WHS Documents & Tendering

If you are wanting to grow your business and win more work, you will need the right WHS documents in place. 

Tendering for contracts or trying to win larger jobs can be an exhaustive part of business. It’s challenging trying to submit safety plans at the last minute whilst continuing to run a business as well as doing your usual work. To avoid this stress, you need a suite of safety documents that you will be able to easily access and send on to the Principle Contractor whenever you need them. 

Most Principal Contractors want to see that you have a quality work health and Safety Management System (WHSMS) in place. Put simply, a WHSMS is a system of policies, procedures and practices which result in you and your team working safely. The Principal Contractor wants to be assured that your business operates safely, that risks will be managed while you work for them, and that you understand your safety obligations. Hence, why they require you to submit evidence of your safe system of work. 

If you don’t have the correct WHS documents and practices in place, you may miss out on winning the work. Principal Contractors want to work with reliable, safe operators and really don’t want to be held up by subcontractors that don’t already have their safety in order. Big Yellow Safety can help you get ahead of the competition and have your WHS documents ready to go including the required policies, procedures, checklists and other documents. 

Some of the common documents in a safety management system are listed below. Keep in mind thought that this is not an exhaustive list, and documents alone don’t equate to a safe system of work. If you need support, get in touch with our Gold Coast based WHS Consulting team. 

WHS Documents


Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

Under a range of state OHS and WHS legislation, certain High-Risk work tasks, require Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS). Furthermore, some companies require sub-contractors to prepare SWMS for the work that they are going to do for them.

SWMS are not intended to be a procedure but rather a document that is prepared in consultation with all relevant persons.

Safe Work Australia is a great resource for information.

Safe Work Procedures (SWP) or Safe/Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

A safe work procedure (SWP) is a written document that provides step-by-step instructions on how to safely perform a task or activity in the workplace. It can also be referred to as a standard operating procedure (SOP), or a safe work instruction (SWI). The main purpose is to standardise a production or work task. By doing so employers can improve efficiency, quality, and prevent safety incidents.

Safe work procedures are a practical and consistent way for everyone to commit to safety. They clearly:

  • document the sequence of steps for doing the task safely; and 
  • incorporate the appropriate risk control measures into those steps.

Procedures provide workers, supervisors, and officers with steps that they must follow in specific environments or situations, or when utilising pieces of equipment for work tasks. When trained on how to use a safe work procedure, everyone in the workplace will know the safe way to do their job and will work the same way. They won’t need to guess or make things up as they go along.


Risk Register

A risk register is a central tool for businesses to use to monitor and reduce risks, both those identified during initial safety assessments and those emerging during operations. A risk register contains a list of potential hazards and associated risks that are rated before and after controls have been implemented.

A risk register is useful for providing a snapshot of all of the risks at a location or in a business and tracking the risk controls. When populated with information on each risk, including risk ranking, the risk register can be analysed to present the risk profile for different aspects of the business.

Chemical Register

A hazardous chemical register is a list of all hazardous chemicals stored, handled, or used at a workplace. The hazardous chemicals register should be accompanied by the current Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each of those chemicals.

The risk register should be readily accessible to all workers involved in the use, storage, and handling of the hazardous chemicals at the workplace and to anyone else who is likely to be affected by a hazardous chemical at the workplace. The register must be updated as new hazardous chemicals are introduced to the workplace or when the use of a particular hazardous chemical is discontinued.

Under the Model WHS Regulations businesses using hazardous chemicals must prepare a register and keep it up to date so workers can easily find information about chemicals stored, handled, or used at the workplace.


WHS policies

WHS policies apply to staff, contractors, and customers and outline the objectives and duties of the business as well as the duties of all: staff and contractors. Even if you run a small business and employ only a handful of workers, you can’t afford to assume everyone knows what is required with workplace health and safety. You should never assume that safety is ‘common sense’— a workplace that relies solely on ‘common sense’ is likely to be unsafe and serious workplace incidents could lead to heavy fines and even jail time under industrial manslaughter laws. 

Safety policies show your business is serious about people’s safety: about preventing work-related injury and illness. They put your business’ commitment down on paper and out in your workplace once it is displayed on walls and noticeboards.

Workplace health and safety is the responsibility of every business and any individual with controlling power over a work area. Safety policies assist workers and organisations to fulfil their legislative responsibilities under the Workplace Health and Safety Act.

Safe work starts with effective, known, and understood policies.

Unlike off the shelf products, our policies are tailored to your workplace, offering better protection for you and your business. Included in all packages is complimentary advice on how to successfully and compliantly introduce new policies to staff. We recommend policies on:

  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Workplace Health and Safety Roles and Responsibilities
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • EEO Bullying and Harassment
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Psychological Health and Wellbeing
  • Workplace Health and Safety Training
  • Noise
  • Remote and Isolated Work
  • Stress and Fatigue
  • Plant and Equipment
  • Site Environmental

The documentation that has been mentioned above is only indicative of some of the documentation that we have been able to assist our previous clients with. These WHS document improvements aided in the foundational development of a safe system of work for our previous clients businesses and they can do the same for you.

Contact us to arrange a free introductory call about how we can help you with the development of WHS documents for your business. Or give us a call on 07 5655 4048 for more info. Our safety services cover Gold Coast, Tweed and Northern Rivers regions.