• BSBOHS504B - Apply principles of OHS risk management

Apply principles of OHS risk management

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use a generic approach to identify hazards, and to assess and control occupational health and safety (OHS) risks.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to individuals with managerial responsibility for providing a systematic approach to hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control, with the emphasis on elimination or, where this is not possible, minimisation of risk. It also includes conceptual models for understanding the nature of hazards.

The unit provides a basis for the hazard specific competencies in BSBOHS505C Manage hazards in the work environment, and BSBOHS506B Monitor and facilitate the management of hazards associated with plant.

This unit is underpinned by BSBOHS403B Identify hazards and assess OHS risks, and BSBOHS404B Contribute to the implementation of strategies to control OHS risk.

A more advanced approach to risk assessment, which identifies the separate elements of risk analysis and risk evaluation, is provided in BSBOHS603B Analyse and evaluate OHS risk.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Access sources of information and data to identify hazards

1.1. Access external sources of information and data to assist in identifying hazards

1.2. Review workplace sources of information and data to access and assist in identification of hazards

1.3. Seek input from stakeholders, key personnel and OHS specialists

1.4. Conduct formal and informal research to ensure currency of information with workplace issues

2. Analyse the work environment to identify hazards

2.1. Define, document and communicate occasions when action for hazard identification is required

2.2. Source tools to assist in analysing potential hazards

2.3. Examine task demands and task environment for impact on the person to identify situations with a potential for injury or ill health

2.4. Examine workforce structure, organisation of work and work relationships to identify situations with a potential for injury or ill health

2.5. Examine work environment for agents with a potential for injury or ill health

2.6. Seek input from stakeholders to clarify and confirm issues

3. Assess risk associated with hazards

3.1. Identify factors contributing to risk

3.2. Identify current risk controls for each hazard

3.3. Evaluate adequacy of current controls (if any), taking account of relevant standards and knowledge

3.4. Identify discrepancies between current controls and required quality of control

3.5. Prioritise hazards requiring further control action

3.6. Document method and outcomes of risk assessment

4. Control risk associated with hazards

4.1. Develop a range of control options in consultation with stakeholders, taking account of the outcomes of the risk assessment and the hierarchy of control

4.2. Identify potential factors impacting on the effectiveness of controls

4.3. Seek advice from OHS specialists and key personnel if required

4.4. Identify and seek appropriate authority and relevant resources to initiate and maintain controls

4.5. Identify and document actions required to achieve change

4.6. Analyse extent of change and reduction in risk, as a result of controls

5. Maintain hazard identification and risk control processes

5.1. Establish and maintain a risk register relevant to the workplace

5.2. Document and communicate risk management procedures to stakeholders and key personnel, as appropriate

5.3. Document and communicate outcomes of risk management processes to stakeholders and key personnel, as appropriate

5.4. Involve stakeholders and operational staff in risk management processes

5.5. Identify situations where OHS specialists may be required

6. Monitor and review risk management processes

6.1. Determine frequency, method and scope of review in consultation with workplace stakeholders and key personnel

6.2. Ensure stakeholders and key personnel have input to the review

6.3. Identify areas for improvement in the risk management processes and make recommendations

6.4. Prepare action plans, including allocated responsibilities and timeframes for implementation

6.5. Regularly review effectiveness of risk management processes

Required Skills

Required skills

analytical skills to:

identify areas for OHS risk improvement

analyse relevant workplace information and data

contribute to the assessment of the resources needed to systematically manage OHS and, where appropriate, access resources

attention to detail when making observations and recording outcomes

research skills to access relevant OHS information and data

numeracy skills to carry out simple arithmetical calculations (e.g. % change), and to produce graphs of workplace information and data to identify trends and recognise limitations

communication skills to:

conduct effective formal and informal meetings and to communicate effectively with personnel at all levels of the organisation, OHS specialists and, as required, emergency services personnel

prepare reports for a range of target groups including OHS committee, OHS representatives, managers and supervisors

use language and literacy skills appropriate to the workgroup and the task

consultation and negotiation skills to develop plans and to implement and monitor designated actions

project management skills to achieve change in OHS matters

organisational skills to manage own tasks within a timeframe

information technology skills to access and enter internal and external information and data on OHS and to use a range of communication media

