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Question: When am I required to prepare a site specific WHS Management Plan?

Answer: The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 requires that the principal contractor for a construction project prepare a written work health and safety (WHS) Management Plan for the workplace before work on the project commences.

A WHS management plan should outline the principal contractor’s WHS policies, training, risk management process, subcontractor management, injury management and continuous monitoring and review.

Structuring a WHS management plan around headings will help ensure the mandatory aspects of a WHS management plan are documented. Importantly, it will also assist builders and/or construction companies in ensuring that other important requirements have been considered and addressed in respect of the project concerned. These heading include:

  1. Project description.
  2. Responsibilities.
  3. Consultation, induction and training.
  4. Identify hazards, assess and control risks.
  5. Managing subcontractors.
  6. Managing incidents; and,
  7. Monitor and review of plan.

The principal contractor must ensure that everyone working on the project is made aware of the WHS management plan’s content and their right to inspect the plan, before they commence work on the project.

The principal contractor must also review the WHS management plan to ensure it is kept up to date and that all relevant people are informed of any amendments.

For more information on WHS Management Plan compliance and guidance notes you can visit the WorkSafe WHS Management Plan Guidance.

Question: How can I monitor fatigue in the workplace?

Answer: Everyone in the workplace has a work health and safety duty and can help to ensure fatigue doesn’t create a risk to health and safety at work.

Examples of identifying factors that may cause fatigue in the workplace include:

  • consulting workers–managers, supervisors and health and safety representatives–about the impact of workloads and work schedules, including work-related travel and work outside normal hours
  • examining work practices, systems of work and worker records, for example sign in-out sheets
  • reviewing workplace incident data and human resource data.

Examples of control measures for fatigue risks that could be considered include:

  • work scheduling
  • shift work and rosters
  • job demands
  • environmental conditions
  • non-work related factors
  • workplace fatigue policy.

Providing information and training to workers about the factors that can contribute to fatigue and the risks associated with it will help them to not only do their job, but also implement control measures to minimise the risk of fatigue in the workplace.

Training about fatigue and relevant workplace policies should be arranged so it is available to all workers on all shifts.

Once control measures are implemented, they should be monitored and reviewed to make sure they remain effective. Consider implementing trial periods for any new work schedules and encouraging workers to provide feedback on their effectiveness.

For further information on WHS Legislation and obligations, register for our free WHS & Employment Obligations workshop on Tuesday 24th March 2020 at 7:30am here.

If you have any WHS related enquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (02) 6175 5900.