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WHS management plans – is paper on the way out?

Principal contractors in Queensland are required to prepare a written work health and safety management plan before work commences. Contractors must also ensure as much as possible that everyone working on the project knows what’s in the plan and that they have a right to see it (sections 309 and 310 of the WHS Regulation).

But does there need to be a copy of the WHS management plan on paper? The short answer is no – the regulation does not specify what format the plan must be in, or where it must be kept.

A WHS management plan could be made available in several formats—on a website accessed via QR code on tablets or phones or displayed as a sign—as long as it complies with section 313 of the WHS Regulation. However, you can’t rely solely on an electronic version as it must be readily available to any worker on the project site at any given time (including those without smart phones) and must always be available for viewing (even when there is an internet or power outage).

The plan must be specific to the site to which it relates and available for the duration of the project—and two years after completion if there is a notifiable incident on the project. WHSQ inspectors must be able to see the plan when they visit your site.

Choose the format most appropriate and functional for your site and make sure you tick off the requirements of section 313.

Further information

Read more at Work health and safety management plans |