controlling hazardouschemicals

CRICOS Provider Code: 02992E
RTO No.: 21870
STUDENT LEARNER GUIDE
BSBWHS331
Participate in identifying and
controlling hazardous
chemicals
P a g e | 1
Table of Contents
Unit of Competency ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Application …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Performance Criteria……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Foundation Skills …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
Assessment Requirements……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
1. Apply information relating to identifying hazardous chemicals…………………………………………….. 10
1.1 – Identify and follow WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to the safe use, handling,
processing, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace ….. 11
What are hazardous chemicals? ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
WHS laws regarding hazardous chemicals…………………………………………………………………………….. 11
Activity 1A ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
1.2 – Identify and follow safety data sheets (SDSs) and other guidance to determine the potential
health effects of worker exposure to hazardous chemicals………………………………………………………… 14
1.3 – Identify and follow SDSs and other guidance to determine methods to control worker exposure
to hazardous chemicals………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
What are safety data sheets? ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
Accessing safety data sheets……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 15
Following safety data sheets……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Activity 1B ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 18
2. Identify presence and use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace ……………………………………… 19
2.1 – Apply organisational inspection techniques to identify and document hazardous chemicals in
the workplace ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
Identifying hazardous chemicals………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
Documenting hazardous chemicals ……………………………………………………………………………………… 20
Activity 2A ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
2.2 – Participate in consultation processes with workers to identify hazardous chemicals in the
workplace…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
Consultation processes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23
Activity 2B ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
2.3 – Identify tasks that may expose workers to hazardous chemicals used in the workplace ………… 26
Hazardous tasks ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
Risk assessments……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 26
P a g e | 2
Activity 2C ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 28
3. Contribute to the control of hazardous chemicals in the workplace ………………………………………. 29
3.1 – Use WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to hazardous chemicals to identify controls to
remove or reduce worker exposure ………………………………………………………………………………………… 30
Establishing control measures …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 30
Activity 3A ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 32
3.2 – Assess effectiveness of current control measures according to WHS laws, guidance notes, and
organisational policies and procedures ……………………………………………………………………………………. 33
Assessing effectiveness of current controls…………………………………………………………………………… 33
WHS laws …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 34
Organisational policies and procedures………………………………………………………………………………… 35
Activity 3B ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36
3.3 – Participate in selecting additional control measures for implementation, as required…………… 37
Additional control measures……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 37
Working as a team …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
Activity 3C ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 39
3.4 – Assist in implementing procedures for safe use, handling, processing, storage, transportation,
and disposal of hazardous chemicals……………………………………………………………………………………….. 40
Implementing procedures…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 40
Using and handling hazardous chemicals ……………………………………………………………………………… 41
Processing hazardous chemicals………………………………………………………………………………………….. 42
Storing hazardous chemicals ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42
Transporting hazardous chemicals ………………………………………………………………………………………. 44
Disposing of hazardous chemicals ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 46
Activity 3D ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47
3.5 – Contribute to ensuring control measures are maintained according to organisational procedures
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 48
Maintaining control measures…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 48
Activity 3E…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51
4. Support worker consultation methods for hazardous chemicals …………………………………………… 52
4.1 – Communicate information about identified hazardous chemicals, and support required
personnel at risk of exposure to them……………………………………………………………………………………… 53
Communicating information……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 53
Supporting personnel at risk……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 54
Activity 4A ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 55
P a g e | 3
4.2 – Gather information about exposure to hazardous chemicals and possible health effects reported
by workers……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 56
Gathering information ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 56
Activity 4B ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 58
4.3 – Report gathered information to required parties including duty holder ………………………………. 59
Reporting information ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 59
Record keeping …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 60
Activity 4C ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 63
Summative Assessments………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 64
References …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 65
P a g e | 4
Unit of Competency
Application
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to identify and control hazardous chemicals in the
workplace. It requires knowledge of the potential hazards associated with chemicals and how to work
safely with them. It involves supporting workplace safety by communicating information about
hazardous chemicals using established consultation methods.
The unit applies to those who participate in identifying chemicals as part of their WHS responsibilities,
which are in addition to their main duties. It applies to hazardous chemicals with the potential to harm
human health, which may be solids, liquids or gases; pure substances or mixtures. When used in the
workplace, these substances can generate vapours, fumes, dusts and mists.
NOTES
1. 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 model WHS laws have not
been implemented, registered training organisations (RTOs) are advised to contextualise this unit of
competency by referring to existing WHS legislative requirements.
2. The model WHS laws include the model WHS Act, model WHS Regulations and model WHS Codes of
Practice. See Safe Work Australia for further information.
No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.
Unit Mapping Information
No equivalent unit. New unit.
Unit Sector
Regulation, Licensing and Risk – Work Health and Safety
P a g e | 5
Performance Criteria

Element
Elements describe the
essential outcomes.
Performance Criteria
Performance criteria describe the performance needed to
demonstrate achievement of the element.
1. Apply information
relating to identifying
hazardous chemicals
1.1 Identify and follow WHS laws and guidance notes in relation
to the safe use, handling, processing, storage,
transportation, and disposal of hazardous chemicals used in
the workplace
1.2 Identify and follow safety data sheets (SDSs) and other
guidance to determine the potential health effects of worker
exposure to hazardous chemicals
1.3 Identify and follow SDSs and other guidance to determine
methods to control worker exposure to hazardous chemicals
2. Identify presence and
use of hazardous
chemicals in the
workplace
2.1 Apply organisational inspection techniques to identify and
document hazardous chemicals in the workplace
2.2 Participate in consultation processes with workers to
identify hazardous chemicals in the workplace
2.3 Identify tasks that may expose workers to hazardous
chemicals used in the workplace
3. Contribute to the
control of hazardous
chemicals in the
workplace
3.1 Use WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to hazardous
chemicals to identify controls to remove or reduce worker
exposure
3.2 Assess effectiveness of current control measures according
to WHS laws, guidance notes, and organisational policies and
procedures
3.3 Participate in selecting additional control measures for
implementation, as required
3.4 Assist in implementing procedures for safe use, handling,
processing, storage, transportation, and disposal of
hazardous chemicals
3.5 Contribute to ensuring control measures are maintained
according to organisational procedures
4. Support worker
consultation methods
for hazardous
chemicals
4.1 Communicate information about identified hazardous
chemicals, and support required personnel at risk of
exposure to them
4.2 Gather information about exposure to hazardous chemicals
and possible health effects reported by workers
4.3 Report gathered information to required parties including
duty holders

P a g e | 6
Foundation Skills
This section describes language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills incorporated in the
performance criteria that are required for competent performance.
Reading
➢ Locates information from WHS laws, and workplace policies, procedures and records.
Writing
➢ Uses structure and language appropriate to audience and context in plans, reports, and general
advice.
Oral communication
➢ Presents information and assistance using appropriate levels of industry-specific vocabulary
➢ Uses listening and questioning to clarify and confirm understanding.
Navigate the world of work
➢ Follows legal and regulatory guidance and organisational policies and procedures in hazardous
chemicals
➢ Keeps up to date with changes to WHS laws, and organisational policies and procedures
relevant to own role.
Interact with others
➢ Identifies what to communicate and to whom in a range of contexts
➢ Cooperates with others as part of WHS activities and contributes to specific activities requiring
joint responsibility and accountability
➢ Shares information and resources, offers assistance voluntarily, and provides feedback when
requested
➢ Plays an active role in group discussions, paying attention to perspectives of others and
encouraging participation.
