5.1 What is a WHS management plan?
All construction projects (i.e. construction work costing $250,000 or more) must have a written WHS management plan prepared by or on behalf of the principal contractor before work on the construction project commences.
A WHS management plan is a written plan that sets out the arrangements for managing
some site health and safety matters. The intention of a WHS management plan is to
ensure the required processes are in place to manage the risks associated with a complex
construction project, as there are usually many contractors and subcontractors involved and circumstances can change quickly from day to day.
The WHS management plan must be in writing and must be prepared by or on behalf of the principal contractor before a project commences. It should be easily understood by workers (including contractors and subcontractors). It may not be necessary to communicate the entire WHS management plan to all workers; however, they must be made aware of the parts that are applicable to the work they are carrying out.
5.2 What must the WHS management plan contain?
The WHS Management Plan must contain:
– names of persons at the workplace whose positions or roles involve specific health and
– safety responsibilities, for example site supervisors, project managers, first aid officers
arrangements for consultation, cooperation and coordination
– arrangements for managing incidents
– site-specific health and safety rules and how people will be informed of the rules
– arrangements to collect and assess, monitor and review SWMS.
It may also include information on:
– the provision and maintenance of a hazardous chemicals register, safety data sheets and hazardous chemicals storage the safe use and storage of plant
– the development of a construction project traffic management plan
– obtaining and providing essential services information
– workplace security and public safety
– ensuring workers have appropriate licences and training to undertake the construction
5.3 How to prepare a WHS management plan
While a WHS management plan is required for every construction project, a principal
contractor may prepare a generic WHS management plan that applies to several
construction projects, if the arrangements to manage work health and safety are the same for each construction project. However the principal contractor must review and revise the plan to ensure it addresses the risks of the actual workplace.
5.4 Informing people about the WHS management plan
The principal contractor must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that all persons who are to carry out construction work on the construction project are made aware of the content of the WHS management plan in respect to their work and their right to inspect the plan.
The principal contractor may do this by:
– giving subcontractors a copy of the plan with a requirement to make their workers aware of the contents of the plan that are applicable to their work, prior to commencing work on site, and checking to make sure this is done
– displaying the plan on site on a sign or a sticker
– giving each worker a copy of the plan directly.
5.5 Reviewing and revising a WHS management plan
The principal contractor must review and, as necessary, revise the WHS management plan to ensure it remains up-to-date and relevant for the construction project.
Situations where a WHS management plan may be reviewed include where there are
significant changes to site conditions that result in changes to the contents such as site
safety rules, or persons with responsibility for health and safety.
Following the revision of the WHS management plan, if a process has changed, the principal contractor must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that each person carrying out construction work in connection with the construction project is made aware of the revisions to the WHS management plan. This may be achieved in the same manner as detailed in section 5.4.
5.6 Keeping the WHS management plan
The WHS management plan (including any revisions to it) must be kept and made available to any person engaged to carry out the construction work, and for inspection until the construction project is completed and for at least 2 years after a notifiable incident occurs.