Working with us

This Information provides contractors and sub-contractors of the Northland Regional Council with an outline of the basic requirements for health and safety.

Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act) and subsequent amendments to the act, the Northland Regional Council must ensure that contractors and sub-contractors who are engaged in paid work perform their duties with due regard to health and safety.

More detailed information is also available. If you have any queries please talk to the regional council contact person who has been assigned to you.

Contract conditions

The awarding of contracts by the Northland Regional Council is determined not only on the criteria of price and technical ability, but also on the current ability of those tendering to carry out planned work safely and without health risk or harm.

No company shall enter into a contract arrangement with the Northland Regional Council without first having provided sufficient information and documentation to assure the Northland Regional Council that there are satisfactory health and safety systems in place.

Failure to provide sufficient information may result in contractors being removed or excluded from the Northland Regional Council tender process and result in exclusion from providing services to the Northland Regional Council.

Health and safety requirements

Any person working on behalf of the Regional Council must comply with any current legislation to ensure the health and safety of employees and the public.

This includes but is not limited to: the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and subsequent amendments; Health and Safety regulations; Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO); NZ Transport Agency; and the Resource Management Act in addition to the relevant Codes of Practice and associated guidelines.

Who do you talk to at the Regional Council?

Each contractor who provides services to the Council will have a designated Regional Council contact person assigned to them. This person will have the skills to advise you and will be responsible for promoting and ensuring that all safety requirements are complied with under the scope of the contract.

Contractors working with us.Everyone has an important role in contributing to a safe working environment.

Who's responsible for what?

management is responsible for…

  • Taking all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees;
  • Providing and maintaining a safe working environment;
  • Ensuring that people are informed of any hazards and that controls are in place to prevent harm;
  • Ensuring employees are trained to do the work and/or provided with competent supervision;
  • Providing and maintaining facilities for employees at work for their health and safety;
  • Ensuring that any plant is designed, made and maintained for safe use;
  • Developing and communicating emergency response procedures; and
  • Ensuring contractor requirements are fulfilled.

everyone is responsible for…

  • Following safe work practices and the task safety plan;
  • Being trained to undertake the work required;
  • Being adequately supervised or providing adequate supervision;
  • Being informed of the hazards and following the required controls;
  • Using personal protective clothing or safety equipment in the correct manner;
  • Having and being familiar with the emergency response plan;
  • If in doubt, STOP work and ask;
  • Keeping work area safe and secure;
  • Not working while impaired by the effects of drugs or alcohol;
  • Reporting incidents and near misses; and
  • Not threatening, harassing or intimidating other people.

Before starting any contracted work

All contract work must have a clear scope detailed in the contract and a task safety plan should be drafted and reviewed with the Council contact person who has been designated for the contract, if appropriate.

A task safety plan should include:

  • Scope and description of the job/tasks;
  • Identification and management of hazards;
  • Emergency planning;
  • Equipment/personal protection equipment required; and
  • Training and maintenance records.

Reporting for work at a regional council site

When work is undertaken at a Northland Regional Council site you must ensure that all employees and subcontractors know they are required to sign in at the reception desk.

Employees must also know who their Regional Council contact person is for the work they are doing.

Reporting for work at other work sites

If the work undertaken is not at a site controlled by the Northland Regional Council please ensure the site controller is aware of the contractors who are present and the work scope.


All employees, sub-contractor employees and volunteers will be trained and competent to carry out all tasks safely or be adequately supervised by a competent person to carry out the contract requirements. Training records and evidence of qualifications may be requested.

If you notice something wrong or unsafe

Stop work and ensure controls are in place to prevent harm. If you cannot safely correct the unsafe condition, report to the Council contact person. The safety of employees is paramount at all times. The Northland Regional Council has the authority to order an immediate halt to any work that is considered dangerous to you or anyone else on any area under the Council's control.


All employees and sub-contractors must attend a Health and Safety Induction before they start work. This is a two-way communication to set safety rules and requirements and may either be with the Northland Regional Council team or whoever has control of the worksite.

Contractor briefing.


Regular meetings or tool box talks will be held to ensure any new contract safety information is communicated to all relevant people and employees have the opportunity to discuss safe work requirements. It is expected that all people working on the project will be involved in these briefings or if absent, given any relevant information prior to them restarting on the job.

Minutes of the meetings will be documented and kept. This may be in the form of diary notes or formal minutes.

Emergency response

The contractor must ensure that all employees and subcontractors are aware of any relevant emergency response plans that apply to the contract and have these noted in the task safety plan.

