Unit of competency details

ACMWHS301A - Contribute to workplace health and safety processes (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMWHS301 - Contribute to workplace health and safety processes Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages Assessment requirements revised 28/Nov/2017

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 07/Dec/2012


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  06/May/2013 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History


TP Version 




Initial release

Unit Descriptor

This Unit of Competency covers the process required by an employee to contribute to workplace health and safety processes where there is responsibility for own work outputs and possibly limited responsibility for the work output of others.

Application of the Unit

This Unit is intended for application by a skilled worker with little or no responsibility for others. Workers are likely to perform work activities requiring a range of well-developed skills where some discretion and judgment is required.

NOTE: The terms Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Work Health and Safety (WHS) are equivalent and generally either can be used in the workplace. In jurisdictions where the National Model WHS Legislation has not been implemented Registered Training Organisations are advised to contextualise the unit of competency by referring to the existing State/Territory OHS Legislative requirements as well as any specific workplace risks, hazards and associated safety practices.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all Units of Competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Therefore, it will be necessary to check with the relevant State or Territory regulators for current licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements before undertaking this unit.



Employability Skills Information

This Unit contains employability skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Plan and conduct work safely

1.1 Work is planned in accordance with relevant provisions of workplace health and safety legislation, standards, codes of practice/compliance codes, guidance material and workplace safe working procedures.

1.2 Hazards are identified  as part of work planning and work process.

1.3 Identified hazards  a re addressed prior to starting work using judgement within defined scope of responsibilities.

1.4 Residual risk  is reported according to organisation procedures . 

1.5 Incidents and injuries are reported in line with organisation policies and procedures.

1.6 Workplace health and safety housekeeping  is undertaken in work areas.

1.7 Own levels of stress and fatigue are monitored to ensure ability to work safely and sustainably.

2. Support others in working safely

2.1 Information  on safe work practices and work procedures  is provided with members of the work group where relevant.

2.2 Workplace health and safety practices of less experienced members of the workgroup are checked.

2.3 Guidance and coaching  i s provided to less experienced members of the workgroup to support them in working safely, if appropriate.

2.4 Support is provided to members of the workgroup to accurately record incidents  and completed  associated workplace documentation  in accordance with organisation procedures, if appropriate.

3. Contribute to workplace health and safety participative processes

3.1 Workplace health and safety issues are raised in accordance with organisation procedures within appropriate timeframes.

3.2 Contributions to workplace meetings, workplace inspections or other consultative activities are provided in a constructive manner to improve safety.

3.3 Assistance is provided to workgroup members to contribute to workplace safety.

3.4 Knowledge of roles and responsibilities of health and safety representatives and workplace health and safety committees is applied.

4. Contribute to hazard identification, workplace health and safety risk assessment and risk control activities

4.1 Identified hazards and inadequacies in risk controls  are reported within appropriate timeframes.

4.2 The workplace is checked for hazards using itemised checklists in accordance with work procedures.

4.3 Contributions to risk assessments are made.

4.4 Input is provided to development and implementation of control measures, with reference to the hierarchy of risk control .

5. Participate in the control of emergency situations

5.1 Emergency signals and alarms  are identified and responded to appropriately.

5.2 Initial action is taken to control/confine emergency  in accordance with organisation procedures, taking account of the nature and scope of the emergency.

5.3 Emergency response procedures are implemented within scope of training and competence.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this Unit.

Required skills

Required skills include: 

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to contribute to the workplace health and safety processes in the work context by:

  • addressing their own health and safety
  • addressing health and safety of others who may be affected by their actions
  • supporting members of the workgroup who may be less experienced in the workplace in regard to workplace health and safety matters
  • taking initiative to address hazards and manage risks at a systemic level.

In addition, the candidate must be able to:

  • check the workplace for hazards and risks using an itemised checklist
  • provide advice and feedback in a constructive and supportive manner
  • take into account and use opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues.

