Managing pollution and environmental hazards on building sites starts prior to work with a number of different plans required to be submitted to Council as part of the development consent process. What is required is dependent on the scale and type of development, but in general will include a Statement of Environmental Effects and a Soil and Erosion Report. Pollution management continues throughout construction with a number of measures needed to be undertaken to prevent pollution.
The owner and the builder are responsible for controlling soil erosion and preventing sediment from the site being washed into stormwater drains. Under section 120 of the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 heavy fines, including on-the-spot fines ($750 for individuals and $1500 for corporations), may be imposed if a person allows soil, earth, mud, clay, concrete washings or similar material to be washed, or placed in a position from where it is likely to be washed into drains. The Council and the Environment Protection Authority can also issue clean-up notices, as well as penalties on building and construction sites.
There are many measures and laws that are in place to provide safety for workers and visitors to building sites. In NSW new work health and safety laws replaced the occupational health and safety laws on the 1st January 2012.
All workers should have appropriate licences and insurances. While the responsibility for safe procedures lies with the principal contractor, who generally speaking will be your builder, you may want to talk with your lawyer before signing your builder’s contract, to make sure you understand all the detail of work site responsibility. If you are an owner-builder then there is a different level of risk as you will be the principal contractor.
The Council and the Environment Protection Authority can issue notices and penalties on building and construction sites
A principal contractor with management or control of a workplace must:
Principal contractor is a person conducting a business or undertaking that commissions a construction project. A construction project can only have one principal contractor at any specific time.
An OHS management plan is required when construction work is undertaken and the cost of the work exceeds $250,000 (clause 226 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001). The principal contractor must ensure that an OHS management plan is prepared for each site where the value of the work exceeds $250,000 before construction commences. For more information go to WorkCover NSW.
Dial before you dig is a referral service for information on locating underground utilities anywhere in Australia. Excavators, electricians, plumbers, planners, developers, farmers, land surveyors, builders, contractors, home owners and landscapers use this referral service. No matter the size of your project - you may be doing landscaping in your backyard or heavy work such as directional boring or directional drilling - if you tell the referral service where you plan to dig, they pass that information on to the underground utility owners who will respond directly to you with the cable and pipe location information. For more information call 1100.
Bega Valley Shire Council may require you to submit a damage deposit prior to building offset any damage to Council infrastructure such as footpaths and kerbsides and roads during construction. For more information call Council on 02 6499 2222.
Avoiding a neighbourhood dispute can be as simple as ensuring workers
Standard construction hours are 7am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 5pm Saturdays. No work on Sundays or Public Holidays.
Works must be conducted in a manner so as not to cause a nuisance (by the generation of unreasonable noise or other activity) to the owners and/or residents of adjoining and adjacent properties. Variations to these hours or days may be approved by Council on a case by case basis.