Hazard identification and task safety plans

It is expected that contractors will comply with the HSE Act ‘hazard identification' and ‘all practicable steps' criteria.

A task safety plan must be completed for all tasks to demonstrate that hazards have been identified and managed.

First aid

Contractors, sub contractors and consultants should provide sufficient first aid equipment of the type that is within easy access of their own staff. You are required to provide your own first aid trained staff unless an alternative arrangement has been made with the Council.

Injury incident reporting

The Department of Labour is to be notified and the injury scene shall be treated in accordance with section 26 of the HSE Act.

Under sections 25 & 26 of the HSE Act, any injuries or near misses that occur must be recorded and reported in the contractor accident register. A copy of this report must be forwarded to your Regional Council contact person or the Health and Safety Advisor within 24 hours of the incident.

Serious harm injuries must be reported to the Council contact person as soon as possible after the event.

Obey all rules and signs

This includes "no access" and "protective equipment required" posters and signs. 

Site warning sign.

Electrical plant and equipment

  • All plant and equipment must be designed, manufactured and maintained in a manner that is safe for its use.
  • No equipment shall be used unless it has sufficient guarding, certification of fitness or fit for purpose criteria in place.
  • All equipment must have an operations manual available.
  • All licensing and certification requirements shall be met by the contractor i.e. forklift operation, height and confined space training.

Ensure all electrically powered equipment is in a safe working condition and that the correct types of plugs are fitted. All leads and portable equipment must have a current test tag. Lifeguard units or isolating transformers must be used with all hand held equipment including lights.

Protective clothing and equipment

The contractor must provide employees or sub-contractors with suitable personal protective equipment for the tasks to be undertaken and this must be worn by employees.

Employees must be trained in how to use, maintain and store this equipment. All safety equipment must be designed for the purpose that it is being used and be in good working order. If certification is required for the equipment, a copy of the certificate must be attached to the task safety plan.

Occupational safety and health work

Health and safety regulations 1995

The contract company must inform the Department of Labour in writing of any "notifiable" work. The regulations provide several types of work, which are defined as "notifiable work".

The notification is required in writing and is to be sent to the Department of Labour at least 24 hours before the work is started. A copy of the notification must be supplied to the Council contact person.

type of work where notification is required…

  • Scaffolding at a height of 5 metres or more (all kinds).
  • Buildings and structures where a fall of over 5 metres may occur.
  • Any narrow pit, shaft, trench or excavation more than 1.5 metres deep.
  • Drive, excavation or heading with ground cover overhead.
  • Excavated face over 5 metres deep with a face steeper than 63.4°.
  • Storage or use of explosives.
  • Working in, or breathing, compressed air or air substitutes.
  • Restricted work using asbestos.
  • Demolition.

High risk work

For high-risk tasks contractors and sub-contractors are required to submit a comprehensive safety plan, have all appropriate training and certification of both people and resources, and to carry out the work safely.

high risk work must take into account…

  • Best work practices;
  • Equipment design and suitability for the job;
  • Access and egress requirements;
  • Stabilisation;
  • Atmospheric testing;
  • Personal safety and equipment;
  • Public safety;
  • Protection from overhead services; and
  • Emergency planning.

such work includes but is not limited to…

  • Working at height;
  • Electrical work;
  • Overhead crane operation;
  • Working with asbestos;
  • Working with gas or welding work;
  • Undertaking excavation or earth moving;
  • Confined space entry;
  • Working with hazardous substances;
  • Using explosives or firearms;
  • Tree felling and forestry work;
  • Maritime work;
  • Working in, on or near water; and/or
  • Working on or near public roads.

No short cuts or unsafe work practices are to be used as this may risk serious injury to anyone or damage to the environment, property or plant.

Hazardous substances and chemicals

A register of all chemicals that are to be used during the contract are to be attached to the Task Safety Plan. The accompanying Material Safety Data Sheet must also be readily available for employees and emergency services. All containers must be clearly labelled.

All people who are using the chemicals or likely to be in close contact with the chemicals are to be informed of the hazards and the required controls. Personal protective equipment must be worn and any other safety equipment required for the task, i.e. extraction and ventilation units must be used.

Know the first aid required in case of an incident and have an emergency response plan and any equipment required in case of an incident available before you start work.

The required spillage contingency plan must also be available before you start work. Ensure chemicals are transported and stored correctly taking care to segregate non-compatible chemicals.

Handling hazardous materials wearing protective equipment.

