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A Safety Management Plan (SMP), also known as a Work Health and Safety Management Plan (WHSMP) is crucial to the safe and successful completion of any construction project. The end goal for any principal contractor is zero injury or risk to those on site throughout the entirety of a project. 

An SMP is a legal requirement on all construction sites. It is a document that, when done correctly, ensures all site Work Health and Safety policies and procedures are met by each contractor. It acts as a reference in which any and all injuries and risks are reviewed and managed. 

A Safety Management Plan (SMP) also know as a Work Health Safety Management Plan (WHSMP) is crucial to the safe and successful completion of any construction project.

A Safety Management Plan (SMP) can save you time, money and angst, and most importantly, can safeguard the workers on your site.

Your worksite’s SMP should be in place and understood prior to the commencement of any works on a construction site.

So, what’s included in a Safety Management Plan?

While each site may outline unique information in their SMP relevant to their project, there are a number of key pieces of information that, at a minimum should be included in your workplace SMP:

  • Information of key personnel (including names, roles on site and responsibilities of each individual or group). These key team members may include but are not limited to, the Principal Contractor, Project Manager, WHS Representative and Site Supervisor. 
  • Site and project-specific information such as site access and security, fitness for work, working hours and required training, as well as competency and induction requirements.
  • An outline of the management process of risks and incidents, including risk control procedures, incident reporting and notification processes, site safety rules and rehabilitation processes in the event of an incident. 
  • Safe Work procedures and the management of contractors and workers. This section should reference your worksite’s JSAs, SWMS and other WHS procedures that ensure the safe rollout of works onsite, in compliance with both the Work Health & Safety Act and Regulations for your state or territory. You may also wish to cover topics such as fatigue management and safety discipline across your contractor pool in this section. 
  • Consultation and Communication processes on site. In this section of your SMP, you may wish to outline what methods of communication are in place with subcontractors across the entirety of the project. This would likely include daily pre-start meetings and weekly toolbox consultations. These meetings are an opportunity for discussions around continuous improvement and site safety.
  • It is important that your SMP includes an overview of document control and record keeping. How will the SMP be recorded? How regularly will it be reviewed and updated? How do you plan to ensure the document is controlled properly? 

Who is responsible for developing the Safety Management Plan?

Ultimately, the responsibility of pulling together an SMP lies with the principal contractor of the project. With assistance from other key personnel such as a WHS Representative or other external stakeholders, the principal contractor should have the knowledge and understanding of the project, its requirements and WHS legislation to pull the SMP together. 

A Safety Management Plan can be quite comprehensive and can take some time to pull together properly. Our advice? Get started on developing a site-specific SMP well before your proposed project commencement date. 

A Safety Management Plan can seem a little daunting to develop, however once completed, it can save you time, money and angst, and more importantly, can safeguard the workers on your site.

To help create your SMP, Builder Assist offers a number of templates that are user-friendly and instantly downloaded. Each of these include:

  • Industry-leading documentation developed by award-winning industry experts
  • Microsoft formatting for easy editing
  • Customisable to your company brand
  • Full instructions on how to use the templates

Learn more, or to purchase a Safety Management Plan template, here 

View the Work Health & Safety Act, Regulations and Codes of Practice in your state or territory, here

You can also view the Work Health & Safety Regulators in your state or territory, by visiting 

Not sure what documentation you need to be across in your trade? We’ve got you covered! Builder Assist have pulled together the most up to date resources and requirements for all trade types across the country in this easy-to-navigate webpage.