Construction of works 3.8

Overview 3.8.1

The Owner must appoint a Responsible Construction Representative to be available when work is in progress to receive any notice, requirement or other communication from us.

As part of the Pre-Construction Certification List, the Owner must notify us of the name and 24 hour contact details of the Responsible Construction Representative and of the person to deputise in the event that the Responsible Construction Representative should be unavailable.

Construction of the Works must conform to the design unless otherwise authorised or directed by us or the Consultant.

We may require Works be modified, removed or replaced at the Owner's cost if they:

  • are not completed strictly in accordance with the final design
  • do not meet a construction standard acceptable to us.

The construction of the Works must be carried out taking into account our relevant Standard Drawings and Example Construction Specifications.

The Consultant is responsible for ensuring the Contractor constructs the Works to meet our required outcomes. If, as a result of an audit by us, the Works are found to not meet our requirements and rectification works are necessary, any rectification costs must be borne by the Consultant.

We'll not accept any part of the Works subject to witness points, hold points or authorisation points specified in the Agreement, unless the specified controls have been complied with during construction.

Health and safety management policy 3.8.2

We're committed to providing a healthy and safe workplace for anyone who enters our work areas and to achieving a target of zero injuries for our people, contractors and any stakeholder. Our contractors are strongly encouraged to adopt safe work practices aligned with and share our health and safety objectives, not just in a physical sense, but also in general well-being.

In line with the above, the land development industry is encouraged to create awareness and increase skills in terms of health and safety awareness amongst the consulting engineers, other practitioners and contractors undertaking the land development construction works. The prevention of any injuries and accidents whilst undertaking land development works will enable increased levels of confidence within us that our overall health and safety objectives are being met.

It's also encouraged for any health and safety management policy or plan to include responsibilities and systems to manage mental well-being in the conduct of any works covering by not limited to fatigue and stress management, well-being programs and initiatives, employee assistance programs and the extent of the well-being framework.

Works must be constructed:

  1. Taking into account the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and any other relevant Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practices, Australian Standards and our requirements.
  2. Using maintained, safe plant or machinery.
  3. Using adequately trained staff and appropriate personal protective equipment.
  4. Using safe work procedures and methods.
  5. Under the management of a third party accredited integrated management system incorporating quality, safety and environmental aspects as a minimum requirement for all contractors.

Prior to any site works commencing

The contractor must have the following documentation and work method:

  1. The site management plan.
  2. The risk assessment for the project which identifies any potential issues which could lead to mental well-being issues and detailing particular requirements for dealing with these situations as well as other standard requirements such as traffic management, confined space requirements, machinery requirements and appropriate licensing of operators, exclusion fencing of worksite (see below), trenching, etc.
  3. The site induction records and machinery/equipment maintenance records.
  4. The Safe Work Method Statement (No 4).
  5. Appropriate training in order to obtain a Permit to Work, issued by us (if required).

Note: under current Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, it's a requirement of Part 5.1 Construction (Section 5.1.16) a Health and Safety Coordination Plan is prepared and available at all times for any construction project costed at $250,000 and above.

Although the contractor is responsible for the management of the secured site, we still have an obligation to ensure the site poses no health and safety risks to the general public. At the pre-commencement meeting with the contractor and consultant, our Surveillance Officer will discuss the level of security of the site and identify any areas of concern that may need improved fencing.

A Risk assessment for safety and security fencing on construction sites is available to download and use to check if the proposed fencing is adequate. This should be reviewed periodically, particularly on construction sites that have an extended occupation, for example 12 months or more.

During construction

The Contractor is responsible for implementing, maintaining and updating the safety management plan throughout the construction period. As a controlled site, the Contractor is to ensure all personnel entering the site are authorised. At all times, the general public are to be appropriately excluded from any areas of the site deemed unsafe, e.g. due to heavy machinery, open excavations, exposed reinforcement.

WorkSafe must be notified of the intention to commence excavation operations where it is planned to excavate; a tunnel; a shaft deeper than 2 metres; or, a trench deeper than 1.5 metres; and, the excavation will be big enough for a person to get into or it could involve a risk to anyone’s health or safety. The notification must be given in writing at least 3 days prior to commencing excavations utilising the Worksafe online form. In emergency situations, this form may be submitted after the event.

Builders and home buyers moving onto site

It's important the contractor is aware of the progress of other developments occurring in the vicinity of the works. While a project may commence in a vacant paddock well away from the nearest house or road, this may change quickly in an area undergoing rapid urbanisation.

If the Developer associated with the works requests a release for a stage of the subdivision adjacent to the work site, we'll consider this request taking into account private builders and prospective home buyers would then be able to move onto the site. If the work site is still deemed to be hazardous, a more rigorous form of construction fence may need to be erected around the site.

In some cases it may be an adjacent development independent of the works about to receive its release. The contractor must be prepared to modify the existing fence if it's deemed inappropriate for the new circumstances.

Site environmental management policy 3.8.3

We're committed to protecting the health of Melbourne’s bays and waterways. Therefore it's important we minimise the impacts of construction activity within its catchments by reducing the volume of sediment and other pollutants leaving construction sites. Our contractors must implement and maintain effective environmental controls to achieve our environmental objectives and meet their legislative requirements.

