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Work health and safety management plans

A work health and safety (WHS) management plan can assist principal contractors  to manage their workplace health and safety obligations.

The principal contractor for a construction project must prepare a written WHS management plan for the workplace before work on the project commences.

The plan must state:

  • the names, positions and health and safety responsibilities of all persons at the workplace whose positions or  roles involve specific health and safety responsibilities in connection with  the project
  • the arrangements in place, between any persons conducting a business or undertaking at the workplace where the construction project is being undertaken, for consultation, cooperation and the coordination of activities in relation to compliance with their duties
  • 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 that all persons at the workplace are informed of these rules
  • the arrangements for the collection and any assessment, monitoring and review of safe work method statements at the workplace.

The plan must be written so it is easy to understand, signed and dated by  the principal contractor. It must be available for the length of the project. If a notifiable incident occurs in connection with the construction project,  the person must keep the WHS management plan for at least two years after the  incident occurs.

The principal contractor must sign and date safe work  method statements that have been received and keep them with the  plan, as well as monitor their implementation.

The principal contractor cannot allow work to start unless:

  • the plan has been discussed with or a copy given to all relevant people
  • the plan is available or readily available for inspection.

The principal contractor for a construction project must review and, as  necessary, revise the WHS management plan if there are changes in how risks  will be managed. The principal contractors is also responsible to ensure that  the relevant people are informed of the revisions.