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Work health and safety management plans

If you are the principal contractor for a construction project, you must prepare a written work health and safety management plan (WHS management plan) for the workplace before work on the project commences.

A ‘construction project’ is a project that involves construction work where 5 or more persons are, or are likely to be, working at the same time.

What do I need to include in a WHS management plan?

The WHS management plan must include:

  • the names, positions and health and safety responsibilities of those who have positions or roles involving specific health and safety responsibilities in connection with the project
  • the arrangements in place , between any persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) on  site for consultation, cooperation and the coordination of activities in relation to compliance with their duties under the WHS laws
  • the arrangements in place for managing any work health and safety incidents that occur
  • any site-specific health and safety rules, and the arrangements for ensuring everyone at the workplace is informed of the rules
  • the arrangements for the collection and any assessment, monitoring and review of safe work method statements.

What else do I need to do?

The work health and safety laws (WHS laws) also require you to:

  • make sure (so far as reasonably practicable) that each person who is to carry out construction work on the project is made aware of the content of the WHS management plan and their right to inspect it. You need to do this before work starts
  • review and, as necessary, revise the WHS plan to make sure it is up to date
  • make sure (so far as reasonably practicable) that each person carrying out construction work is made aware of any revision
  • make sure a copy is readily accessible
  • make sure a copy is available for inspection.

How long do I need to keep the WHS management plan?

You need to make sure that a copy, of the initial plan and all revised versions are kept until:

  • the project is completed; or
  • if a notifiable incident occurs, at least 2 years after the incident occurs.

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

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