Get the work done
➢ Plans and implements tasks to achieve required outcomes
➢ Uses decision-making processes, setting or clarifying goals, gathering information to identify
hazardous chemicals.
P a g e | 7
Assessment Requirements
Performance Evidence
The candidate must demonstrate the ability to complete the tasks outlined in the elements,
performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit, and to:
➢ Participate in:
o identifying two hazardous chemicals in the workplace
o selecting and implementing risk control options for each of the two identified chemicals
➢ On at least two occasions, promote and support worker consultation and participation in
hazardous chemical identification.
P a g e | 8
Knowledge Evidence
The candidate must demonstrate knowledge to complete the tasks outlined in the elements,
performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit. This includes knowledge of:
➢ Requirements of commonwealth and state/territory WHS laws and publications relating to
identifying and controlling hazardous chemicals:
o communication, consultation and participation
o notification of incidents
o recordkeeping
o identification, risk assessment and control methods
o basic principles of incident causation and injury processes
➢ Organisational policies and procedures relating to identifying and controlling hazardous
chemicals:
o inspection techniques used to identify and document them
o controls to remove or reduce worker exposure
o assessing effectiveness of control measures
o ensuring use and maintenance of control measures
➢ Internal and external sources of WHS information and data:
o safety data sheets (SDSs)
o risk control options for hazardous chemicals and work situations
➢ WHS hazards that may be present in the workplace:
o harm they can cause, and how this harm occurs
o potential hazards associated with the chemicals described in the performance evidence,
including environmental, fire, health and reactivity
➢ Types of hazard and risk registers, and their key components
➢ Requirements of workplace communication processes for sharing information about hazard
identification, and risk assessment and control measures.
P a g e | 9
Assessment Conditions
Assessment must comply with WHS laws, and WHS legal responsibilities and duty of care required for
this unit. It must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent
performance of typical activities undertaken in the regulation, licensing and risk associated with working
with hazardous chemicals, and must include access to:
➢ Workplace equipment, technology, software and consumables required to implement and
maintain internal control procedures
➢ Corporate governance documentation required for role
➢ Case studies and, where possible, actual workplace situations
➢ Opportunities for interaction with others
➢ Organisational policies and procedures required for role.
Assessors of this unit must satisfy the assessor requirements in applicable vocational education and
training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.
Links
Companion Volume Implementation Guides are available from VETNet –
https://vetnet.education.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=11ef6853-ceed-4ba7-9d87-4da407e23c10
P a g e | 10
1. Apply information relating to identifying hazardous
chemicals

1.1. Identify and follow WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to the safe use, handling,
processing, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace
1.2. Identify and follow safety data sheets (SDSs) and other guidance to determine the potential
health effects of worker exposure to hazardous chemicals
1.3. Identify and follow SDSs and other guidance to determine methods to control worker exposure
to hazardous chemicals

P a g e | 11
1.1 – Identify and follow WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to the safe
use, handling, processing, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous
chemicals used in the workplace
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Identify one WHS law related to hazardous chemicals and explain how this can be
applied to their own role.
What are hazardous chemicals?
Hazardous chemicals can be defined as substances, mixtures, or articles that can pose a risk to health
and safety. Hazardous chemicals can be solids, liquids, or gases and may pose health hazards, physical
hazards, or both.
Hazardous chemicals are used for many reasons across many different organisations. Occupations such
as cleaners, hairdressers, painters, heating engineers, etc. are responsible for using, handling, storing,
transporting, and disposing of hazardous chemicals as part of their general working practices. These
chemicals pose a serious risk to the health of workers as well as their surrounding if the correct
procedures are not followed.
Examples of chemicals that can pose a risk to a person’s help include:
➢ Toxic chemicals
➢ Chemicals that cause skin damage
➢ Carcinogens.
Examples of chemicals that can immediately injure people or damage
property include:
➢ Flammable liquids
➢ Compressed gasses
➢ Explosives.
“Hazardous Chemicals” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/chemicals
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
WHS laws regarding hazardous chemicals
Any work you do regarding hazardous chemicals will need to abide by relevant the relevant laws and
regulations governing your territory and industry. Your workplace will provide you with the information
you need, but it is worth spending time carrying out your own research to familiarise yourself with the
laws and regulations which apply to you when working with hazardous chemicals. This will help to
ensure that you working in accordance with legal requirements, but also that you are able to maintain
your own safety as well as the safety of those around you.
P a g e | 12
Model WHS Laws
Model WHS Laws have been created to provide a basis for
consistent work health and safety across Australia. These laws
ensure that those running a business understand their
responsibility regarding health and safety, and employees
understand their right to a safe working environment.
The model WHS laws include:
➢ The model WHS Act
➢ The model WHS Regulations
➢ Model Codes of Practice.
Bear in mind that states and territories must agree to and
implement model WHS laws for them to be legally binding. You
will need to familiarise yourself with the laws governing your
location of work.
Model Work Health and Safety Regulations can be found here:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-work-health-and-safety-regulations
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 13
Activity 1A
P a g e | 14
1.2 – Identify and follow safety data sheets (SDSs) and other guidance to
determine the potential health effects of worker exposure to hazardous
chemicals
1.3 – Identify and follow SDSs and other guidance to determine methods to
control worker exposure to hazardous chemicals
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Follow a safety data sheet to identify the potential health effects of a chemical should a
worker be exposed
➢ Outline one method which could be implemented to control the risk of exposure to a
chemical, according to the relevant SDS.
What are safety data sheets?
Safety data sheets (SDSs) are documents which provide critical information about hazardous chemicals.
They must be used by all businesses when assessing the risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
A safety data sheet should include information on:
➢ Hazards of the chemical and how to handle it safely, including storage and disposal
➢ Physical and chemical properties of the chemical, as well as
potential health and emergency response measures
➢ Environmental effects of the chemical.
“Safety Data Sheets” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sds
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Who is responsible for safety data sheets?
There are a variety of different personnel who have a responsibility for developing, supplying and
following safety data sheets.
Manufacturers
The manufacturer or supplier of a hazardous chemical will be responsible for providing the relevant
information under WHS laws.
A manufacturer and importer of a hazardous chemical must:
➢ Prepare an SDS for the hazardous chemical before first manufacturing or importing the
hazardous chemical or if that is not practicable, as soon as practicable after first
manufacturing or importing the hazardous chemical
➢ Review the SDS at least once every five years and amend whenever necessary to
ensure it contains correct, current information.
P a g e | 15
Person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU)
A PCBU may change an SDS for a hazardous chemical only if the person is an importer or
manufacturer and:
➢ Changes the SDS in a way that is consistent with the duties of the importer or
manufacturer
➢ The change is to attach a translation of the SDS and clearly states that the translation is
not part of the original SDS.
Note: A person who packages or re-labels a hazardous chemical with their own product name is
considered to be a manufacturer and therefore has the same obligations as a manufacturer or importer
under the WHS Regulations to prepare an SDS.
“Labelling and Safety Data Sheets” WorkCover Queensland:
https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/hazardous-chemicals/managing-hazchemrisks/labelling-and-safety-data-sheets
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Workers
Whilst it is not the responsibility of the worker to produce or circulate safety
data sheets, they do have a responsibility to work safely and in accordance with
given requirements at all times. This includes accessing, understanding, and
applying SDS’s and their instructions during any work involving hazardous
chemicals.
All workers also have a general duty of care which must be exercised during
their working practice. A duty of care refers to the legal and moral obligation to
reduce or limit the risk they expose themselves, their colleagues, and anybody
else in the environment to. Generally speaking, duty of care can be exercised by
working in the safest manner at all times, and following SDS’s will be pivotal in
this.
