Ensure a safe workplace

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to establish, maintain and evaluate the organisation’s work health and safety (WHS) policies, procedures and programs in the relevant work area according to WHS legislative requirements.


This unit applies to managers working in a range of contexts. It takes a systems approach and addresses compliance with relevant legislative requirements.

Those who have or are likely to have responsibility for WHS as part of their broader management role should undertake this unit.

The unit is relevant for people with obligations under WHS legislation, for example persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) or their officers (as defined by relevant legislation).

NOTE: The terms Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Work Health and Safety (WHS) are equivalent and generally either can be used in the workplace. In jurisdictions where the National Model WHS Legislation has not been implemented RTOs are advised to contextualise the unit of competency by referring to the existing State/Territory OHS legislative requirements.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Establish and maintain a WHS management system

1.1 Locate, adapt, adopt and communicate WHS policies that clearly define the organisation’s commitment to complying with WHS legislation

1.2 Identify duty holders and define WHS responsibilities for all workplace personnel according to WHS legislation, policies, procedures and programs

1.3 Identify and approve financial and human resources required by the WHS management system (WHSMS)

2. Establish and maintain effective and compliant participation arrangements for managing WHS

2.1 Work with workers and their representatives to set up and maintain participation arrangements according to relevant WHS legislation

2.2 Appropriately resolve issues raised through participation and consultation arrangements according to relevant WHS legislation

2.3 Promptly provide information about the outcomes of participation and consultation to workers and ensure it is easy for them to access and understand

3. Establish and maintain procedures for effectively identifying hazards, and assessing and controlling risks

3.1 Develop procedures for ongoing hazard identification, and assessment and control of associated risks

3.2 Include hazard identification at the planning, design and evaluation stages of any change in the workplace to ensure that new hazards are not created by the proposed changes and existing hazards are controlled

3.3 Develop and maintain procedures for selecting and implementing risk controls according to the hierarchy of control and WHS legislative requirements

3.4 Identify inadequacies in existing risk controls according to the hierarchy of control and WHS legislative requirements, and promptly provide resources to enable implementation of new measures

3.5 Identify requirements for expert WHS advice, and request this advice as required

4. Evaluate and maintain a WHS management system

4.1 Develop and provide a WHS induction and training program for all workers as part of the organisation’s training program

4.2 Use a system for WHS recordkeeping to allow identification of patterns of occupational injury and disease in the organisation, and to maintain a record of WHS decisions made, including reasons for the decision

4.3 Measure and evaluate the WHSMS in line with the organisation’s quality systems framework

4.4 Develop and implement improvements to the WHSMS to achieve organisational WHS objectives

4.5 Ensure compliance with the WHS legislative framework so that, as a minimum, WHS legal requirements are achieved

Required Skills

Required skills

analytical and problem solving skills to examine relevant workplace information and data to identify hazards, and to assess and control risks

communication skills to consult with staff and to promote a safe workplace

information technology skills to store and retrieve relevant workplace information and data

literacy skills to adapt and communicate WHS policies that reflect WHS legislative requirements

problem-solving skills to deal with complex and nonroutine difficulties.

Required knowledge

hazard identification and risk-management processes

hierarchy of risk control

in-house and WHS legislative reporting requirements

relevant WHS Acts, regulations and codes of practice that apply to the business operation.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

detailed knowledge and application of all relevant WHS Acts, regulations and codes of practice

establishing and maintaining arrangements for managing WHS within the organisation's business systems and practices

identifying requirements for expert WHS advice.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure access to:

appropriate documentation and resources normally used in the workplace.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

analysis of responses to case studies and scenarios

assessment of written reports

demonstration of techniques

direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate

review of WHS policies, information provided on the WHSMS, and information about the outcomes of participation and consultation provided to workers

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of WHS and WHS legislation

evaluation of WHS induction and training

review of WHS recordkeeping system.

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

WHS legislation may include:

applicable commonwealth and state or territory WHS Acts, regulations and codes of practice

common law duties to meet general duty of care requirements

WHS legislative and regulatory requirements for:

effectively managing hazards

establishing consultation arrangements, including those for health and safety representatives and health and safety committees

providing information and training, including training in safe operating procedures; procedures for workplace hazards; hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control; and emergency and evacuation procedures

WHS legislative, regulatory and other requirements for the maintenance and confidentiality of records of occupational injury and disease.

Duty holders may include:

as specified in WHS Acts:


PCBUs or their officers


other persons at a workplace.

Control of associated risks may include:


as specified in WHS Acts, regulations and codes of practice

counselling/disciplinary processes, such as those associated with alcohol and other drugs

education about alcohol and other drugs work-related issues


hazard elimination

housekeeping and storage

issue resolution

personal protective equipment

purchasing of supplies and equipment

workplace inspections, including plant and equipment.

WHS recordkeeping may relate to:

audit and inspection reports

consultation, such as:

meetings of health and safety committees

work team meeting agendas, including WHS items and actions

first aid/medical post records

hazardous chemicals registers

induction, instruction and training

manufacturer and supplier information, including dangerous goods storage lists

plant and equipment maintenance and testing reports

workers’ compensation and rehabilitation records

workplace environmental monitoring records.


Regulation, Licensing and Risk – Work Health and Safety

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.