You can find out what a WHS Plan is here. In most states in Australia you need a WHS Plan when the project you are working on as the builder is worth more than $250 000. When you hit this mark you then become the Principal Contractor which makes you responsible under WHS law for a number of things, including having a WHS Management Plan.
However, just to make things confusing when the work is under $250 000 the legislation says you need to ensure the safety of workers, but it doesn’t tell you how to do it. That is why many builders and trade contractors who do smaller works will still ensure they have at least a basic WHS Plan.
They want to:
1. Be able to share with workers and others what the expectations of them are and
2. If something goes wrong they want to be able to prove to inspectors, investigators, insurance companies, lawyers and courts that they were working safely and that they have the evidence of doing so.
You may also be asked for a WHS management plan to do tenders, work for the government, work for insurance companies or even just large construction companies who want evidence that you have systems in place to work safely.
So as with safe work method statements you can see that for most businesses, having a WHS Plan puts them in a better position for many eventualities.