The evaluation of tenderers health and safety capabilities and systems is an important consideration in the selection process and should be included as a selection criterion in the selection report. This stage provides the opportunity to:
- evaluate and verify the tenderer's occupational health and safety (OHS) management system and performance
- determine the tenderer's understanding of the OHS requirements of the specification
- review how the tenderer will manage OHS issues associated with the contract works and services (i.e. with particular regard to the health and safety coordination plan and safe work method statements for high risk construction work).
A selection panel comprised of the consultant, agency personnel, and supported by the departmental generally undertakes the tender evaluation process. The tender evaluation process involves several stages:
- evaluation and verification of tenderer's OHS system
- review of health and safety coordination plan
- review of typical safe work method statements to control risks
Evaluation and verification of tenderer's OHS system
A systematic approach is required to the evaluation and verification of the tenderer's OHS system. The selection panel should include the following steps:
- review of completed tenderer OHS system questionnaires
- examination of tenderer's OHS management system documentation, manuals, procedures, safe work method statements, training/competency records
- verification of the operation of the tenderer's OHS management system
- undertaking interviews with tenderers to clarify particular issues and areas where more information is required.
The tenderer is to demonstrate the active implementation and operation of their OHS management system by providing the following records to the selection panel:
- Health and safety audits: copies of completed audit reports, details of audits undertaken. This will be particularly applicable to tenderers having undertaken large contracts, and tenderers with accredited OHS management systems.
- Hazard inspection records: copies of completed hazard inspection reports showing corrective actions undertaken. Examples may include records of regular site safety walks by the site OHS manager in conjunction with worker representatives, and sometimes the contract superintendent or an OHS Consultant.
- Plant maintenance and inspection records: evidence of completed maintenance logs and pre-start daily safety inspections.
- Safety meetings: evidence of minutes of meetings, meeting schedules, personnel involved. These meetings are often called tool box meetings.
- Incident investigation: evidence of completed incident investigation reports.
- Training and induction: records of health and safety training and induction programs, competency certificates, qualifications and evidence that workers have been trained in the use of applicable safe work method statements.
Review of health and safety coordination plan
Sections 5.1.16 & 5.1.17 of the OHS regulations require that a health and safety coordination plan must be prepared before construction work commences, and that it must be monitored, maintained and kept up to date by the principal contractor. The plan must include the following and be available for inspection at all times:
- a list of the names, positions and responsibilities of all persons who will have specific responsibilities for health and safety
- the arrangements for the co-ordination of the health and safety of persons engaged to perform construction work
- the arrangements for managing occupational health and safety incidents when they occur
- any site safety rules, with the arrangements for ensuring that all persons at the workplace are informed of the rules.
Note: At the tender evaluation stage, prior to commencement of work on site, the tenderer will not have a site specific health and safety coordination plan, but should be able to produce typical examples.
Review of typical safe work method statements (SWMS) to control risks
Section 5.1.5 of the OHS regulations requires that a safe work method statement is documented for all high risk construction work, and that it:
- identifies work that is high risk construction work
- states the hazards and risks to health or safety of that work
- sufficiently describes measures to control those risks
- describes the manner in which the risk control measures are to be implemented.
Note: Safe work method statements may have other names, such as job safety analysis (JSA). The name is not important, so long as it meets the requirements for a SWMS. Preparation of an asbestos control plan in accordance with OHS regulation 4.3.69 is taken to be preparation of a SWMS. SWMS's must be retained on site. At the tender evaluation stage, prior to commencement of work on site, a tenderer will not have prepared site specific SWMS's but should be able to produce typical examples. OHS regulation 5.1.7 provides the hierarchy of controls which must be used for the control of risks within the SWMS.