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Rules for site signage and site amenities

Building sites, including residential sites, require specific workplace health and safety (WHS) site signs to be displayed and adequate amenities to be provided. In addition, construction waste and rubbish need to be managed to meet workplace health and safety national requirements.

What safety signs are required?

Under the WHS Regulations a principal contractor for a ‘construction project’ must ensure that signs showing the principal’s name and telephone contact number (including an out of hours telephone number) are installed.  The signs must show the location of the site office (if there is one) and must be clearly visible from outside the workplace. A similar requirement applies in WA under Building Services (Registration) Regulations rather than the WHS Regulations.  In WA, registered builders are required to erect a sign on all works under their control.  The sign must be in a prominent position on the site and be able to be read by members of the public from outside the site; be of reasonable dimensions and written in clearly legible letters; and contain the name, registration number and contact phone number of the building contractor; and the name and registration number of the nominated supervisor. 

Other signs may be required depending on the activities undertaken, for example, mandatory signs are required to indicate that asbestos removal work is in progress.  Other signs may be required based on a risk assessment to assist in controlling specific hazards, for example, a ‘Danger - Deep Excavation’ sign. 

For all construction sites, it is advisable to post at the entrance a ‘Danger – Do Not Enter’ sign, and relevant PPE signs such as ‘Safety Footwear Must be Worn’ signs.

All safety signs need to be in accordance with Australia Standard (AS) 1319 Safety signs for the occupational environment.  

What site amenities are required? 

Adequate facilities for the health, safety, welfare and personal hygiene of workers are required on all construction sites. What needs to be provided depends on the type of construction site (eg., residential, commercial, civil, remote, short term, long term). It also depends on the activities undertaken, the number of workers and composition (eg., male/female).

For residential construction of detached dwellings the minimum to be provided include: 

  • meals and shelter facilities
  • drinking water 
  • toilets 
  • washing facilities 

More detailed information about what should be provided for construction can be found in the Model WHS Code of Practice: Construction Work, or equivalent approved code of practice available in the website your local workplace health and safety authority.  In Victoria, information about what should be provided can be found in the Compliance Code: Facilities in Construction and the guide: Facilities on housing sites, available in WorkSafe Victoria’s website. 

Managing rubbish

Construction sites need to be kept tidy and without risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable.  This means ensuring that the storage and removal of construction waste and rubbish needs to be managed to control hazards and risks to health and safety. This should include:

  • providing rubbish bins
  • encouraging contractors to clean up and remove waste as the work progresses 
  • containing building waste in a suitable skip or caged area
  • preventing materials and rubbish being blown away from storage areas
  • arranging for regular disposal of rubbish and waste material to prevent overflow 

For more information about site signs, amenities and keeping sites clean visit the website of your local workplace health and safety authority. Most local government areas also have specific requirements for toilets and for containment of rubbish on construction sites, including residential construction sites. Check with the local shire council or government area before commencing construction.

To find out more, contact HIA's Building Services team.

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