Prior to commencing any work on or near our waterways, channels, wetlands or bio-retention systems, the Contractor is to complete Site Environmental Awareness Training (SEAT) and be issued their “Green card”. Prior to commencement of any works on site, Melbourne Water also requires that:

  • A Site Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) be prepared for the work.
  • You demonstrate the works will satisfy legislative requirements such as the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Environmental Protection Act 1970 and any other relevant Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practices, Australian Standards and our requirements.

  • There is someone on site at all times during construction who has attended our Site Environmental Awareness Training, and has been issued their “Green Card” (see below). (1)

Site Environmental Management Plans (SEMP)

To manage risks, and in accordance with our Environmental and Public Health Management System, a Site Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) must be developed clearly indicating measures to be employed during construction. The Contractor is responsible for the preparation of the SEMP. The Consultant is responsible for ensuring the SEMP adequately protects any areas of special significance and for monitoring the works to ensure they are carried out in accordance with this plan. If the Contractor needs to vary the content of the SEMP during the construction period, the Consultant is to assess the changes.

The following items are to be addressed in the SEMP along with other items identified by the Consultant during the design phase:

  • soil erosion
  • increased runoff
  • protection of flora and fauna values (approval from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning may be required)
  • protection of aboriginal archaeological sites (approval from AAV may be required)
  • protection of cultural heritage values (approval from Heritage Victoria may be required)
  • increased pollution (e.g. fumes, dust or smoke), odour, traffic and noise
  • effects of hours of operation on persons near the activity
  • protection of visual, landscape and recreational values
  • protection from flooding
  • protection of existing drainage infrastructure

The SEMP Kit provides guidance notes and templates to help you develop your SEMP.

Tendering for site environmental management

All costs associated with the implementation and maintenance of environmental controls on the construction site must be properly considered in the Contractor’s original tender for the project.

Consultants will need to assess each tender for its site environmental management content and query Contractors who have non-conforming items. In the event the Consultant makes a recommendation to accept a more expensive tender based on the Contractor’s commitment to site environmental management, we'll take this advice into account when we're calculating the associated reimbursement.

We hold the right to vary the reimbursement amount if it's proved the Contractor has failed to properly implement the SEMP. Therefore we emphasise the need for the Consultant to properly assess all claims made by the Contractor relating to site environmental management, and satisfy themselves the appropriate measures have been put in place.


A Site Environmental Awareness Training (SEAT) course is available to all Contractors involved with the construction of our waterway and wetland assets. This is a full day course run by Statewide River & Stream Management out of Holmesglen TAFE, and covers topics relating to legislation and obligations, EPA enforcement and penalties, principles of erosion management and treatment measures.

A green card containing photo identification will be issued to all people who have completed the training course. This will provide the evidence we'll be seeking when issuing a Permit to Work for the project.

The training course is also available to Consultants, however there's no obligation for them to attend.

The training will complement the Site Environmental Management Plan information provided on our website.

To arrange for attendance at the next available training session, please email [email protected] or register online.

Water quality monitoring

It's the legal responsibility of the Contractor to manage the normal flows discharging from the construction site in such there's no adverse impact on the receiving waterway.

While we'll work with Contractors and Consultants to ensure the runoff is treated as effectively as possible, we'll be conducting random audits of the turbidity of the runoff from the Contractor’s work site. We encourage Contractors to conduct their own water quality monitoring.

The adopted parameter by us to measure turbidity is the Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). Acceptable limits for turbidity are defined by the EPA (see EPA Publication No.480).

When undertaking water quality monitoring, the Contractor is to take samples at two monitoring points, one upstream of the worksite and one downstream. These points are to be agreed to with our surveillance officer prior to the work commencing.

The frequency of monitoring should be based on the scope of work and the risk of contaminated runoff. However, as a minimum, testing should be conducted weekly and immediately after rainfall events. All readings taken are required to be recorded and a copy kept on site to be available for audit purposes by our surveillance officers.

Where turbidity exceeds the acceptable limits as set by the EPA in the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria), additional treatment is required on site before discharging runoff to a natural waterway or stormwater system. These limits differ across Victoria and are available from the EPA website under their State Environment Protection Policy / Waters of Victoria section. It's the Contractor’s responsibility to know the limits applicable to the construction site.


The EPA may inspect the worksite at any time. Penalty notices may be issued by the EPA if they believe the Contractor is failing to manage the site runoff appropriately. If the Contractor has a demonstrated history of disregarding their environmental obligations, we may also conduct audits of the Contractor’s environmental management system in conjunction with the Civil Contractors Federation, with appropriate action to follow.

Note: as the Site Environmental Awareness Training program has only recently become available, our officers will accept evidence from the Contractor they have made arrangements to attend one of the scheduled training courses.

Commencement of works 3.8.4

At least five working days before the commencement of construction, the Consultant must submit a Pre-Construction Certification List with the supporting information and documentation specified to us. Each item must be individually signed by the Responsible Construction Representative as being correct or marked as not applicable to the work. The supporting information must include evidence insurance requirements set out in the Insurance and Indemnity conditions have been complied with.

The completed Certification List must be authorised by the Nominated Representative.

The Consultant must give two working days notice:

  • if construction won't start on the date advised
  • of the revised start date before the commencement of work.

If we're aware of any reason why the Works can't commence, we'll notify the Consultant within five working days of receiving the Pre-Construction Certification List.

Last updated:
3 September 2021