Workplace health and safety (WHS) plans help to manage WHS risks in the workplace. To create an effective WHS management plan, you need to be organized and have a thorough understanding of the regulations involved. You can do this with our handy checklist.
A well-written, thorough plan will help your company reduce its liability and avoid fines from labour authorities. The first thing you need to do is think about what you want and need to include in your management plan.
You will need to ensure your management plan is compliant with the Work Health & Safety legislation and the WHS Regulation. The checklist below is a handy guide to ensure you’ve thought about everything before publishing your new WHS management plan.
PART A: WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY ARRANGEMENTS
- Start off with a purpose for the WHS Management plan – “establish and maintain an effective health and safety management system.”
- Include the organisation’s name and affirm commitment to implement and manage the plan to achieve its purpose in accordance with WHS legislation and regulations.
- State who the plan applies to: all officers, workers and other persons at risk from work related activities.
- End your statement of purpose with a firm intent to discipline those who contravene compliance with the WHS Management Plan.
2. Work Health and Safety (WHS) Policy
Under this section, your Plan should Include a:
- “Statement of Commitment” affirming your organization’s commitment to comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and any other relevant legislation as is possible.
- “Implementation of Policy Commitment” – a declaration that your company is committed as is reasonably practicable to the health and safety of employees, outworkers and apprentices, volunteers and the general public.
In your plan, define the following terminologies/roles:
- Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)
- Health and Safety Representative (HSR)
- Other persons
Outline the duties, obligations, and overall responsibilities of the following:
- PCBU – that is your organisations (you have the duty of care by law)
- The Chairperson and members of the Board
- Managers and Leaders
5. Consultation and Communication Arrangements
To encourage effective communication between management and workers and with or their representatives.
Outline the Terms of Reference for:
- Health and Safety Representatives (HSR)
- Health and Safety Committee
- Time of meeting
- Scope of meetings
- Management of Minutes including how to disseminate it to workers.
- Who is responsible for conducting training needs analysis and WHS training for workers?
- How would you assess competence of workers following training?
- Competency assessments should be signed and dated by the assessor/assessee. And it should contain: the description of the task, equipment handled/used, information on qualification, list of competencies demonstrated, and a comment/remark by the assessor.
7. WHS Risk Assessment
- A list of your organisation’s WHS policies and procedures to handle risks in the workplace.
- Documentation of outcomes of Risk Assessment.
- Implementation of Control measures for WHS hazards. Outline strategies that would be used: Elimination, substitution, isolation, engineering, administrative, use of personal protective equipment.
- Modalities for the review of control measures including time frame – at least annually or earlier.
8. Right of Entry
- WHS entry permit and photographic identification must be available.
9. WHS Issue Resolution
- Outline how WHS concerns will be resolved.
PART B: GENERAL WHS INFORMATION
1. Emergency Procedure
- Do you have an emergency evacuation plan?
- A list of emergency contacts
- Display emergency evacuation plan and emergency contact list in appropriate locations such as common areas, reception, offices, toilets, workshops, shed.
2. Hazard/Injury/Incident Reporting
- How to Report a Hazard or Injury or Incident
- Use a Hazard/Injury/Incident Report Form for record purposes
- Identify who would be responsible for filling the the injury register
3. Reporting of notifiable incidents
As soon as a serious incident happens, notify the Station Manager. The Station Manager’s responsibility is to submit a report as quickly as possible to Comcare (the government agency that is responsible).
4. First Aid
- Is there a First aid procedure as required by the Workplace Code of Practice?
- Appoint and training First Aid Officers (FAO)
- Have first aid kits been provided?
- Provide a bold signage for first aid kits, their location and the name of FAO
- Have you provided suitable first aid kits in vehicles?
5. WHS Training and Induction
- Generic WHS Training – induction training, WHS risk management training, evacuation procedures.
- Risk Specific WHS Training – for workers conducting activities known with specific risk to health and safety e.g. first aid training, hazardous substances training, confined spaces training etc.
- Task Specific WHS Training – improving the skills and ensuring licensing of workers responsible for handling certain tasks known for their specific hazards and risk such as farm equipment operation, driving forklifts, cranes and so on.
- WHS Induction – this should be carried out for new workers and managers
- Document Training
- Keep Training records.
6. Risk Management and the Risk Register
Undertake WHS risk management for all work related activities with potential for causing harm: before commencement of activities; when new equipment, procedures or processes are introduced; following the modification of equipment, procedures or processes.
Do/provide for the following:
- Regular inspections of the work environment to identify hazards
- Risk register
- Documented WHS policies and procedures
- Risk assessments of newly purchased equipment
- Risk assessments following changes in work processes
- Hazard, injury, incident reporting procedures
- Incident investigations
- WHS job safety analysis for specific work activities
- Review and Audit process
7. WHS Record Keeping
Provisions for the safe storage of WHS and workers compensation documents. Storage process should be reliable – can store documents up to 30 -years and retrieval should be hassle free. Access to documents is only to authorised personnel in line with Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth).
8. Documents to be displayed
Prepare and display the following documents:
- Emergency contact list
- Emergency Evacuation Plan
- Return to Work Policy
- Work Health and Safety Policy
- Accident/Incident Notification details
- Compensation and Return to Work information
PART C: SPECIFIC WHS REQUIREMENTS
Especially for buildings built before 31 December 2003, Asbestos management plan and asbestos register is required.
2. Inappropriate behaviour
Your plan should state how it intends to deal / investigate complaints and take action to resolve the complaint, and carry out disciplinary action for valid complaints.
- Verify that contractors are qualified to complete the tasks expected of them. Including having the relevant licenses, permits, registrations and insurance.
- Notify contractors of potential hazards
- In some cases especially for high-risk activities or workplaces, complete a Detailed WHS Induction for Contractors
- Ensure that contractors must abide by WHS requirements provided ab initio.
4. Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Substances
- Create a hazardous substances register and have the current Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical present on the register.
- Review process for the hazardous substances register which should be on a regular basis.
- Provisions for workers access to the hazardous substances register.
5. Plant and Equipment
- Outline a risk management process for “Plant and Equipment” which should be before purchase, following alterations, changes in the way it is used, relocation, or in the event that more health and safety information becomes available.
- State the process for inspections, maintenance and repair
- How the organisation intends to keep Records of inspection, testing and monitoring. Records should include at least the details of inspections, maintenance, repair, calibration and alteration.
6. Personal Protective Equipment
- Policy on the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may when it is required to protect workers during hazardous tasks.
- Arrangements for the training of workers in the safe use, storage and maintenance of PPE
PART D: FORMS AND CHECKLIST
Your WHS Management plan should include as attachments at least the following forms/checklists:
- Emergency Contacts List
- Hazard/Injury/Incident Report Form
- WHS Induction Checklist for New Workers
- WHS Training Register
- WHS Hazard Inspection checklist
- Hazardous Substances Register
Part E:Software and WHS Management Systems
Where applicable your WHS Management Plan should make provisions and explain the role of WHS management systems or other electronic programs that would be used in WHS Management. If you’d like to learn more about the WHS Management system check this blog post.
In general WHS Management systems are typically an all-in-one solution developed to make the job of PCBUs in ensuring a safe workplace and making WHS compliance easier. There are many features like automated incident reporting, in-built forms, remote management, inventory tracking, automatic alert etc.