Ensure a safe workplace


This unit describes the 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. It takes a systems approach and addresses compliance with relevant legislative requirements.

This unit applies to managers working in a range of contexts who have, or are likely to have responsibility for WHS as part of their broader management role. It is relevant for people with obligations under WHS legislation, for example persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) or 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 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.

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

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1 Establish a WHS management system in a work area

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 in the work area 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 in a work area

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 in a work area

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 work area WHS management system

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

4.2 Use a system for WHS record keeping 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 to achieve, as a minimum, WHS legal requirements

Foundation Skills

This section describes language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills incorporated in the performance criteria that are required for competent performance.






1.1, 1.2, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5

Organises, evaluates and critiques ideas and information from WHS legislation, policies, procedures and programs


1.1, 2.3, 3.2, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2

Produces WHS policies, procedures and programs

using appropriate vocabulary, grammatical structure and conventions to produce

Records WHS decisions according to organisational requirements

Oral communication

1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

Presents and seeks information from others using structure and language suitable for the audience

Provides information on resolution of WHS issues varying level of technical vocabulary to suit audience



Selects from, and applies, an expanding range of mathematical and problem solving strategies in identifying financial and human resources required

Navigate the world of work

1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5

Monitors adherence to legal and regulatory rights and responsibilities for self and others in relation to WHS

Takes responsibility for developing, implementing and reviewing policies, procedures and processes in accordance with organisational and legislative requirements

Interact with others

1.1, 2.1, 2.3, 3.5

Plays a lead role in situations requiring effective collaboration demonstrating the ability to guide discussions and negotiate agreeable outcomes

Provides feedback to others in forms they can understand and use

Get the work done

1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2 4.3, 4.4, 4.5

Develops plans or processes to manage relatively complex, WHS management tasks with an awareness of how they contribute to operational and strategic goals

Uses systematic, analytical processes, setting goals, gathering relevant information, and identifying and evaluating options against agreed criteria

Considers whether, and how, others should be involved, using consultative or collaborative processes as an integral part of the decision-making process

Uses digital systems and tools to enter, store and retrieve relevant information

Range Statement

This section specifies different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

WHS legislation must include:

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


Regulation, Licensing and Risk – Work Health and Safety