The Easy Guide to getting a high score in Sitewise

Sitewise, by Site Safe is one of the more popular Contractor Pre-qualification services in New Zealand. If you’re in the trades then it’s likely you’ve been asked by one of your clients to get “Sitewise Green”. Basically, this is a thumbs up that your business meets the minimum of Safety Standards. Alternatives to Site Wise include IMPAC Prequal and Nailed It Safety Solutions’ very own Contractor Pre-qualification service. While this guide is intended to help you with Sitewise, it will also help you with other pre-qualification services out there.

DID YOU KNOW? Nailed It Safety Solutions offer a bit of a free helpline (to both clients and non clients) when it comes to Sitewise. Contact us if you need a hand; we respond instantly via phone and within a couple of hours by email.

DISCLAIMER: This guide is unofficial. We’ve not run it past Sitewise or Sitesafe so they’ve not had the chance to confirm any of the tips in the guide. However, Nailed It Safety’s done quite a few of these and we’ve published this guide to help others. If you have any of your own tips, or if you have any corrections, post them below and we’ll update the guide.

What’s the point of Sitewise?

Sitewise by Site Safe basically gives your clients a quick and easy way to see if your Health and Safety is up to the basic standard. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, every business must ensure that any subcontractors they engage have the basics in place. Otherwise, this type of thing happens. Your client wants to know if you have your Health and Safety up to speed. Site Wise is popular for “pre-qualification” as this process is called because it is 1) A centralised database with a large number of contractors and clients on it, and 2) It’s relatively straight foward to complete.

If you don’t complete Site Wise or get a bad score then you’re basically telling your client (or potential client) that you’re not up to scratch. This may mean that work orders go to a competitor instead of your company until you get things sorted.

What’s the quickest way to get a decent score in Sitewise?

Can we be honest with you? The quickest way to get a decent score in Sitewise is to outsource it. Nailed It Safety Solutions has worked with hundreds of tradies and usually scores in the high 90’s. We guarantee Sitewise Green!

How much it costs depends on what you’ve got in place already and when you need it be done by. The first step is free; it doesn’t cost anything to get a free Action Plan done up by one of our team. Contact us today and we’ll meet with you to review where you’re at and what needs to be done.

If you’re still wanting to do it yourself then it can take quite a bit of time. Follow our guide below to get a good score in Sitewise.

Achieving top marks in Sitewise.

Good preparation is the quickest way to do this. You don’t want to be hunting for documentation over and over again. You will need:

  1. A Health And Safety System / policy that is specific to your business. ie, if you’re a builder it actually covers things like standing frames etc. If you don’t have one, contact Nailed It Safety.
  2. A least 3 of each of the following documents. They should be in order – ie 3 weeks/jobs/sites in a row.
    1. SSSPs (Site Specific Safety Plans)
    2. Pre-starts (if you use them) or Toolbox Talks (yes, they must be written down)
    3. Critical Risk Documentation, such as Task Analysis’ or JSAs. Ensure that they’re signed by more than just one person.
  3. Incident or Near Miss reports, plus a Accident and Near Miss register.
  4. Copies of the Health and Safety Polices for any Subbies that you pay the bills of (ie, you’re the one who engages them)
  5. Training Matrix; A list of training that you’ve put yourself or your staff through.
  6. Hazard Register; a list of Hazards and Controls for your work.
  7. Any Health Reports – hearing and lung fuction tests, etc. if you’ve had them done. If you’re unsure if you need them done you need to seek specialist advice.
  8. Hazardous Substances Register – a list of hazardous substances and how you control them.

Preparing your Site Wise Submission.

1. Insurance

For this question we are looking for evidence of company insurances such as Public Liability, Indemnity, Vehicle, General business insurance or other insurance appropriate for your business. To select insurances, scroll down to “Add Insurance Type” and select all insurances that apply from the drop-down.

Please ensure that expiry dates are noted.
You will need to upload documentation such as Policy documents, certificates or covering letters from your insurance company to support your answer. Out of date insurance policies are not valid evidence.

Tips

  1. Most clients are after public liability and vehicle. If you’re a consultant then they may be wanting professional indemnity also.
  2. You need to attach the insurance certificate which can be obtained from your broker. This is different from your Insurance Policy. It’s a one pager that looks like this

2. SSSPs and Health and Safety Management Plan.

If you use a SSSP, please upload a comprehensive and recent example (within the last 12 months). A comprehensive example of a SSSP should include the following: A signed agreement or statement of intent ( signed by both PCBU 1 & PCBU 2), a hazard/risk register, a completed T/A, JSA or SWMS, a record of training and competencies for workers, an emergency response plan, toolbox meetings or pre-start discussion minutes, an inspection checklist, an incident/accident register and a hazardous substance register and/or inventory (if used)

NB: If you do not use a SSSP or Safety Management Plan due to the type of work you carry out please provide a copy of an up to date and relevant health and safety policy and procedures or SOP (standard operating procedures) which is signed and dated and appropriate for your business.

This is a two parter, asking for your H&S Management Plan and/or your SSSPs that you gathered before. If you have both, great!

Because your Sitewise assessment will be assessed by an actual human, go out of your way to make things easy to find. PDF editors such as PhantomPDF have highlighter tools for your to help the assessor find the right information

  1. You’ll need to upload a signed version of your H&S Policy (Management Plan). This is a multiple page document that is generally provided by a Health and Safety Consultancy. It will explain how you manage risks within your buisness and contain your written processes for doing your work.
  2. Your policy should be specific to your business or industry. The required standard is AS/NZ4801:20001
  3. Make the SSSPs clearly specify who is responsible for each role onsite. Who is the “PCBU in charge of site”? Yes, it needs to be spelled out.

