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1.1 What are these guidelines about?

These guidelines provide advice on how to manage the health and safety risks road and roadside workers are exposed to while at work. They can help persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) to meet their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

The guidelines are grouped into five parts:

Part A has a general introduction to applying a risk management approach in the road and roadside work environment, and guidance on how to provide for road and roadside worker health and safety throughout the contracting chain.

Part B offers good practice advice for managing common health risks for road and roadside workers.

Part C offers good practice advice for managing common safety risks for road and roadside workers.

Part D offers good practice advice regarding worker facilities, training and certifications, personal protective equipment (PPE), and worker inductions.

Appendices 1-6 include a glossary of terms and more detailed explanations of key health and safety duties under HSWA.

1.2 Who should read these guidelines?

These guidelines are for any PCBU who is involved in road or roadside work at any point in the contracting chain, for example:

  • a PCBU that has workers working on a road or roadside
  • a PCBU that has control of a road or roadside and contracts work to be done on that road or roadside
  • a PCBU that subcontracts other PCBUs to do work on a road or roadside
  • a PCBU that is responsible for designing or implementing temporary traffic management plans for road or roadside work.

These guidelines are written to accommodate the wide range of knowledge and experience of PCBUs that may refer to it. In some instances, PCBUs may need to refer to relevant experts for further guidance on how to implement or execute recommended practices.

These guidelines may also be useful for health and safety professionals when providing health and safety advice to PCBUs who are involved with road or roadside work, or those who are part of the contracting chain.

1.3 What work is covered by these guidelines

These guidelines cover all work being done on a road or roadside. Examples of road and roadside work include:

[image] Circle diagram showing examples of road and roadside work
Figure 1: Examples of road and roadside work


In these guidelines the terms road and roadside are used to mean the following:

Road: The area of land between the legal boundaries, usually fence line to fence line (including any safety run-off areas), which is dedicated to allowing the passage of road users. Sometimes also known as the road reserve.

Roadside: The area near a road that may be affected by activity on the road, or where activity in that area may affect the road. For example, where:

  • a nearby road, or road users on that road, present a risk to workers
  • workers or the work activity present a risk to road users on a nearby road.

These guidelines apply to public and private roads.

1.4 What workers are covered by these guidelines?

These guidelines cover all workers who work on a road or roadside. Examples include:

  • the employees of road controlling authorities (RCAs)
  • the employees of PCBUs at all stages of the contracting chain:
    • contractors and their workers
    • subcontractors and their workers
  • labour hire and temporary workers
  • suppliers of professional services.


In some circumstances, work done on or near roads may be undertaken by volunteers or managed by a voluntary organisation or association.

When this is the case, PCBU duties under HSWA may still apply.

For more information, see Understanding the law: volunteers

1.5 Notifying WorkSafe

PCBUs must notify WorkSafe if any of the following events occur because of work that their business is responsible for:

  • a death
  • a notifiable illness or injury (a specified serious work-related illness or injury)
  • a notifiable incident (for example, an electric shock).

To notify WorkSafe:

For more information, see What events need to be notified?