NBN Asbestos: did the government follow its own planning risk assessment guide?

The government’s own rules on the safety role of a client is supposed to be a “model client”.  Sounds sensible.  But it only works if you actually do it.

The NBN is 10,000 times more costly than the threshold ($3M) where these processes are supposed to be in place.

The government guide is called “The model client: Promoting safe construction” (reference below).  The project map includes (A) Planning, (B) Design and procurement, (C) Construction and (D) Completion.

The big safety decisions from which everything good or bad flows is at the planning stage (A).  Not with safe working methods, or personal protective equipment, or training – but with planning.

Stage (A) requires the government to identify OHS risks at the conception stage.

What is risk: “an exposure to an event which may cause death, injury, illness or other harm.” (p.3).

This is supposed to include (p.6):

A1: Appoint OHS Team

A2: Develop project OHS Charter

A3: Analyse OHS risks of project options

A4: Undertake technical feasibility study

A5: Record risk information

A6: Develop the project brief

A7: Establish design requirements

This is the job of the government – not the people eventually doing the work.  They are not even involved yet.

There is supposed to be documents at every stage.  Where is for instance the documentation of stage “A5: Record risk information”?  How could it overlook one of the biggest and most well-known disease risks?  Was the project planning risk assessment work ever done?  What does it say?

Reference: Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government 2008, The Planning Stage: The model client: Promoting safe construction, Australian Government, Canberra.

About John Culvenor

Hi, Thank you for taking a look at this blog. I work in engineering, ergonomics, creativity, design, training, etc. Often this is about helping solve legal puzzles through accident analysis. Sometimes it is about thinking up better designs for equipment, workplaces, and systems. This blog is about good design and bad design, accident analysis and how it can be done better, and how we can make a better, safer world by design!
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1 Response to NBN Asbestos: did the government follow its own planning risk assessment guide?

  1. Pingback: The “card” will protect you: deciphering asbestos propaganda | safedesign

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