Safety Meetings and Toolbox Talks

This question requires evidence that safety meetings or ‘toolbox talks’ are taking place and how frequently. The greater the frequency, the higher the score you will achieve.

In order to verify frequency, we require at least three consecutive examples, i.e. if you’re conducting weekly H&S meetings, we need to see evidence such as minutes taken, diary entries, etc from at least three consecutive weeks.

NB. For companies who do not employ any staff (sole traders), this question can be eliminated and will be marked as not applicable if you select the appropriate option below.

  1. Yes, you need to record your toolbox talks. Doing so can be sped up with a template, or record them on audio.
  2. Content is king, make sure that your toolbox talks detail discussions about the work that you do. Ensure that they’re in order, the more frequent the pattern then the better chance you’ll have of full marks.

Incident and Near Miss Reports

Please provide evidence such as completed incident investigation forms for any injuries or near misses that have occurred in the last 12 months.

If no incidents or near-misses have been reported or investigated, please provide a copy of your accident register which has been signed off periodically showing no incidents or near-misses have occurred during that time frame.

  1. Submit copies of individual reports. These should show 1) The event, 2)What’s been done about it 3) that the boss has reviewed / seen the report 3) an itemised list of actions plus when they were signed off.
  2. Include a register of your reports (all of them) covering just the basics (who, what, when, where and what next)

Contractors

If you engage sub-contractors, (other than labour only arrangements) please provide a copy of a subcontractor’s SSSP or safety plan that has been completed by the sub-contractor and sign off by both the sub-contractor and yourself.

There should also be a completed evaluation form filled in which shows that the SSSP has been reviewed to ensure all relevant information has been included.

NB: If you do not engage sub-contractors, please select “Do not engage sub-contractors” and this question will be marked as “Not Applicable”.

If you engage subcontractors then you have an obligation to make sure they’re up to speed. In the past, this largely meant the quality of their work. Nowadays, it also means that they have good safety practices in place. In our experience, companies that don’t have good safety practices don’t have good processes for anything in place .

  1. Go to a few contractors, collect from them 1) Health and Safety Policy 2)SSSP 3) Insurance 4) Training and Competency register.
  2. Check them against the working with contractors checklist found in your own Health and Safety policy.
  3. Provide both the contractor’s files (zip them first) and the checklist you checked them with

Training and Competency

Please provide evidence of your workers’ qualifications and/or training and competencies which may also include years of experience.

Workers should be trained to at least the minimum required by legislation, regulations and/or approved codes of practice, standards and industry best practice. Some points will be awarded if you can demonstrate you are working towards attaining certain standards.

Evidence should include all health and safety based training, skills training, trade licences (LBP, Gas Fitters, Electricians) trade certifications, equipment & operator licences and years of experience.

  1. Write up a spreadsheet with the qualifications of your team. This is largely specific to your job but should definitly include any qualifications necessary for your trade (LBP, trade certifications).
  2. Don’t forget about staff inductions, internal training (near miss reporting, equipment or task training or competencies), years of experience, first aid certificates etc.
  3. SiteWise, as it’s run by SiteSafe, places a high emphasis on Health and Safety Leadership training so if you’ve done anything like that be sure to include it (including if it was done by a different organisation).

Hazard Identification and Management

Please provide evidence that you have a systematic process in place to identify risks and how you assess the level of risk. Evidence could include a copy of a risk register or a risk assessment which links risks and hazards to specific scope of works and shows it is assessed, monitored and updated if required.

Key here is “Systematic” ie, a thorough process so that you don’t miss anything.

  1. Copy and paste from your H&S policy your “Hazard Identification and Management Process”
  2. Provide evidence that you are following it – include copies of scoping checklists, pre-starts, TA’s etc. Whatever you do to identify hazards within your line of work.

Inspections

Please provide evidence that you have a structured approach which allows you to carry out inspections that may be required.

In construction, this evidence should include copies of completed site inspection checklists or safety audits. At least three examples are required to verify frequency and follow-up

NB: If you do not work on, or visit construction or building sites, other examples of inspections may include vehicle, venue/office or plant and equipment, equipment etc. Registers showing inspection prior to work commencing or other regular inspections which may be carried out in relation to the work you do would be relevant evidence for this question.

Why do inspections? Because they drive improvement within your company and catch any hazards before they injure someone.

  1. The inspections do not need to be 10 pages long; short 5 min inspections can suffice.
  2. If you’re a builder then you should really consider external H&S inspections (optional for sitewise)

Critical Risk Work

Please provide evidence that planning is in place for any high risk work carried out by your company. This could include but is not limited to the following;

Remote or isolated tasks, atmospheres with the potential to cause fire or explosion, raised and falling objects including crane work, working in enclosed spaces, working at heights, high voltage or electrical works, unguarded machinery, working on or near roads, substances hazardous to health, and all notifiable works.

Evidence could include a copy of a detailed and comprehensive example of a Task Analysis, JSA or SMWS and include evidence of staff participation e.g. toolbox talk minutes, staff signatures.

 

Is it all worth while?

With Sitewise, the answer is generally yes, because of it’s popularity you will keep coming across it over and over again. If you achieve a good score then you can incorporate their Sitewise Green logo into your branding. We love it when we score 100% for our clients 😀

 

 

 

Chris Brosnan

Chris Brosnan

Chris is the director of Nailed It Safety Solutions, a Christchurch-based Health and Safety company specialising in Residential Construction and Tourism. If you like any of his blog posts and want to catch up for a coffee then it’s a good bet he’s up for that.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Nailed It Safety. Nailed It Safety Solutions Limited, its directors, and shareholders will not be held liable for the use or misuse of this information.

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