As a prime contractor, owner, or employer, you have a responsibility to manage the risks in your workplaces to protect workers from injury and disease. Before starting your next construction project, it’s important to understand what you need to do to ensure your workplace is healthy and safe.
Below, you’ll find information about key occupational health and safety requirements, as well as resources to help you address common risks at every stage of your construction project.
Before you start work activities
Do you need to file a notice of project?
Before beginning any work activities, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation requires you to submit a notice of project (NOP) to us about certain types of building projects and renovations. Not sure if you need to submit an NOP for your project? Learn more about the requirements.
Submitting an NOP is free and can be done online. How much notice we require depends on the type of project you’re planning.
Do you understand your legal responsibilities?
Be sure to review the Workers Compensation Act (Act) and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation to understand your health and safety responsibilities.
Sections 21-25 of the Act outline specific legal requirements for owners, prime contractors, and employers. In addition, Part 3 and Part 4 of the OHS Regulation describes requirements that must be met by all workplaces.
Are there hazardous materials on site?
Prior to any renovation or demolition work at your worksite, a qualified person must conduct a hazardous materials survey to identify if there are any potential hazardous materials at the worksite. To learn more, see the following:
Will your project involve an excavation or working near utilities?
If your project requires an excavation, you may need to engage a qualified professional (such as a geotechnical engineer). This professional will conduct an on-site review and provide written instructions to ensure excavation work is done properly and is safe for workers to enter once completed.
Also, identify utilities on your worksite and establish limits of approach. If any utilities need to be moved or re-routed, create a plan to ensure it’s done safely.
See the following for more information:
- OHS Guidelines, G20.78: Qualified registered professional and engineering documents
- High voltage limits of approach
Additional resources to reduce risks at your worksite
You’re responsible for identifying any other hazards at your worksite and managing the risks associated with your work activities, including the following:
- Working at heights: fall protection including guardrails
- Work involving scaffolds, ladders and stepladders, and stairways
- Working in and around traffic and traffic control
- Disturbing concrete or stone products can create silica dust
For more health and safety information, see our Construction page.