Required knowledge

Required knowledge includes: 

  • basic hazard identification procedures such as workplace inspections and review of workplace data
  • hierarchy of risk control and its application
  • nature of common workplace hazards for example chemicals, bodily fluids, noise, manual handling, work postures, underfoot hazards and moving parts of machinery
  • personal protective equipment requirements, including use, storage and maintenance
  • principles of basic risk assessment
  • relationship between workplace health and safety and sustainability in the workplace, including the contribution of maintaining health and safety to environmental, economic, workforce and social sustainability
  • regulations, standards, codes of practice and industry standards/guidance notes relevant to own work, role and responsibilities
  • roles and responsibilities of health and safety representatives and workplace health and safety committees
  • roles and responsibilities of workers, officers and Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs)
  • safety signs and their meanings, including signs for:
  • dangerous goods class signs
  • emergency equipment
  • personal protective equipment
  • specific hazards, such as sharps and radiation
  • sources of w orkplace health and safety information within in the workplace with knowledge of external sources of workplace health and safety information
  • standard emergency signals, alarms and required responses
  • the difference between hazard and risk
  • the legal rights and responsibilities of the workplace parties
  • the role of Safe Work Australia and updated State/Territory workplace health and safety legislative obligations
  • workplace specific information including:
  • designated person(s) for raising workplace health and safety issues
  • hazards of the particular work environment
  • hazard identification procedures relevant to the hazards in their workplace
  • organisation and work procedures particularly those related to performance of own work, specific hazards and risk control, reporting of hazards, incidents and injuries and workplace health and safety issue resolution, consultation, use of personal protective equipment and emergency response
  • potential emergency situations, alarms and signals and required response.

Evidence Guide

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

To demonstrate competence in this Unit, a candidate must be able to provide evidence of contribution to workplace health and safety processes in the workplace. This includes:

  • addressing their own health and safety
  • addressing that of others who may be affected by their actions
  • supporting members of the workgroup who may be less experienced in the workplace in regard to workplace health and safety matters
  • taking some initiative to address hazards and manage risks at a systemic level.

Evidence gathered by an assessor to determine competence will include practical demonstration of competence, including:

  • workplace demonstration, simulation exercise, scenario or role play
  • indirect evidence from workplace supervisor reports, workplace documentation, and written responses to problems, scenarios and case studies.

Evidence of workplace performance over time must be obtained to inform a judgement of competence.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Products that could be used as evidence include:

  • verbal and written responses to verbal, pictorial or physical scenarios
  • demonstrated response to scenarios, simulations, role plays
  • completed hazard or incident reports, completed workplace inspection checklists
  • reports from work group members, supervisor.

Processes that could be used as evidence include:

  • how workplace checks/inspections are carried out
  • how hazards are addressed
  • how mentoring of fellow workgroup members is undertaken
  • how incident investigations reports were completed.

Method of assessment

This Unit should be assessed together with other Units of Competence relevant to the function or work role.

Guidance information for assessment

Access and equity considerations:

  • all assessment should be applied with respect to relevant work-related access and equity issues
  • competence should reflect an ability to work in a culturally diverse environment.
  • assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities.

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.

Hazard identification 

Hazards identification is the process of identifying sources of harm, and may be required:

  • before new forms of work and organisation of work are implemented
  • before changes are made to workplace, equipment, work processes or work arrangements
  • as part of planning major tasks or activities, such as equipment shutdowns
  • following an incident report
  • when new knowledge becomes available
  • at regular intervals during normal operations
  • prior to disposal of equipment, or materials.


A hazard is a source or situation with the potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill-health, damage to property, the environment, or a combination of these.