Accessing safety data sheets
Easy access to relevant safety data sheets will be crucial to ensuring that they can be followed, and
hazardous chemicals identified and controlled as appropriate.
Safety data sheets must be supplied to a workplace:
➢ When the hazardous chemical is first supplied to the workplace
➢ The first time a hazardous chemical is supplied after an SDS has been amended.
Workers can access safety data sheets through:
➢ Paper copy collections of an SDS
➢ Computerised and internet-based SDS databases.
P a g e | 16
“Safety Data Sheets” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sds#obtaining-safety-data-sheets
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Risk registers
Any person conducting a business or undertaking (a PCBU) is required to ensure
that a register of hazardous chemicals in the workplace is prepared and
maintained. A register will include a list of the product names of all hazardous
chemicals used, handled, and stored in the workplace. The SDS’s for each
chemical should be stored along with the register.
It’s crucial for workplace safety that registers are kept up to date in accordance
with any changes to the chemicals on site. This will include updates according to
new chemicals being introduced to the workplace as well as any chemicals which
are removed or discontinued.
Whilst it is the responsibility of the PCBU to prepare and maintain the register, all
workers have a responsibility to report any issues, so you should be aware of how to read and interpret
the register.
“Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace Code of Practice” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/managing_risks_of_hazardous_c
hemicals2.pdf
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Following safety data sheets
There are two key things you will be looking to do:
➢ Determine the potential health effects of worker exposure to hazardous chemicals
➢ Determine methods to control worker exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Potential health effects
Safety data sheets will outline the potential health effects the chemical can have to a person if exposure
occurs.
Chemicals can have effects such as:
➢ Poisoning
➢ Nausea and vomiting
➢ Headache
➢ Skin rashes, such as dermatitis
➢ Chemical burns
P a g e | 17
➢ Birth defects
➢ Disorders of the lung, kidney or liver
➢ Nervous system disorders.
“Workplace Safety – Hazardous Substances” Better Health Channel:
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/workplace-safety-hazardous-substances
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Some chemicals will pose more extreme effects than others, so it’s important that the SDS is read and
understood before a chemical is introduced to the workplace. It’s also important to recognise that
health effects aren’t caused only by direct contact with a chemical. Inhalation of a substance can also
cause adverse effects in the case of certain chemicals. SDS’s will provide guidance regarding how
chemicals should be handled so as to avoid any effect to a worker’s health and safety. You might also
find this information directly from suppliers/manufacturers or from other personnel within your
organisation.
Controlling exposure to chemicals
To minimise the risk of harm caused by hazardous chemicals, it’s important that the level of exposure is
controlled. The necessary control measures suggested by the SDS will depend on the health effects
posed by the chemical.
For example, suggested control measures could
include:
➢ Employee training
➢ Signs
➢ Warning labels
➢ Use of PPE.
When hazardous chemicals are introduced to the workplace, a risk assessment must be performed
which can then be used to determine specific control measures. Risk assessments and further control
methods will be explored in more detail in a later chapter.
P a g e | 18
Activity 1B
P a g e | 19
2. Identify presence and use of hazardous chemicals in the
workplace

2.1. Apply organisational inspection techniques to identify and document hazardous chemicals in
the workplace
2.2. Participate in consultation processes with workers to identify hazardous chemicals in the
workplace

2.3. Identify tasks that may expose workers to hazardous chemicals used in the workplace
P a g e | 20
2.1 – Apply organisational inspection techniques to identify and document
hazardous chemicals in the workplace
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Outline how to identify and document hazardous chemicals according to workplace
procedures.
Identifying hazardous chemicals
Identifying the hazardous chemicals which are present in your workplace will be key to ensuring that
they can be used, handled, and stored safely.
Inspection techniques
Your organisation may have specific techniques in place for the
identification of hazardous chemicals in your workplace. These should be
fully understood and followed at all times to ensure that all chemicals can
be identified effectively and safely. Failure to follow guidelines could lead
to chemicals not being identified, and in turn could pose a risk to the safety
of yourself, your colleagues, or anybody else who enters the environment.
Generally speaking, hazardous chemicals can be identified by walking
around your workplace and locating each chemical which is present. This
should include each area of your workplace, even those you are not
directly involved in. You should gain access to secure areas such as
cupboards and storerooms as well as locating chemicals which are in plain
sight. Your organisation may store chemicals which are not often used, and
it’s equally important that these are identified and noted.
You should make notes of each chemical you identify as you go. At this stage, it’s not essential that your
notes are formal or completely understandable to others; these can be tidied up and extended at a later
point. You should, however, ensure that all chemicals you locate are noted in some format so that
nothing is forgotten or missed. It will be a good idea to carry out the process with at least one of your
colleagues. What one person might look past, another might pay full attention to; working in small
teams will make it more likely that all relevant chemicals will be identified. Two heads are always better
than one!
Documenting hazardous chemicals
Once you have identified each chemical present in your workplace, you should document this
information according to the guidelines of your organisation. Organisational guidelines might determine
factors such as format, layout, and language and terminology.
Documentation should be:
➢ Clear
➢ Understandable
➢ Structured.
P a g e | 21
It’s a good idea to ask a relevant colleague to have a quick look over any documentation you produce. A
second eye can often spot mistakes or highlight discrepancies which the writer can easily miss.
Risk registers
Risk registers were discussed in a previous chapter, and whilst
the production of these is usually the responsibility of the
PCBU, the information you document might be used to form
your organisation’s risk register. If you have the relevant
training and/or knowledge, you might also be asked to add to
or update the risk register using the information you have
gathered. If this is the case, you should familiarise yourself
with the appropriate format to follow, and the information
which is required. If you are ever unsure, communicate with
the relevant person before you go ahead with the task.
Inaccurate or incomplete risk registers pose a serious hazard
for any organisation, so it’s crucial that these are correct at all
times; it’s always better to ask for help than to put the safety
of others at risk.
“Registers, Manifests and Placards” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/registers-manifests-and-placards
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 22
Activity 2A
P a g e | 23
2.2 – Participate in consultation processes with workers to identify hazardous
chemicals in the workplace
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Take part in a group discussion to identify hazardous chemicals present in the
workplace.
Consultation processes
The benefit of working as a team when identifying hazardous chemicals in the workplace was identified
in the previous chapter. We will now explore the process of consultation in more detail.
Consultation is a two-way process and will involve collaborative communication with your colleagues.
Consultation will involve you:
➢ Talking to each other about determined
subjects
➢ Listening to worker’s concerns and raising
your concerns
➢ Seeking and sharing views and information
➢ Considering what your workers say before
you make decisions
➢ Advising workers of the outcome of
consultation in a timely manner.
“Consultation with Workers Safe Work SA:
https://www.safework.sa.gov.au/resources/work-health-and-safety-consultation-co-operation-and-coordination
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Consultation doesn’t always need to be a formal process such as a meeting; it can simply involve talking
to each other on a regular basis to seek information or opinions about workplace matters.
Active listening
When engaging in consultative processes, it’s important that you practice active listening. So often,
when we communicate with others, we are listening but not really hearing. Active listening allows us to
take a step back and really pay attention to what others are saying.
