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Safer construction


Commissioned by Engineers Australia and supported by the Australian Contractors Association, Property Council of Australia, Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Association of Consulting Engineers Australia, Australian Procurement and Construction Council and Master Builders Australia, the Safer Construction project is the result of a recognised need to reduce accidents and deaths in construction processes. The CRC for Construction Innovation is providing the industry research leadership in research, project management and funding this key project.

The project will develop a Voluntary Code for Safer Construction that specifies the safety responsibilities of all construction project stakeholders, from owners, designers and constructors.

Key Objectives

The project seeks to:

  • Increase the integration of OHS into decision-making by owners, clients, designers and constructors in order to achieve a significant reduction in workplace injuries within the construction industry; and
  • Provide policy-makers, in particular the Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council and the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, with a framework for promoting best practice in construction OHS.


The project examines those practices that promote OHS at the design, procurement, construction and commissioning stages of a lifecycle of a building/structure and incorporates the following research approach:

  • A literature review of international best practice in construction OHS;
  • A large-scale survey of industry participants; and
  • Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, peak industry groups and employee representatives.

The project will provide the following outputs:
  1. A VCOP for leading cultural and behavioural change in the procurement, design, construction and commissioning of buildings/structures, to be used by industry participants (i.e. clients, designers and constructors) in order to drive improvement in construction OHS;
  2. A set of criteria for the evaluation of OHS best practice at each stage of a projects life cycle, as well as in relation to the activities of all participants in the construction industrys supply chain;
  3. A toolkit for supporting the implementation of the code of practice; and
  4. An industry summary booklet that includes PowerPoint presentation material with speakers notes suitable for delivery to industry. The booklet will include a summary of the VCOP, criteria for evaluating construction industry OHS, the implementation toolkit, and best practice case studies.
Other Industry Benefits

Additional benefits to industry include the following:
  • Increased awareness of the impact of design decisions on construction safety and the interaction of owners, designers and constructors with a view to achieving best practice;
  • Integration (is it a framework for integration?) of OHS into decision-making for project specifications and procurement methods;
  • Identification of key factors that facilitate the implementation of risk reduction strategies by project participants
  • Improved partnerships and consultation between owners, designers and constructors to deliver OHS improvement;
  • Identification of innovation by project participants that results in improved OHS performance; and
  • Identification of contracting strategies and delivery methods that promote the key elements described above.

Further Information

For further information about the project, please contact Tim Fleming (Project Leader) on (02) 8801 2300 or email

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