Construction sites are a dangerous place to work. Hazards arise and the site and environment continually change throughout the construction process. The catch phrase of “safety is everyone’s responsibility” whilst true, won’t stand up if a serious injury occurs. It will be risk assessments and the safety plan that will be the first thing that you will be asked for by an inspector.

A strong safety culture starts with all staff knowing the safety expectations and their duties and commitments.  To ensure that everyone understands their responsibility for safety on site, it is important to have a Work Health & Safety (WHS) Management Plan in place.

Whilst there are specific duties under the WHS Regulations for the construction sector, the Model Code of Practice Construction is the best place to understand what safety management plans and processes you must have in place for construction projects. The regulation requires that principal contractors are required to prepare a Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Plan for construction projects valued at over $250,000, and subbies that undertake high-risk construction work are required to have safe work method statements (SWMS). However, tier one principal contractors will often request far more than a SWMS from their sub-contractors to satisfy themselves that they meet the requirements of the WHS laws. There are distinct benefits in having a WHS Management Plan if you want to work for high profile construction companies.

What is a WHS management plan?

A WHS management plan is a document that sets out arrangements for managing health and safety matters on a construction project. The plan should contain, to name a few:

  • The names, positions and responsibilities of those working in construction
  • Arrangements for consultation, cooperation and coordination
  • Arrangements for incident management
  • Site specific safety rules
  • Expected hazards, risks and risk controls
  • The requirement for SWMS
  • The management of chemicals storage and use
  • The safe use and storage of plant
  • How the public will be protected and traffic managed
  • Licenses and competency requirements of workers

And then it is important that the plan is readily available and written in a way that it can be readily understood by your workers.

WHS risks and standards

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 plan in respect to their work and their right to inspect the plan.”

Work Health Safety Regulation 310


The WHS management plan (including any revisions to it) must be kept and made available to any worker employed to carry out construction work and produced for inspection until the construction project is complete. It must also be kept and made available for at least two years after an incident is recorded.

A comprehensive management plan may also include information on managing the quality and environmental aspects of a construction project. This is called a WHSEQ Management Plan, which is often required by tier one principal contractors.

Masula Compliance are very experienced at developing and helping contractors implement Construction WHS Management Plans. Tailored plans are the safest approach to working on site. Each site has its own unique working environment.

Here are our Top 10 reasons for implementing WHS management plans.

Learn more about implementing WHS management plans

For more information on work health and safety for your business, or to book a Complimentary Consultation, get in touch with the team from Masula Compliance on 07 3348 3666 or email