P a g e | 24
Here are some simple steps for practising active listening:
➢ Pay full attention – make eye contact and demonstrate
prompts such as nodding your head to show the person that
you are engaged and understanding their point(s)
➢ Don’t interrupt – let the other person finish their point before
you respond. Too often information is misunderstood or
missed completely by our eagerness to cut in with ideas or
questions before we let the other person make their points
➢ Aim to understand – rather than focusing on your response,
focus on your understanding of the point(s) being made. A
good way to do this is to paraphrase the things the speaker has
said, and ask any questions relating to this.
P a g e | 25
Activity 2B
P a g e | 26
2.3 – Identify tasks that may expose workers to hazardous chemicals used in the
workplace
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Identify a range of tasks performed in their workplace which may expose workers to
hazardous chemicals.
Hazardous tasks
To effectively control the risks posed by the use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, it will be
necessary to determine the circumstances in which workers are most likely to be exposed. This will
mean assessing the role of workers in your organisation and the activities they are responsible for.
You should look to identify:
➢ The level of exposure
➢ The duration of exposure.
The best way to do this will be to observe workers as they carry out their daily activities. This will give
you a realistic insight into the type of level of exposure they experience.
As mentioned previously, exposure isn’t just direct contact with a chemical, so when carrying out
observations, you should take into consideration the surroundings of the worker as well as their
individual tasks.
Safe Work Australia outlines a number of different case studies exploring worker exposure to a
variety of hazardous chemicals. These can be found at the following website:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/chemicals#reportcasestudy
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Risk assessments
Carrying out a risk assessment will allow you to determine when, where, and how workers are exposed
to chemical-related risks.
A risk assessment will aim to determine:
➢ How severe a risk is
➢ Whether any existing control measures are
effective
➢ What action you should take to control the
risk
➢ How urgently the action needs to be taken.
P a g e | 27
In some circumstances, legislation will determine specific risk controls for the use, storage, and/or
transportation of hazardous chemicals. In this case, you won’t be required to carry out a risk assessment
for this specific chemical, and the outlined control measures can simply be implemented.
More information about risk assessments and how they should be carried out can be found at the
following website:
“Model Code of Practice: How to Manage Health and Safety Risks” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/model-code-practice-how-manage-work-health-andsafety-risks#3-step-2how-to-assess-risks
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Once a risk assessment has been carried out, relevant personnel within a workplace can then develop
and implement appropriate methods to control any risks identified. Control methods will be explored in
more detail later in the unit.
P a g e | 28
Activity 2C
P a g e | 29
3. Contribute to the control of hazardous chemicals in the
workplace

3.1. Use WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to hazardous chemicals to identify controls to
remove or reduce worker exposure
3.2. Assess effectiveness of current control measures according to WHS laws, guidance notes, and
organisational policies and procedures

3.3. Participate in selecting additional control measures for implementation, as required

3.4. Assist in implementing procedures for safe use, handling, processing, storage, transportation,
and disposal of hazardous chemicals

3.5. Contribute to ensuring control measures are maintained according to organisational procedures
P a g e | 30
3.1 – Use WHS laws and guidance notes in relation to hazardous chemicals to
identify controls to remove or reduce worker exposure
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Outline one control measure to remove or reduce worker exposure to hazardous
chemicals in their workplace.
Establishing control measures
Establishing, implementing, and maintaining effective control measures will help to ensure that the risk
posed by hazardous chemicals is minimised during all working practices.
The hierarchy of control measures
The hierarchy of control measures ranks the ways of controlling risks for the highest level of protection
and reliability to the lowest. WHS regulations make it mandatory for duty holders to work through this
hierarchy when managing certain risks in the workplace.
The following image outlines the hierarchy of control measures:
As you can see from the image, the most effective method of controlling a risk is to eliminate it
altogether. Where possible, this step should be taken. However, chemicals are a huge part of the dayto-day functioning for many businesses, and so it will not be reasonable to do this.
P a g e | 31
Take a cleaning company, for example, cleaning staff will be required to use, handle, transport, and
store hazardous chemicals on a day-to-day basis, and whilst certain chemicals can be swapped out for
safer options, it’s likely that there will always be hazardous chemicals in use. It will then be necessary
for the cleaning company to work their way through the hierarchy to determine how they can keep the
risk posed by the chemicals to a minimum.
More information, including a more in-depth breakdown of each way of controlling risks, can be found
at the following website:
“Identify, Assess, and Control Hazards” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/model-code-practice-how-manage-work-health-andsafety-risks#41-the-hierarchy-of-control-measures
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 32
Activity 3A
P a g e | 33
3.2 – Assess effectiveness of current control measures according to WHS laws,
guidance notes, and organisational policies and procedures
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ List three example circumstances in which a review of current control measures will be
required according to the policies of their organisation or the WHS laws governing their
workplace
➢ Outline one method which can be used to assess the effectiveness of current control
measures.
Assessing effectiveness of current controls
To ensure that control measures remain appropriate and effective, your workplace should aim to assess
them on a regular basis. Any assessment methods should be agreed with the relevant personnel
beforehand to ensure that everybody is on board, and all relevant factors have been considered.
There are many different ways to assess the effectiveness
of current control measures. For example, you might
gather information from:
➢ Hazard, incident and investigation reports
➢ Complaints
➢ Worker surveys
➢ Consultation with health and safety
representatives and work teams
➢ Workers’ injury management data
➢ Direct observations in the workplace.
“Monitoring Effectiveness of Controls” Government of
Western Australia:
https://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/Monitoring-effectiveness-of-25397.aspx
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Different methods of assessment will, of course, provide different outcomes. You should work with your
colleagues to determine what you are aiming to achieve and the methods which you think will help
achieve the desired answers.
When should control measures be assessed?
As already mentioned, assessment of current control measures should take place on a regular basis.
This is important as it ensure that any ineffective methods are not in place for a prolonged period of
time. Your organisation should outline a suitable time period in which controls should be formally
assessed. This might be weekly, monthly, or annually, for example, depending on the control measure
and the nature of the related hazard.
P a g e | 34
As well as according to agreed timeframes, there are specific occasions in which control measures
should be assessed.
These include when:
➢ A new hazard or risk is identified
➢ A control measure is not effective in minimising the risk
➢ A significant workplace change is planned (e.g. a change to the work environment or
systems of work)
➢ Consultation indicates operational challenges to effective implementation (e.g.
practicability issues, concerns raised by safety and health representatives).
“Monitoring Effectiveness of Controls” Government of Western Australia:
https://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/Monitoring-effectiveness-of-25397.aspx
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
WHS laws
Under certain conditions, assessing current control measures will be a mandatory process in accordance
with relevant WHS laws in the workplace.
The legal requirements regarding when a review will be necessary might differ depending on the
legislation governing the location of your workplace.
For example, the WHS regulation covering Queensland determines that a review is required:
➢ When the control measure does not control
the risk it was implemented to control
➢ Before a change at the workplace which is
likely to give rise to a new or different health
and safety risk that the control measure may
not effectively control
➢ If a new hazard or risk is identified
➢ If the results of consultation indicate that a
review is necessary
➢ If a health and safety representative requests a review and they reasonably believe
that a circumstance referred to above affects or may affect the health and safety of a
member of the workgroup they represent.
“Managing Risk” WorkCover Queensland:
https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/managing-risks/managing-risk
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 35
You should familiarise yourself with the relevant WHS laws and regulations regarding the assessment of
current control measures to ensure that the practices of your organisation are effective and up to date.
Organisational policies and procedures
As well as WHS laws and regulations, you will also need to factor in any specific policies and/or
procedures of your organisation regarding the assessment of current control measures. Organisational
procedures will tend to reflect the relevant WHS laws, but they may also outline individual
circumstances in which a review of current control measures is required. This might include specific
methods for assessment or time periods in which assessment should take place, for example.
