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For effective management of workplace OHS WHS Safety Policies Procedures, you need a clear, concise, and comprehensive system in place that guarantees easy access for all personal. This guide provides five proven strategies for Document Control that effectively handles your workplace OHS WHS Safety documents and allays any potential confusion.

What is Document Control?

Document control is a series of arrangements that ensure personal have consistent and easy access to the most up-to-date system documentation, allowing them to work effectively at all times.

1. Identify and register

All OHS WHS management system documents (guides, policies, procedures, work instructions, forms, etc) must be uniquely identified. All pages should be numbered, including the total number of pages. All documents should also be entered in a controlled document register where the distribution list of each document is recorded.

Correct identification of all documents will hold you in good stead when trying to efficiently organise your operations.

2. Review and authorise

All documents must be reviewed and authorised prior to their issue, and up to date records of reviews and authorisations should be kept on file.

3. Issue and distribution

It is important to keep controlled copies of documents in one place so that personal needing access to the distribution list has it at all times. A receipt of the documents should be verified.

All uncontrolled copies of OHS WHS documents should be clearly labelled "UNCONTROLLED", to prevent personal from accidentally working with an uncontrolled document.

All locations of documents should be defined in the register. Any document found at a location other than as defined, should be considered ‘Uncontrolled’.

Managers and supervisors should ensure that your documents can be easily located and are easily accessible to all personnel who need them for their work.

In some instances, documents will be issued in languages other than English. The translation of documents to languages other than English should be controlled and authorised, and full document control should be applied to the translated items.

When required, work instructions and signs may be in the form of pictures, drawings, colours and other visual means, rather than text.

4. Revise and cancel

When documents are revised or cancelled, the superseded documents should be withdrawn from all points of issue, so as to prevent accidental use of out-of-date documents.

Electronic Documents

Full document control, as defined in this Guide, should apply to all controlled electronic documents.

5. Control your external requirements

An up-to-date, controlled library of all external documents used for the OHS WHS Management System should be kept. This will generally include acts, regulations, and codes of practice, Australian Standards, publications and any other external and internal documents referenced in the OHS WHS management system documentation.