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Infrastructure Delivery - Safety in Construction

A Message from the General Manager, Jon Whelan

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) delivers valuable social infrastructure that improves the lives of South Australians every day. DPTI is committed to ensuring all projects are delivered safely, with zero harm to workers and members of the public. Safety performance is a key deliverable and the ultimate non-negotiable for DPTI.

A tragic fatality at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site in February 2016 impelled DPTI to intensify efforts to make all work sites under its control safer.

Workplace injury and death impose large costs on economies. These costs accrue to the individual workers who suffer, their families and to the employing companies.

By reducing injury rates companies can increase productivity in both overall equipment effectiveness and unscheduled downtime. Companies can drive profitability by investing in keeping their workers safe.

There is always more that can be done in the safety realm and together, DPTI and industry can raise the safety performance bar higher.

This site provides a means to share 'Safety in Construction’ approaches, information and learnings. It is an additional and complementary safety resource to the informative SafeWork SA website.

I encourage all of our construction partners to make every construction worksite in South Australia safer and more productive.

Together we can make a difference.


Jon Whelan

Safety Alerts

'Live' Gas Bottle July-17

View full list of Safety Alerts

 Live Gas Bottle

DPTI's Minimum Construction Safety Expectations

DPTI’s Minimum Construction Safety Expectations specify Worker Health & Safety requirements applicable for all DPTI construction worksites.

These requirements do not diminish or replace any responsibilities, duties, requirements under the WHS Act and Regulations 2012, South Australian Codes of Practice and Australian Standards, nor do they prevent organisations from implementing higher levels of safety practices. They provide clarity as to what DPTI expects as a safety minimum on all construction sites.

Together, DPTI’s Minimum Construction Safety Expectations and DPTI’s Safety Culture Measures describe the operational and behavioural safety standards required of everyone working on DPTI construction sites.  They do not prescribe ‘how’ to do your business, but clarify ‘what’ is expected onsite to make it safe for everyone.

View DPTI’s Minimum Construction Safety Expectations.

  Min Safety icon

Outcome Performance Measures

DPTI has introduced a guiding set of Safety Culture Measures to assist organisations  ensure their safety systems are compliant with legislation, site-specific and translate into a positive safety culture on the ground.

The Outcome-Based Safety Culture Measures will form the basis for safety audits conducted on DTPI construction projects.

View Safety Culture Measures.

 Culture measures icon

Safety Walks

In addition to 'business as usual' safety inspections and safety audits, DPTI undertakes Safety Walks on all of its infrastructure projects. Safety Walks focus on compliance with procedures, ensuring that identified hazards are made safe, that site employees are trained and that our contractors have functioning safety systems in place.

Safety Walks assist in the identification of:
  • improving safety practices
  • hazards and unsafe conditions on project sites
  • good practice initiatives and approaches and the opportunity to share them.
 UHF Radio

Preferred UHF channels on a construction site

Most Commonly Identified Hazards

  • Site conditions unsafe
  • Site workers not wearing compliant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), particularly gloves. / Unsafe behaviour.
  • Non-compliant electrical tools - not tested and tagged
  • Plant/Equipment - lack of delineation for 'swing' zone
  • Site signage incorrect PPE information shown
  • Site storage, untidy site setup
  • Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) not followed
  • Unclear traffic management onsite

Photos of common hazards


Example of good delineation of heavy vehicles and light vehicles

Photos of Good and Bad Practice

The following key learnings are taken from recent Safety Walks and identified hazards:

  • Gaps between documented systems and what is happening on the ground.
  • Traffic and pedestrian management – need a stronger focus.
  • ‘Generic’ SWMS – risk assessments not site specific.
  • Obvious departures from safety requirements not called or immediately addressed.
  • Practices not consistent with relevant codes and standards.

Photos of good and bad practices


Example of good practice - designated spotters on site

DPTI Safety Forum Charter

DPTI together with industry leaders have committed to a Safety Charter to improve safety performance in the South Australian Construction Industry because the health and well-being of everyone is critical.

This charter will ensure that everyone in the South Australian Construction Industry can operate to a leading level of safety by sharing best practice safety management and leadership approaches.

Charter quotes

See the DPTI Safety Forum Charter


Big Build Logos

Safety Tools / Links

Mobile Plant Safety Matrix

A Mobile Plant Safety Matrix has been developed by Gateway South and is shared as a good practice example.

Alert SA

Alert SA is run by SA Fire & Emergency Services (SAFECOM). The Alert SA website is live and also provides a link to allow the download of the safety apps for people with smartphones.

SafeWork SA

Codes of Practice

Matrix icon
Alert SA icon
Codes of Practice

Site Contributions

DPTI construction contractors can email contributions to this site: Mailbox