P a g e | 36
Activity 3B
P a g e | 37
3.3 – Participate in selecting additional control measures for implementation, as
required
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Work as a team to identify relevant additional control measures.
Additional control measures
There are many benefits to having additional control measures in place. For example, even if you have
full confidence in the control measures implemented, additional control measures can be implemented
as a backup – there is no such thing as too safe! Alternatively, additional control measures can be
implemented in the case that none of the control measures outlined in the hierarchy of risk controls are
practical. Additional controls can also be used in emergency situations when other control measures
have failed.
Just as the control measures previously discussed,
additional control measures should be relevant to the
specific risk posed by the hazardous chemicals present in
your workplace. By nature though, additional control
measures will likely be less precise, and used as a more
generalised way to control such risks.
Examples of additional controls include:
➢ Reducing the number of workers exposed
to the chemical (for example by performing the task out of normal work hours or by
restricting worker access to certain areas)
➢ Reducing the duration and/or frequency of workers’ exposure through specific work
procedures (for example, job rotation)
➢ Reducing quantities of hazardous chemicals through inventory reduction
➢ Implementing procedures to prevent introduction of ignition sources into hazardous
areas
➢ Implementing procedures to prevent introduction of ignition sources into hazardous
areas
➢ Safe work practices, including good housekeeping, regular cleaning of work areas, etc.
➢ Changing packaging material to minimise exposure during handling.
“Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace Code of Practice” Safe Work Australia
(2012)
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 38
Remember that the hierarchy of control measures should always be used to determine and implement
the highest level of protection possible. Additional controls should be just that; supplementary to those
which have been deemed appropriate and effective according to the hierarchy. Only in special
circumstances should additional controls be used alone.
Working as a team
To identify suitable additional control measures, it’s important that you work collaboratively with the
relevant personnel. Collaborative discussion and teamwork is key to any well-functioning workplace, but
this is particularly important when it comes to health and safety, as was discussed earlier in the unit.
When identifying and implementing control measures, you must consider the experience of every
person who comes into contact with, or works around, hazardous chemicals, no matter how small or
seemingly insignificant this contact might be. Take the process of transporting hazardous chemicals as
an example; imagine a workplace has the necessary controls in place for the loading/unloading of a
vehicle, including PPE for those carrying the chemicals, and the use of suitable storage equipment. Due
to a lack of communication though, the organisation has not taken into consideration the role of the
driver of the vehicle, and there are no control measures in place for the occurrence of a spillage or any
other kind of incident occurring during transit. This lack of communication has the potential to put the
driver at serious risk and could easily be avoided should the driver (or a representative) have been
included in the process of selecting relevant control measures.
You should consider how hazardous chemicals are utilised in their entirety within your organisation and
its working practice to determine the individuals or groups who should be involved in the process of
identifying additional control measures. Relevant personnel might include anybody involved with the
use, handling, storage, or transportation of hazardous chemicals in the workplace such as supervisors
and managers, health and safety representatives, and workers, for example.
Each person should have the opportunity to share their thoughts,
ideas, and experience in order to determine additional
controls which are appropriate and likely to be effective. This
is really important as certain risks can only be understood
and identified from those directly involved. You might
consider speaking with different personnel individually,
to give you the opportunity to focus on their thoughts
and opinions singularly rather than as a collective. Group
meetings can be beneficial to brainstorm ideas, but voices can
often get lost in the chaos. This could result in
important information being missed and therefore not
included in the final decisions.
P a g e | 39
Activity 3C
P a g e | 40
3.4 – Assist in implementing procedures for safe use, handling, processing,
storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous chemicals
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Determine how to successfully implement procedures related to hazardous chemicals.
Implementing procedures
Once the appropriate control methods have been determined, steps can then be taken to implement
procedures for the use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Implementing new procedures of any
kind can be a disruptive time for an organisation, and so it is important that this is handled
appropriately, ensuring that all parties understand their role.
To make implementation a success, an organisation should follow these steps:
➢ Consult – this has been discussed in previous
chapters, but all relevant personnel must be
included in the process to make implementation a
success. Consultation should reinforce the
importance of health and safety procedures and
provide guidance for how procedures can be
implemented, but it also ensure that procedures
are realistic for employees across the board
➢ Tailor the procedure to the organisation – it should
go without saying, but any organisation should
avoid implementing health and safety procedures
which are generic and non-specific. Procedures
should be a direct response to the activities and
history of an organisation. Otherwise, they are not
going to be effective
➢ Define roles and responsibilities – all employees and personnel should be aware of
their own role in the implementation of a procedure. This will help to ensure that
everybody knows their input and things can run smoothly. It will also be beneficial for
employees to be aware of the responsibilities of others involved in the process so that
they have a better idea of how the overall process is coming together
➢ Be realistic – before going ahead, it’s crucial that the time, resources, and personnel
have been arranged and accounted for. There’s no use in planning to implement a
procedure which you don’t have the time or resources for, not only will this likely lead
to an unsuccessful outcome, but it also puts unnecessary strain on the workforce
➢ Circulate the new procedure – let employees know in the best way possible that there
is a new procedure in place to ensure that they are on board and in understanding. This
should include employees who are not directly involved too
P a g e | 41
➢ Provide relevant training – all involved employees must be provided with the required
information, instructions, supervision and training. Taking the necessary steps at this
stage will decrease the likelihood of any issues in the future
➢ Be consistent – consistency is key to success; lead by example and follow the training
and instructions provided to employees
➢ Review progress – any new procedure should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure
that it is working as expected and if not, to allow for relevant measures to be put into
place. Maintaining new procedures will be explored in more detail later in the unit.
“Step-by-Step: How to Implement Effective Policies and Procedures” Health & Safety Handbook:
https://www.healthandsafetyhandbook.com.au/step-by-step-how-to-implement-effective-policies-andprocedures/
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
As mentioned above, the implementation of workplace procedures
will be a team effort, and it will take input from a range of different
personnel to make it a success. Your role will be to assist smooth
implementation, so you should be careful not to take over where you
are not authorised to do so. You should communicate regularly with
personnel such as managers and health and safety representatives to
determine your own role and responsibilities, and how you are
expected to assist the process.
You will be aiming to implement procedures for:
➢ Using hazardous chemicals
➢ Handling hazardous chemicals
➢ Processing hazardous chemicals
➢ Transporting hazardous chemicals
➢ Disposing of hazardous chemicals.
Let’s explore potential procedures for each of these in more detail.
Using and handling hazardous chemicals
Hazardous chemicals should always be used and handled according to the relevant safety data sheet.
They will instruct you on when and where to use chemicals, and any measures you should take when
handling them. Safety data sheets were discussed in more detail earlier in the unit. However, an
organisation might choose to implement additional procedures depending on the way in which
hazardous chemicals are used and handled in their specific environment.
P a g e | 42
For example, personal protective equipment (PPE) is a common measure to implement when using and
handling chemicals. PPE refers to anything which is used or worn to minimise the risk to a person’s
safety.
Some examples of PPE include:
➢ Boots
➢ Earplugs
➢ Face masks
➢ Gloves
➢ Goggles
➢ Hard hats
➢ High visibility clothing
➢ Respirators
➢ Safety harnesses
➢ Safety shoes
➢ Sunscreen.
“Personal Protective Equipment” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/ppe
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
If the use of PPE is implemented as a procedure for employees to follow, it must be arranged for the
relevant equipment to be made easily accessible at all times. Employees should be aware of where and
when to gain access, as well as how to report any issues with equipment such as damage.