Working on or near the road

A Traffic Management Plan, and where necessary, a Site Traffic Management Supervisor shall be in place and comply with the requirements of the roading authority.

Environmental protection

Protecting Northland's environment is a key function of the Northland Regional Council and is also a requirement under the Resource Management Act. Accidents often impact the environment and it is the responsibility of any contractor to ensure safe practices are maintained, to prevent and/or minimise any environmental impact.

  • Don't wash paint tins and brushes down the drains.
  • Don't pour concrete slurry in drains.
  • Don't dump waste liquids.
  • Clean up spills immediately and report them.
  • Develop an emergency plan to deal with any environmental incidents.


The contractor must indemnify the Northland Regional Council against:

  • Any loss suffered by the Council, which may arise out of or in consequence of this contract;
  • Any liability incurred by the Council in respect of injuries of persons or damage to property, which may arise out of or in consequence of this contract; and
  • Any costs the Northland Regional Council may incur in respect of that loss or liability.

Note: Insurance cover shall remain in place for the duration of the contract and copies of the policy will be retained. The Council reserves the right to check the status of cover during the contract.

Overview of the contract process

1. Job scope and task analysis

Health and safety issues
Determining what work needs to be contracted out and considering the broad health and safety implications.

Tasks and documentation
Initial appraisal of significant hazards and overview of likely risks associated with different options.

Considering health and safety issues when deciding on the best way to select a contractor, price and other contractual terms.

Relevant tender and/or contract information developed by the Regional Council.

2. Pre-assessment of contractor

Health and safety issues
Assessing capability of potential contractors (i.e. for an "approved list").

Tasks and documentation
Pre-contract questionnaire.

Assessing health and safety management and, depending on the scale or significance of the hazards, an appraisal of technical competence.

3. Contractor selection and negotiation of terms

Health and safety issues
Providing information to potential contractors on health and safety, including the hazards of the particular contract.

Developing a draft health and safety plan for the project with scope for completion, in discussion with the principal. Assessing capability of tenderers (where pre-tender assessment hasn't been done).

Tasks and documentation

Tender contracts…
Relevant information is given to tenderers by the Regional Council through the ‘Information for Tenderer' document.

Draft health and safety plan
Tenderers complete a draft plan. The Regional Council provides information and answers questions specific to the job, assists with completion of hazard assessment and method statements where appropriate.

Non-tendered contracts…
Contract specific health and safety information is provided to prequalified contractor.

Contractor responds to information provided and depending on the size and nature of the contract provides either:

  • A draft H & S plan;
  • Acknowledgement of receipt and acceptance of H & S information, terms and conditions; or
  • Other documentation as required.

4. Awarding the contract

Health and safety issues
For larger projects, developing a job-specific H & S plan.

For smaller jobs, or ongoing work, maintaining agreed standards, systems and processes established by pre-qualification, and modifying them to suit the circumstances of the individual contract.

Tasks and documentation
The contract itself will often draw on the tender documents or other information provided to or by the contractor. Job registration or permit to - work - systems may be used to inform risk assessments.

Completed H & S plan
The Regional Council provides information and answers questions specific to the job, assists with completion of hazard assessment and method statements where appropriate.

Incorporation of H & S plan into contract. Includes agreed detail of lines of communication, responsibilities, accountability, safe systems of work, method statements, use of client services, etc.

5. Monitoring the contract

Health and safety issues
Monitoring/checking throughout duration of contract.

Responding to information received.

Keeping the contractor informed of the results of monitoring. Checking and ensuring contractor performance meets the agreed standards.

Tasks and documentation
Ensuring permit to work or job registration systems, competency requirements, and other controls are in place and maintained.

Meeting as appropriate to plan for and resolve health and safety issues.

The Regional Council's reporting, notification and hazard management documentation, as required by the contract.

6. Post-contract review

Health and safety issues
Concluding review to determine success or otherwise of the contract.

Tasks and documentation
Helping the regional council and contractor learn from health and compliance performance during the contract.

For more information

Department of Labour

Freephone: 0800 20 90 20

For Resource Management Act queries…

Ministry for the Environment

Freephone: 0800 499 700
Telephone: 04 439 7400
Facsimile: 04 439 7700

For Hazardous Substances and New Organisms queries…

Environmental Protection Authority

Hazardous Substances: (within New Zealand): 0800 429 7827 (0800 HAZSUBS)

Contact us

Health and Safety Advisor
Telephone: 0800 002 004

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