

'Landslide' Tipper Liner

Road Rail Vehicle Runaway

Rock Grab falls from trailer

Safety Device failure

View Contributor archive

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DPTI Safety Forum Charter

DPTI together with industry leaders have committed to a Safety Charter to improve safety performance in the South Australian Construction Industry because the health and well-being of everyone is critical.

This charter will ensure that everyone in the South Australian Construction Industry can operate to a leading level of safety by sharing best practice safety management and leadership approaches.

See the DPTI Safety Forum Charter

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Big Build Logos

Safety Tools / Links

  • Emergency + App with GPS

  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have recently released a 000 app, Emergency +. The app is free to download and uses the GPS functionality built into smart phones to help Triple Zero (000) callers provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.

    This is an initiative of the Australian Government, State and Territory Emergency Services.

    You can download the app from the app store on your mobile phone device or by following the link below:

  • Changes in Chain of Responsibility

  • On 1 October 2018, the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) was amended to provide that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply
    chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities.

    For more information visit National Heavy Vehicular Regulator.

  • Mates in Construction

  • DPTI is proud to be a Tier 1 partner with MATES in Construction (MIC) which is a  not-for-profit organisation. MIC provides support through its program of suicide awareness and prevention, and other initiatives that support workers with mental health problems, to create a more resilient building and construction workforce.

    The safety, health and well-being of employees are integral. Mental health is just as important as physical safety and MIC helps to improve the psychological well-being of employees.

    Since mid-2016, DPTI has collaborated with MIC to deliver training across the organisation and for contractors we use.

    DPTI is proud to support MIC and the training and assistance they deliver on the many infrastructure projects across SA, helping to make the construction industry a mentally healthier place to work and most importantly saving lives.

    For more information visit

  • Mobile Plant Safety Matrix

  • A Mobile Plant Safety Matrix has been developed by Gateway South and is shared as a good practice example.

  • SafeWork SA

  • Codes of Practice
    Working in the heat: modify workloads, cover up, hydrate, take breaks
    Heat stress
    Heat & UV exposure
  • Safe Work Australia

  • For information on recognising and treating the most common forms of heat-related illness see the
    First aid fact sheet.

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Emergency App


Mates in Construction

Matrix icon

Codes of Practice

Safe Work Australia

Site Contributions

DPTI construction contractors can email contributions to this site: Mailbox

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