Required knowledge

organisational behaviour and culture as it impacts on OHS and on change

basic physiology relevant to understanding mode of action of physical, biological and chemical agents on the body and how they produce harm

basic principles of incident causation and injury processes

characteristics, mode of action and units of measurement of major hazard types

concept of common law duty of care

difference between hazard and risk

ethics related to professional practice

how the characteristics and composition of the workforce impact on risk and the systematic approach to managing OHS, for example:

communication skills

cultural background/workplace diversity


labour market changes

language, literacy and numeracy

structure and organisation of workforce e.g. part-time, casual and contract workers, shift rosters, geographical location

workers with specific needs

internal and external sources of OHS information and data

language, literacy and cultural profile of the workgroup

legislative requirements for OHS information and data, and consultation

limitations of generic hazard and risk checklists, and risk ranking processes

methods of providing evidence of compliance with OHS legislation

nature of workplace processes (including work flow, planning and control) and hazards relevant to the particular workplace

organisational culture as it impacts on the workgroup

organisational OHS policies and procedures

other function areas that impact on the management of OHS

principles and practices of systematic approaches to managing OHS

professional liability in relation to providing advice

requirements under hazard specific OHS legislation and codes of practice

risk as a measure of uncertainty and the factors that affect risk

roles and responsibilities under OHS legislation of employees, including supervisors and contractors

standard industry controls for a range of hazards

state/territory and commonwealth OHS legislation (acts, regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material) including prescriptive and performance approaches and links to other relevant legislation such as industrial relations, equal employment opportunity, workers compensation, rehabilitation

structure and forms of legislation including regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material

types of hazard identification tools, including job safety analysis (JSA)

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:

products used in:

the application of a risk management approach to identifying hazards

assessing OHS risk

controlling OHS risk

how these products were developed and implemented

knowledge of relevant OHS legislation (acts, regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to workplace or simulated workplace

access to workplace documentation

access to office equipment and resources

access to relevant legislation, standards and guidelines relating to risks found 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 on the effectiveness of the hazard identification, risk assessment, control and management actions taken

demonstration of techniques used to identify hazards, assess associated risks, control monitor and evaluate risks

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

observation of performance in role plays

observation of presentations

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of the OHS information system

review of action plans

written reports on hazard identification and risk management activities, matrices and measurements undertaken.

Guidance information for assessment

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

BSBOHS403B Identify hazards and assess OHS risks

BSBOHS404B Contribute to the implementation of strategies to control OHS risk

BSBOHS603B Analyse and evaluate OHS risk.

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.

External sources of information and data may include:

databases with national and state injury data such as National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)

employer groups

industry bodies

journals and websites

legislation, codes of practice and standards

manufacturers' manual and specifications

OHS regulatory authorities

OHS specialists


Hazards may include:

source or a situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health

damage to property

damage to the environment

or a combination of these.

Workplace sources of information and data may include:



hazard, incident and investigation reports

manufacturers' manuals and specifications

material safety data sheets (MSDSs)

minutes of meetings

OHS representatives


workplace inspections.

Stakeholders include:


health and safety, and other employee representatives


OHS committees


Key personnel may include:

managers from other areas

people involved in OHS decision making or who are affected by OHS decisions

OHS specialists may include:



occupational hygienists

organisational psychologists


workplace injury and return to work advisors.

Workplace issues may include:

changes in equipment, including technology

changes in social, political or community environment

changes in work organisation, including:


hire arrangements


supervisory arrangements



shift work

work hours

work relations

changes in work practice

changes to legislation and standards

new knowledge on hazards

outcomes of court rulings.

Occasions when action for hazard identification is required may include:

at design or pre-purchase of buildings, equipment and materials

at regular intervals during normal operations

before changes are made to workplace, equipment, work processes or work arrangements

commissioning or pre-implementation of new processes or practices

following an incident report

new forms of work and organisation of work

planning major tasks or activities, such as equipment shut-downs

prior to disposal of equipment, buildings or materials

when new knowledge becomes available.

Tools may include:


cause and effect diagrams



Task demands may include:

arousal and alertness

machine pacing or time pressure to complete a task

physical or physiological demands

repetitive nature of task

required precision or accuracy.

Task environment may include:

air quality




Agents may be:








Factors contributing to risk may include those associated with:


frequency and duration of exposure


number of people exposed/involved


work environment

work organisation.

Relevant standards may include:

Australian and industry standards

codes of practice

current knowledge related to the specific hazard and controls

current practice in the industry


Prioritising hazards requiring further control action may include:

other recognised processes

specially designed tools

standard ranking tools.

Risk assessment includes identification of:

factors contributing to risk

current controls and their adequacy

discrepancy between current control and required standard

prioritisation or ranking of a number of risks, where appropriate.

Hierarchy of control may include:

eliminating hazards

and where this is not practicable, minimising risk by:


isolating the hazard from personnel

using engineering controls

using administrative controls (e.g. procedures, training)

using personal protective equipment (PPE).

Factors impacting on the effectiveness of controls may include:

cultural diversity


literacy and numeracy levels

shift work and rostering arrangements

training required

workplace culture related to OHS including commitment by managers and supervisors and compliance with procedures and training

workplace organisational structures (size of organisation, geographic, hierarchical).

Risk register may include:

list of hazards, their location and people exposed

possible control measures and dates for implementation

range of possible scenarios or circumstances under which the hazards may cause injury or damage

results of the risk analysis related to the hazards.


Unit sector

Competency Field

Regulation, Licensing and Risk - Occupational Health and Safety

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.