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Qualification Code: BSB41415
Unit Code: BSBWHS404
Unit Name: Contribute to WHS hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control (Release 1)
Qualification Name and Release Number: Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
Assessment Event One
Minimum compliance with the obligations of the WHS Act 2011 and Regulations 2017 requires an organisation to have systematic arrangements for the identification of workplace hazards and risk management processes that ensure WHS risks are identified, assessed, controlled, monitored and reviewed. In this assessment task you will be asked questions relating to how you would contribute to ensuring hazard identification and risk assessment processes are effectively undertaken in an organisation. You will do this from the perspective of a WHS practitioner or other organisation representative tasked with the responsibility and accountability for WHS.
Element One: Access information to identify hazards, and assess and control risks
What internal (i.e. WHSMS) and external (i.e. legislative requirements) sources of information would you require in completing a hazard identification or risk assessment process? Identify at least five (4) important sources of both internal and external information and data. Highlight how you would access this information.
Workplace policies and processes and standards
Workplace standards and guidelines often include a reinforcement of the standard operating procedures, also called SOPs, in the workplace. These are written policies which aim to be the primary information book of the employees so that they will be aware of the proper behaviour and work technicalities.
All employees must be made aware of the policy, which should be subject to regular review and revision in the light of experience. Revisions may be in response to changes in the nature of work carried out, new machinery, or any changes in legislation.
Again, revisions should be brought to the employees’ attention.
Policies should be written in plain English so they can be easily understood and put into practice.
A procedure sets out the steps to be followed for work activities.
Procedures are an essential part of any organization.
Procedures provide a roadmap for day-to-day operations.
They ensure compliance with laws and regulations, give guidance for decision-making, and streamline internal processes.
Originations must consult with affected workers when developing procedures for resolving work health and safety issues.
Consulting with workers on work health and safety, monitoring worker health and workplace conditions, and providing information and training.
A typical business organization accomplishes its work load by creating a series of tasks that are performed and carried out as required.
Placing those tasks into series of organized and interconnected systems may benefit the company by introducing efficiency and order to the workday and ultimately increasing the bottom line.
Work systems allow everyday tasks to operate in a coordinated safe manner and provide a basic framework to produce services and products.
WHS legislation including the WHS Act
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (the Act) provides a framework to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers and others in relation to NSW workplaces and work activities. Reviews are scheduled once every five years. This is the first since the Act was introduced.
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017
Administers, provide advice and monitor and enforce compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. If you are an employer or business (or other PCBU) you must comply with these laws to ensure the health and safety of your workers.
Part 3.1 Managing Risk to Health and Safety
WHS regulatory authorities and their publications including codes of practice, guidance material, safety alerts
A code of practice provides detailed information on specific work tasks to help you achieve the standards required under the work health and safety (WHS) laws. These do not replace the WHS laws, but codes of practice can help make understanding what you have to do a little easier.
Guidance material, such as fact sheets, guides and safety alerts, provide more detailed information on the requirements of statutes, regulations, standards and codes of practice in relation to particular tasks and activities or in the operation of specific plant and equipment.
2. Having selected your information and data what tools or strategies does can an organisation use to determine the nature, scope, range of harms caused and harm impacts on workers?
How to work out the likelihood of harm occurring
The likelihood that someone will be harmed can be estimated by considering the following:
How often is the task done?
Does this make the harm more or less likely?
How often are people near the hazard
How close do people get to it
Has it ever happened before, either in your workplace or somewhere else
You can rate the likelihood as one of the following:
Certain to occur—expected to occur in most circumstances
Very likely—will probably occur in most circumstances
Possible—might occur occasionally
Unlikely—could happen at some time
Rare—may happen only in exceptional circumstances.
Further questions that can help estimate likelihood.
As in the table
Explanation and examples
How often are people exposed to the hazard?
A hazard may exist all of the time or it may only exist occasionally. The more often a hazard is present, the greater the likelihood it will result in harm.For example:Meshing gears in an enclosed gearbox can cause crushing only if the gearbox is open during maintenance, and therefore the potential for harm will not occur very often.Continuously lifting heavy boxes has the potential to cause harm whenever the work is done.
How long might people be exposed to the hazard?
The longer that someone is exposed to a hazard, the greater the likelihood that harm may result.For example: The longer a person is exposed to noisy work, the more likely it is that they will suffer hearing loss.
How effective are current controls in reducing risk?
In most cases the risks being assessed will already be subject to some control measures. The likelihood of harm resulting from the risk will depend upon how adequate and effective the current measures are.For example: Traffic management controls have been implemented in a warehouse to separate moving forklifts from pedestrians by using signs and painted lines on the floor. These controls may need to be upgraded to include physical barriers.
Could any changes in your organisation increase the likelihood?
The demand for goods or services in many organisations varies throughout the year. Changes in demand may be seasonal, depend on environmental conditions or be affected by market fluctuations that are driven by a range of events. Meeting increased demand may cause unusual loads on people, plant and equipment and systems of work. Failures may be more likely.For example: Inner city restaurants and bistros are very busy in the period prior to Christmas, placing extra demands on kitchen and serving staff. The increase in volume of food to be prepared and serving a larger number of patrons increases the potential for human error and the likelihood of harm.
Are hazards more likely to cause harm because of the working environment?
Examples of situations where the risk of injury or illness may become more likely:Environmental conditions change. For example, work performed in high temperatures in a small space increases the potential for mistakes because workers become fatigued more quickly; wet conditions make walkways and other things slippery.People are required to work quickly. The rate at which work is done (e.g. number of repetitions) can over-stress a person’s body or make it more likely that mistakes will be made.There is insufficient light or poor ventilation.
Could the way people act and behave affect the likelihood of a hazard causing harm?
The possibility that people may make mistakes, misuse items, become distracted or panic in particular situations needs to be considered. The effects of fatigue or stress may make it more likely that harm will occur.
Do the differences between individuals in the workplace make it more likely for harm to occur?
Workers are not all the same and individual variability should be considered, for example:People respond to stress at work in different ways, which means some workers are more susceptible to harm.People with disabilities may be more likely to suffer harm if the workplace or process is not designed for their needs.New or young workers may be more likely to suffer harm because of inexperience.People who do not normally work at the workplace will have less knowledge than employees who normally work there, and may be more likely to suffer harm. These people include contractors, visitors or members of the public.
Element Two: Contribute to compliance and workplace requirements
3. How does an organisation identify WHS duty holders and their range of duties? Select three (3) ways that an organisation can ensure duty holders are appropriately identified.
The WHS Regulations specify the way in which some duties under the WHS Act must be met and prescribes procedural or administrative requirements to support the WHS Act (for example requiring licences for specific activities and the keeping of records).
Duty Holder – refers to any person who owes a work health and safety duty under the WHS Act including a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier, installer of products or plant used at work (upstream duty holders), an officer and workers.
Codes of Practice
Codes of Practice provide practical guidance on how to meet the standards set out in the WHS Act and the WHS Regulations. Codes of Practice are admissible in proceedings as evidence of whether or not a duty under the WHS laws has been met.
They can also be referred to by an inspector when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.
It is recognised that equivalent or better ways of achieving the required work health and safety outcomes may be possible.
For that reason, compliance with Codes of Practice is not mandatory providing that any other method used provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than suggested by the Code of Practice.
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