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Considerations for site establishment checklists

This blog provides a general overview of the considerations for site establishment and the processes that should be documented. 

It identifies the key concepts and considerations. However, given the diversity of possible operations, equipment, sites, legislation and other circumstances, each business must determine its own specific Site Establishment Checklists.  

What is a Site Establishment Checklist?

A site establishment checklist is a document that sets out the minimum requirements your business has stipulated for sites it works on. It is a risk management tool to help you identify and rectify a worksite’s safety and operational shortcomings. Depending on your operations, you may choose to nominate minimum standards for safety, security, emergency response, amenities, signage or other features. 

When is it used?

The checklist should be completed for every site at which you undertake work. It should be simple enough to be applicable across all your worksites whilst also enabling effective risk mitigation. 

What if a site can’t conform?

The checklist should also consider that there may be a site in the future that can’t meet your minimum requirements. Your company may or may not be the first operator on a site, or you may not have the authority to implement your checklist’s controls. Include clear instructions on what actions should be undertaken if that’s the case. The instructions should specify what level of risk is deemed acceptable, along with procedures for escalating matters with site owners or management. 

Site Establishment Considerations

  • Access and egress: It is safe and easy to enter or leave the site? Should any additional controls be implemented? Is there sufficient separation between personnel and mobile plant? 
  • Layout: Depending on your operations, you may need to separate different activities on site. These could include a lay down yard, hot works area and carpark. Try to think ahead and apply a consistent logic to this decision-making process. 
  • Signage: Is there adequate signage for traffic control, hazard identification, amenities, muster points and other information?
  • Access restrictions: Does entry to the site require specific qualifications or inductions?
  • Security: Is the site secure? Members of the public must be kept out whilst work is underway and assets on-site after hours must be kept safe. 
  • Amenities: What is expected or legally required for your site? This covers items like toilets, break areas, first aid provisions and emergency response planning. 
  • Procedures: Every business has procedures for their operations; the best ones know they need to be accessible to workers when they need them most. Keeping them at a central area on-site ensures they will be used. Examples of this could be hot works, emergency response, groundbreaking or fitness for work procedures. 
  • Hazard awareness: It is wise to consider what dangerous substances, areas and services could be on your worksites. Identify them and apply management controls to minimise risk. 
  • Controls: What is expected on each site? Site controls could include plant requirements such as beacons, radios, signage or reversing alarms. 
  • Contact lists: These should include frequent suppliers, health and safety representatives, neighbouring properties and emergency contacts. 



This Form is a guide only and does not contain a definitive list of legal or regulatory requirements. To meet your legal obligations, you are required to seek independent advice to assess your circumstances