Processing hazardous chemicals
Depending on that nature of your role, you might be responsible for processing chemicals. Processing
refers to the actions which are required to prepare the chemical for use such as diluting or mixing.
Specific instructions for processing will be provided with the SDS. During processing workers will be at a
high risk of exposure, the relevant PPE should be worn at all times to limit the risk as much as is
possible. Processing won’t be required for all chemicals, so ensure that you read the SDS provided.
Storing hazardous chemicals
It’s a common misconception that chemicals pose no risk whilst they are in storage. However, if the
correct storage procedures are not followed, hazardous chemicals pose a variety of different risks to
both their environment and human health. Risks include contamination, fire, spills, gas releases and
toxic exposures. Implementing effective storage procedures for hazardous chemicals will help to
eliminate (or minimise) the risk posed whilst they are not in use.
P a g e | 43
Here a few general principles for safe storage provided by Business Queensland:
➢ Ensuring safe design, location and installation of storage and handling systems (e.g.
racking systems, tanks)
➢ Separate incompatible substances to prevent reactive chemicals interacting
➢ Control potential ignition sources around flammable substances
➢ Have appropriate safety signage and placards
➢ Be prepared for spill containment and
have clean up systems
➢ Have emergency plans in place to deal
with an incident involving the
hazardous chemicals
➢ Have the appropriate personal
protective equipment (PPE) and store
it correctly (e.g. respirators sealed)
➢ Have fire-fighting equipment that is
easily accessible
➢ Secure chemicals from unauthorised
access.
“Storing and Transporting Hazardous Chemicals” Business Queensland:
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/protecting-business/risk-management/hazardouschemicals/storing-transporting
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
To eliminate or minimise the risk posed by chemicals whilst in storage, your organisation should have an
efficient storage system in place.
A storage system could include things such as:
➢ Bottles
➢ Packages
➢ Cylinders
➢ Drums
➢ Carboys
➢ Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs)
➢ Tanks
P a g e | 44
➢ Vessels
➢ Reaction vessels
➢ Blending and mixing equipment
➢ Associated pipework and connections.
“Storage and Handling Systems” WorkCover Queensland:
https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/hazardous-chemicals/managing-hazchemrisks/storage-and-handling-systems
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Employees should be reminded regularly of any new procedures regarding the storage of chemicals. It’s
often this process which results in the most mistakes due to the misconception that chemicals in
storage pose no risk. It will be a good idea to create posters or memo’s which can be displayed outside
or around storage areas – this will serve to remind employees of the new procedures.
The storage system in place should be checked and maintained on a regular basis to ensure that it
remains efficient and fit-for-purpose. Whether this is your responsibility, or a responsibility of another
member of your team, you should be aware of the general process to ensure that you are able to
identify any relevant issues and report or rectify them as appropriate. Again, maintaining procedures
will be explored in more detail later in the unit.
Transporting hazardous chemicals
Transportation poses a great risk in terms of hazardous chemicals, and if the correct measures aren’t
taken, they have the potential to cause serious harm to individuals and the surrounding environment.
The Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code) outlines technical requirements for the transport of
dangerous goods across Australia; this includes hazardous chemicals. It applies to all states and
territories in Australia except the Northern Territory.
The ADG Code outlines provisions applicable to the transport of dangerous goods including:
➢ Classification
➢ Packaging and performance testing
➢ Use of bulk containers, IBCs, freight containers and unit loads
➢ Marking and placarding
➢ Vehicle requirements
➢ Segregation and stowage
➢ Transfer of bulk dangerous goods
➢ Documentation
P a g e | 45
➢ Safety equipment
➢ Procedures during transport emergencies
➢ The dangerous goods list with UN numbers.
“The Australian Dangerous Goods Code Edition 7.5” Australian Government:
https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/transport/australia/dangerous/dg_code_7e.aspx
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Each law and territory has its own requirements regarding how hazardous chemicals should be
transported. As well as interpreting and applying the ADG Code, you will also need to refer to the
relevant sources to determine the regulations in your area of work.
For example, Business Queensland outlines the following steps for transporting chemicals safely:
➢ Avoid transporting with food, water or other reactive chemicals
➢ Follow the separation and segregation rules for transporting mixed classes of
hazardous chemicals (those classified as
dangerous goods)
➢ Secure hazardous chemicals on the
vehicle so they can’t move or fall
➢ Keep a record of the chemicals you are
carrying
➢ Separate foodstuffs from chemicals
➢ Make sure you have the required signs
and equipment for the vehicle
➢ Make sure the driver of the vehicle has
the correct licence and is trained in
emergency procedures.
“Storing and Transporting Hazardous Chemicals” Business Queensland:
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/protecting-business/risk-management/hazardouschemicals/storing-transporting
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Such legislation must be considered and applied when implementing procedures. If you are ever unsure,
ensure you communicate with the relevant personnel before going ahead with anything. Failure to
consider relevant legislation could not only result in your organisation breaching legal guidelines, but it
could also leave employees and others at serious risk.
P a g e | 46
Disposing of hazardous chemicals
Implementing effective procedures for disposal is just as important as for using and handling hazardous
chemicals. Generally speaking, disposal regulations will be outlined by the authority governing the state
or territory, and so may differ between organisations.
Disposal information will also be provided within the
relevant safety data sheet and should include:
➢ Disposal containers and methods
➢ Physical/chemical properties that may
affect disposal options
➢ Effects of sewage disposal
➢ Special precautions for incineration or
landfill.
“Work Health and Safety Code of Practice” Australian
Government:
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016L00424/Html/Text#_Toc310065977
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Similarly to storing hazardous chemicals, it will be beneficial to enforce visual reminders for disposal
procedures. It can be easy to forget or mistake the best procedures for disposing of waste, especially
when we are in the middle of a busy day. Simple prompts such as stickers on the packaging of chemicals
should help to remind employees of correct storage methods.
P a g e | 47
Activity 3D
P a g e | 48
3.5 – Contribute to ensuring control measures are maintained according to
organisational procedures
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Suggest one way to contribute to the maintenance of control measures in their
workplace.
Maintaining control measures
Control measures must be assessed and reviewed on a regular basis. This will allow a workplace to
identify any areas of weakness in the procedures which have been implemented and address them as
soon as possible. It’s crucial that the review process is not left until something goes wrong – the safety
of employees and others in the workplace should never be at risk, and regular maintenance will be key
to ensuring that this is not the case.
Maintenance should be regular as determined necessary by the PCBU or other management staff, this
could be weekly, monthly, or annually depending on the nature of the control measure and the type of
risk it relates to. There are, however, other circumstances under which a review will be required by
WHS regulations.
These circumstances are as follows:
➢ When the control measure is not effective in
controlling the risk
➢ Before a change at the workplace that is likely to
give rise to a new or different health and safety
risk that the control measure may not effectively
control
➢ If a new hazard or risk is identified
➢ If the results of consultation indicate that a
review is necessary
➢ If a health and safety representative requests a
review.
“Model Code of Practice: How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/model-code-practice-how-manage-work-health-andsafety-risks#5step-4how-to-review-controls
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 49
To review control measures, you should ask the following questions:
➢ Are the control measures working effectively in both their design and operation?
➢ Have the control measures introduced new problems?
➢ Have all hazards been identified?
➢ Have new work methods, new equipment or chemicals made the job safer?
➢ Are safety procedures being followed?
➢ Have the instruction and training provided to workers on how to work safely been
successful?