Common workplace hazards (from Safe Work Australia Work Health and Safety Risks - Code of Practice) include:

  • manual tasks - overexertion or repetitive movement can cause muscular strain
  • gravity - falling objects, falls, slips and trips of people can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, concussion, permanent injuries or death
  • electricity - potential ignition source. Exposure to live electrical wires can cause shock, burns or death from electrocution
  • machinery and equipment - being hit by moving vehicles, or being caught by moving parts of machinery can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, permanent injuries or death
  • hazardous chemicals - chemicals (such as acids, hydrocarbons, heavy metals) and dusts (such as asbestos and silica) can cause respiratory illnesses, cancers or dermatitis
  • extreme temperatures - heat can cause burns, heat stroke or fatigue. Cold can cause hypothermia or frost bite
  • noise - exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing damage
  • radiation - ultra violet, welding arc flashes, micro waves and lasers can cause burns, cancer or blindness
  • biological - micro-organisms can cause hepatitis, legionnaires’ disease, Q fever, HIV/AIDS or allergies
  • psychosocial hazards - effects of work-related stress, bullying, violence and work-related fatigue.

Examples of hazards in an animal care environment may include:

  • animal bites, envenomation, kicks, scratches or crush injuries
  • biological hazardous waste
  • bodily fluids
  • chemicals and medicines
  • sharps
  • zoonotic and exotic disease possibilities.


Risk in relation to any hazard means:

  • the probability and consequences of injury, illness or damage resulting from exposure to a hazard

Residual risk is:

  • the risk which remains after controls have been implemented.

Organisation procedures 

Organisation procedures includes policies and procedures underpinning the management of workplace health and safety, including:

  • hazard, incident and injury reporting
  • hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • consultation and participation
  • quality system documentation.

Workplace health and safety housekeeping 

Workplace health and safety housekeeping includes workplace and personal routines designed to improve health and safety:

  • cleaning up spills
  • keeping walkways, exits and traffic areas clear.


Information includes:

  • employees handbooks
  • hazard, incident and investigation reports
  • incident investigation reports
  • information from external sources on hazards and risk relevant to the work group
  • information from health and safety representatives
  • job safety analyses (JSAs) and risk assessments
  • material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and registers
  • manufacturers' manuals and specifications
  • minutes of meetings
  • reports from workplace health and safety committee
  • workplace inspection reports.

Work procedures 

Work procedures include:

  • batch specifications
  • operator or manufacturer manuals
  • procedures for selecting, fitting, using and maintaining personal protective equipment
  • standard operating procedures.


Mentoring and coaching may include:

  • assisting with problem solving
  • providing encouragement
  • providing feedback
  • providing guidance and explanation on implementation of work and organisation procedures.


Incidents include any event that has caused or has the potential for injury, ill-health or damage.

Workplace documentation 

Other workplace documentation may include:

  • job checklists and schedules
  • workplace inspection checklists.

Risk controls 

Risk controls include the devices and methods to, where practicable, eliminate the hazard or, where this is not practicable, minimise the risk associated with the hazard.

Hierarchy of risk control 

Hierarchy of risk control (from Safe Work Australia Work Health and Safety Risks - Code of Practice) includes:

  • level 1 controls
  • eliminate hazards
  • level 2 controls
  • substitute the hazard with something safer
  • isolate the hazard from people
  • use engineering controls
  • Level 3 controls
  • use administrative controls
  • use personal protective equipment (PPE).

Emergency signals and alarms 

Emergency signals and alarms may include:

  • evacuation alarms or announcements
  • fire alarms
  • machinery malfunction alarms
  • reversing beepers on mobile plant.


Emergency may include any abnormal or sudden event that requires immediate action, such as:

  • serious injury events
  • events requiring evacuation
  • fires and explosions
  • hazardous substance and chemical spills
  • explosion and bomb alerts
  • security emergencies, such as armed robberies, intruders and disturbed persons
  • internal emergencies, such as loss of power or water supply and structural collapse
  • external emergencies and natural disasters, such as flood, storm and traffic accident impacting on the organisation.

Unit Sector(s)

Workplace health and safety