Stormwater assets represent a number of risks to the person.
For example, confined spaces may include the inherent dangers of entrapment, engulfment and asphyxiation. As such, Auckland Council acknowledges that under the Health and Safety Reform Bill as a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) that they may have overlapping duties for any persons wishing to access that asset. In discharging those duties, the council shall make every effort to advise the public through the Engineering Approval or Asset Owner Approval process based on a known application. In doing so, the council requires the applicant to submit for review a safe work methodology with supporting training evidence and an applied risk assessment relating to the intended work.
Based on that review, the council may seek to monitor the work or may request that the applicant provides evidence to demonstrate that the work has been monitored and inspected to meet the intent of the safe work methodology. This includes ensuring that all workers participate in carrying out the safe work methodology, that workers are ultimately free from the potential of harm, and that all identified safety improvements are implemented at that time.
In addition, any confined spaces within the public stormwater network shall only be accessed by an authorised and trained person. Access to combined networks is managed by Watercare and shall comply with Watercare’s requirements, including health and safety.
18.104.22.168. Access Granted by Engineering Approval
Prior to commencing any physical works on the public stormwater network involving physical access, all contractors shall meet the council’s minimum health and safety requirements for physical works (HS262), have a current, Site-Specific Safety Plan (or safe work methodology) for the particular project, and have gained Engineering Approval if required. Where the council is aware of an existing site-specific hazard, they will notify the contractor of it.
Examples of works to be undertaken under Engineering Approval are:
- New connection to a pipeline
- Maintenance/repair of existing stormwater pipelines
- Construction of a new stormwater asset to be vested in the council.
22.214.171.124. Access Granted by Asset Owner Approval
Contractors requiring access to the public stormwater network for purposes other than physical works shall undertake such works under approval from Auckland Council.
Access to services within the road reserve also requires a Corridor Access Request (CAR) approval from Auckland Transport. The contractor shall also obtain all necessary land owner approvals for access.
Examples of works for which approval is required from Auckland Council as the asset owner are:
- CCTV inspection
- Jetting and other cleaning
- Visual inspection requiring physical entry to network
- Any other physical access to the network not involving physical works.
126.96.36.199. Non-Man Entry Inspection
Opening of covers for short durations (for example, to check depths) not involving physical access to the system is permitted, providing the contractor uses the appropriate tools and complies with Auckland Council’s minimum health and safety requirements for physical works (HS262), and obtains all necessary approvals (for example for land access, working in the road (CAR approval), etc.).
188.8.131.52. Safety in Design
Design of all stormwater assets shall consider health and safety risk throughout the life of the asset and shall help to promote the safety of Auckland Council employees, contractors, the public, property, and operating personnel. As PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking), designers, architects, engineers, manufacturers, and suppliers or installers of structures such as stormwater pipes hold a duty of care under the Health and Safety Reform Bill. PCBUs are required to consider all aspects of risk during all phases of the asset life, including design, construction, operation and decommissioning. Operational risks shall be considered during both normal use and in extreme storm events.
Operation and maintenance activities often involve personnel working within live networks. Design engineers shall ensure that all practicable measures are included in the design to facilitate safe working conditions in and around the asset.
As these assets will generally be developed in urban areas, careful consideration is also needed in design and construction with respect to how the public may interact with the asset, to ensure public safety.