➢ Are workers actively involved in
identifying hazards and possible control
measures? Are they openly raising
health and safety concerns and
reporting problems promptly?
➢ Are the frequency and severity of
health and safety incidents reducing
over time?
➢ If new legislation or new information
becomes available, does it indicate
current controls may no longer be the
most effective?
“Model Code of Practice: How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks”:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/model-code-practice-how-manage-work-health-andsafety-risks
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
The above questions will allow you to determine any existing or potential problems with the control
measures which have been implemented. Action should be taken according to the level of risk
determined. So, for example, if review determines that a control measure is completely ineffective, this
will require immediate action.
Organisational procedures
When contributing to the maintenance of control measures, the specific requirements of your
organisation must be taken into consideration. As already mentioned, organisational requirements
might dictate the frequency in which a review of control measures is required. They might also
determine factors such as the method of reviewing control measures and who is involved.
Organisational procedures should be clearly outlined to you, but it is also your responsibility to ensure
that you are working according to these at all times.
P a g e | 50
Knowing your role
It goes without saying that you won’t be expected to maintain control measures alone. As is a
reoccurring theme throughout the unit, the process will be a team effort of which all employees should
contribute to. You should determine your role in the review process as well as aim to understand the
role of others so that you have a good awareness of the process on the whole.
In the case that you are not responsible for the main review process as outlined above, there are still
some things you and your colleagues can do to contribute to the maintenance of control measures in
the workplace.
For example, employees can:
➢ Pay attention to control measures as they
are applied – when guidelines are given it’s
often easy to go along with them without
much thought, but when it comes to health
and safety, everybody should play an active
role in the measures they apply. Think about
the control measures you are following as
you go about your day-to-day work and
consider whether it is serving its purpose. Do
you feel the risk is controlled or at least
minimised to the highest possible level? Do
you think there is a more appropriate way to
control the risk?
➢ Quickly report any issues or potential concerns – this is crucial to the maintenance of
control measures. Nobody will be more alert to issues and concerns than those who
implement control measures first hand. Don’t be afraid to raise your concerns no
matter how minimal, if you ever feel there is a safety risk then it is certainly time for an
organisation to review the control measures in place
➢ Share ideas about potential control measures – this goes hand in hand with the first
point. You should contribute to ensuring that health and safety is a constant discussion
in the workplace, and this can be easily done when all employees share their opinions
about the control measures in place. You don’t have to wait until an issue (or potential
issue) occurs before you share your thoughts, any idea you have is worth discussing.
Whilst it is important to know your role in the process of maintaining control measures in your
workplace, remember that health and safety is a responsibility for all employees. Even if you are not
always actively involved in the review process, it is always worth paying attention to the control
measures being implemented and asking yourself if things can be improved.
P a g e | 51
Activity 3E
P a g e | 52
4. Support worker consultation methods for hazardous
chemicals

4.1. Communicate information about identified hazardous chemicals, and support required
personnel at risk of exposure to them
4.2. Gather information about exposure to hazardous chemicals and possible health effects reported
by workers

4.3. Report gathered information to required parties including duty holders
P a g e | 53
4.1 – Communicate information about identified hazardous chemicals, and
support required personnel at risk of exposure to them
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Provide information about the introduction of hazardous chemicals in the workplace,
including support which will be provided.
Communicating information
To ensure that all relevant people have the required information
about hazardous chemicals present in the workplace, information
must be communicated effectively.
Selecting the right methods for communication will be key to ensuring
that the necessary information is conveyed successfully to the
relevant person(s).
Examples of communication methods include:
➢ Meetings
➢ Memos and notice boards
➢ Written documents
➢ Emails.
Different communication methods will come with their own advantages and disadvantages. You should
assess the purpose of your communication and determine the most appropriate method to use. For
example, memos and notice boards allow for information to be communicated to a large number of
employees, but this is not instant. Memos and notice boards can often go unread for a number of days.
Alternatively, meetings are a good way to ensure that information is provided immediately to the
desired recipients. Meetings are also beneficial as they allow for two-way conversation, enabling
participants to ask questions or raise any issues they might have.
When communicating information about hazardous chemicals which have been identified, you will be
aiming to ensure that workers are aware and able to implement safe working practices.
You should look to communicate:
➢ The type of chemical identified
➢ The risk this poses
➢ Control measures to implement.
Notification of incidents (WHS/commonwealth laws)
You may also be required to communicate information about incidents related to hazardous chemicals
as they occur. Incident reporting is really important for an organisation as it ensures that there is a
record of past incidents. This information can then be used to develop procedures in response to
incidents which have occurred to prevent them from happening again.
P a g e | 54
It’s also worth providing general employees with information about incidents which have occurred to
make them aware of how things can go wrong. This will allow them to amend their practices to protect
their own safety and that of others in the area.
Under WHS regulations, organisations are required to report certain incidents to their regulator. This is
only necessary in the case of serious incidents.
This includes:
➢ The death of a person—whether an employee, contractor or member of the public
➢ A serious injury or illness
➢ A dangerous incident that exposes any person to a serious risk, even if no one is
injured.
“Incident Reporting” Safe Work Australia:
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/incident-reporting
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Supporting personnel at risk
An organisation should always aim to provide support to
any personnel who face risk from hazardous chemicals.
Support can be provided in a number of different ways. If
you are responsible for arranging or providing support,
you should be looking to determine the most appropriate
and effective method.
For example, support might be provided by:
➢ Having an open-door policy
➢ Ensuring easy and consistent access to
safety guidance
➢ Providing regular updates.
It will be a good idea to communicate directly with workers who are exposed to hazardous chemicals
and ask them how they would like support to be offered. This will then allow you, or the relevant
personnel, to select and implement methods of support which are specifically catered to the needs of
workers. You might find that workers would like more support than you would expect, working with
hazardous chemicals can be daunting, particularly so if you feel alone in the process.
P a g e | 55
Activity 4A
P a g e | 56
4.2 – Gather information about exposure to hazardous chemicals and possible
health effects reported by workers
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Identify one method of gathering information about exposure to hazardous chemicals
in their workplace.
Gathering information
Whilst we never want to plan for workers to experience exposure to chemicals, when this does occur,
it’s important that such instances are used to improve working practices and control measures going
forward. There is no use in brushing over incidents as human error or a one-off; instead each incident
should be analysed and assessed to ensure that it does not reoccur going forward.
There are many different ways to gather information,
some more in-depth than others.
For example, you could:
➢ Review existing documentation such as
incident report forms
➢ Carry out observations
➢ Send out questionnaires/surveys
➢ Arrange focus groups.
Note: The above methods will be appropriate if you are looking to gain a generalised insight into worker
exposure. Seeking information relating a specific incident which has occurred will be explored in more
detail later in the chapter.
As mentioned above, some methods of gathering information will produce much more in-depth results
than others. For example, reviewing existing documentation will be limited to the information which
has already been gathered, and you won’t be able to expand on this any further. On the other hand,
focus groups will provide you with unlimited information as you have the source(s) of information to
hand.
You should consider the results you are aiming to reach before you select your method(s) of gathering
data. This will allow you to determine what will work best for you and your objectives. For example, if
you are looking to gain statistics on past incidents relating to hazardous chemicals in your workplace,
then gathering and assessing existing documentation is going to be a good option.
Possible health effects
It will be beneficial to gather information about the possible effect hazardous chemicals are having on
the health of workers. This will enable an organisation to implement control measures which may not
immediately be obvious, but which prevent the longer-term health of workers who experience regular
exposure. Of course, the best source of information for this will be the workers themselves, but they
may not always recognise a link between exposure to chemicals and their health.
P a g e | 57
Where possible it will be a good idea for an organisation to seek advice from a health professional, or
insist that workers have formal health checks on a regular basis. Having a person involved who is able to
recognise the potential risks that exposure can have on health both immediately and in the longer term
will help to ensure that the health and safety of workers is protected and maintained as much as is
possible.
Remember that effects can be long term, so information should be gathered regularly and consistently,
with the aim to identify any patterns in the type of information workers are reporting.
Incident causation
When a worker experiences exposure to a hazardous chemical, you should aim to gather information
related specifically related to what caused an incident – this can be referred to as incident causation (or
accident causation).
The best way to determine the cause of an incident will be to speak directly to the person(s) involved.
They will be able to give you an honest, first-hand account of the factors which lead up to the incident.
You might ask the worker to complete a form in which they outline their memory of the event.
Alternatively, you might prefer to speak face-to-face with the worker, asking them questions as you go.
You might also consider gathering information from any witnesses to the incident.
This is not done because we don’t trust the account of the worker, but rather
to determine if there were any other relevant factors which could have
contributed to the cause of the incident which the worker was
not aware of. For example, if a worker trips over and spills a
chemical, they may guess that tripped over something they
had left in the way whilst working. A witness, however,
may be able to determine that the floor had recently
been cleaned and a wet floor sign not erected.
Gathering as much information as possible will allow
you to gain a good insight into the incident, and
determine a realistic idea of how the incident came to light.
P a g e | 58
Activity 4B
P a g e | 59
4.3 – Report gathered information to required parties including duty holder
By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:
➢ Identify three methods which could be used to report gathered information and
suggest an appropriate recipient for each.
Reporting information
Once you have gathered information about worker exposure to hazardous chemicals, you should look to
share this information with the relevant people. Sharing information will help to ensure that
everybody’s knowledge is up-to-date, and that relevant action can be taken to improve and maintain
safety in the workplace going forward.
Who to report information to
The information you have gathered should be passed on to any person who you think would benefit.
This could include personnel external to your organisation as well as internal staff. It could also include
parties who are not directly linked to your organisation.
For example, you might communicate information to:
➢ Employees
➢ Management staff
➢ Health and safety representatives
➢ Stakeholders
➢ Customers.
How to report information
You will also need to select the most appropriate method
to share information.
Information can be reported via:
➢ Meetings
➢ Emails
➢ Letters
➢ Training.
As ever, the best way to report information will depend on your purpose as well as the recipient. For
example, the way you communicate information to employees may be much less formal than the way
you communicate information to stakeholders. You will need to determine the purpose of your
communication and the most suitable way to share information according to the recipient.
P a g e | 60
Record keeping
As well as sharing information you have gathered with the relevant parties, you should also make sure
to keep copies for your organisation’s records. All businesses in Australia are required by law to keep
records and documents relating to how their business operates.
Along with areas such as finance and employee records, a business is required to keep records on
specific policies and procedures; including workplace health and safety.
This could include:
➢ Workplace incidents
➢ Risk register
➢ Management plans
➢ Incident registers.
“Keep the Right Records” Australian Government:
https://www.business.gov.au/new-to-business-essentials/seriesone/keep-the-right-records
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Not only is record keeping a legal requirement for businesses to follow, it also ensures that the practices
of a workplace can be revisited in the future.
There are two ways to keep records:
➢ Manually
➢ Digitally.
Manual record-keeping
Increasingly being seen as outdated, a manual record-keeping system refers to paper-based documents.
There are many advantages to manual record-keeping, including:
➢ Less expensive to set up
➢ Correcting entries may be easier with manual systems, as opposed to computerised
ones that can leave complicated audit trails
➢ The risk of corrupted data is much less
➢ Data loss is less of a risk, particularly if records are stored in a fire-proof environment
➢ Problems with duplicate copies of the same records are generally avoided
➢ The process is simplified as you don’t need to be familiar with how accounting software
calculates and treats your information.
P a g e | 61
Manual record-keeping can be tricky; it’s difficult to streamline paper documents, especially if a number
of people have access and use of the system.
Here are some tips for manual record-keeping:
➢ Sort and store all paperwork, receipts and payments in 12 separate months
➢ Keep all original documents and date all correspondence
➢ Record all transaction dates and payment amounts
➢ Save all online financial transactions by month and financial year in your inbox and in a
separate folder on your hard drive
➢ Backup all electronic records on an external
hard drive or other storage device other
than your computer’s internal hard drive
➢ Capture nearly all of your income and
expenses in statements from both your bank
and credit card accounts
➢ Request that all statements and bills be sent
on a monthly basis – allowing you to
reconcile all financial records each month.
“Electronic and Manual Record-Keeping” Business Queensland:
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/finances-cash-flow/records/electronic-manual
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
Digital record-keeping
Digital record-keeping (or electronic) has become increasingly favoured by organisations across the
board.
There are many advantages to digital record keeping, including:
➢ Helps you record business transactions, including income and expenses, payments to
workers, and stock and asset details
➢ Efficient way to keep financial records and requires less storage space
➢ Provides the option of recording a sale when you raise an invoice, not when you
receive a cash payment from a client
➢ Easy to generate orders, invoices, debtor reports, financial statements, employee pay
records, inventory reports
➢ Automatically tallies amounts and provides reporting functions
➢ Keeps up with the latest tax rates, tax laws and rulings
P a g e | 62
➢ Many accounting programs have facilities to email invoices to clients, orders to
suppliers, or BAS returns to the Australian Taxation Office
➢ Allows you to back up records and keep
them in a safe place in case of fire or theft.
If a digital record-keeping system is used, an effective backup
system should also be in place. With all of the advantages of
digital systems, they do still have their downfalls. Corruption
is not uncommon, and neither is human error, and without a
backup systems, either of these could result in records being
lost forever. Make yourself aware of the backup system in
place and how this works to ensure that you can follow and
relevant procedures and avoid information being lost.
“Electronic and Manual Record-Keeping” Business Queensland:
https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/finances-cash-flow/records/electronic-manual
(Accessed 11.10.2019)
P a g e | 63
Activity 4C
P a g e | 64
Summative Assessments
At the end of your Learner Workbook, you will find the Summative Assessments.
This includes:
➢ Skills Activity
➢ Knowledge Activity
➢ Performance Activity.
This holistically assesses your understanding and application of the skills, knowledge and performance
requirements for this unit. Once this is completed, you will have finished this unit and be ready to move
onto the next one – well done!
P a g e | 65
References
These suggested references are for further reading and do not necessarily represent the contents of
this unit.
Websites
The Australian Dangerous Goods Code –
https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/transport/australia/dangerous/dg_code_7e.aspx
Hazardous Chemicals – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/chemicals
Hazardous Substances – https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/workplace-safetyhazardous-substances
Identifying, Assessing, and Controlling Hazards – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/modelcode-practice-how-manage-work-health-and-safety-risks#41-the-hierarchy-of-control-measures
Incident Reporting – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/incident-reporting
Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace Code of Practice –
https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/managing_risks_of_hazardous_c
hemicals2.pdf
Model Work Health and Safety Regulations – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-workhealth-and-safety-regulations
Personal Protective Equipment – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/ppe
Record-keeping – https://www.business.gov.au/new-to-business-essentials/series-one/keep-the-rightrecords
Registers – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/registers-manifests-and-placards
Safety Data Sheets – https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sds
All references accessed on and correct as of 11.10.2019, unless otherwise stated.