Unit of competency details

BSBOHS505C - Manage hazards in the work environment (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 10/Mar/2009

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by BSBWHS504A - Manage WHS hazards and risksTerminology updated to reflect new work health and safety legislation. BSBOHS505C Manage hazards in the work environment AND BSBOHS507B Facilitate the application of principles of occupational health to control OHS risk combined - NOT EQUIVALENT. 17/Dec/2012

Training packages that include this unit


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  10/Mar/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to identify hazards, and to assess and control risks in the work environment. It focuses on the knowledge, processes and techniques necessary to control specific hazards in the work environment.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Hazards may include noise, light, radiation, hazardous substances, dangerous goods, dusts and fibres, gravity (falls from heights), thermal environment, ergonomic hazards, manual handling, biological or psychosocial hazards or hazards arising from work organisation.

Where the use of monitoring equipment is appropriate, useful underpinning skills are provided in BSBOHS406B Use equipment to conduct workplace monitoring.

This unit differs from BSBOHS504B Apply principles of OHS risk management, which takes a generic approach to risk management and provides required knowledge and skills.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

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. Access sources of information and data about the work environment to identify hazardous tasks or conditions

1.1. Access external sources of information and data  to assist in identifying hazardous tasks or conditions for the selected hazard 

1.2. Review workplace sources of information and data  to assist in identification of hazardous tasks or conditions for the selected hazard

1.3. Use appropriate tools  to identify hazardous tasks or conditions for the selected hazard

1.4. Use appropriate tools to conduct workplace inspections in consultation with stakeholders

1.5. Seek input from stakeholders , key personnel  and OHS specialists  if required

2. Analyse the work environment to assess risk

2.1. Identify and appropriately use equipment  and strategies  required for basic workplace measurement and monitoring of the selected hazard

2.2. Interpret results of workplace measurements in accordance with recognised standards 

2.3. Seek input from stakeholders to clarify and confirm issues related to the selected hazard

2.4. Report results of workplace measurements and interpretations to stakeholders in a format easily understandable by the target group

2.5. Assess risks  associated with identified hazards in the work environment in consultation with stakeholders and take into account effectiveness of existing controls

2.6. Identify and prioritise hazardous tasks or conditions requiring control action in consultation with stakeholders, taking account of recognised standards

2.7. Establish and update risk register  as appropriate

3. Control risk associated with hazard

3.1. Seek information and data from external sources on control options for the specific hazard

3.2. Seek information and data from stakeholders and key personnel on control options for the specific hazard

3.3. Develop and advise a range of control options, in consultation with stakeholders and key personnel, by applying the hierarchy of control , noting that personal protective equipment  (PPE) is regarded as the least satisfactory control measure

3.4. Identify factors with a potential to impact on the effectiveness of controls 

3.5. Develop control strategy for the selected hazard in consultation with stakeholders

3.6. Communicate outcomes of hazard identification, workplace monitoring and analysis, and the resultant control strategy to stakeholders and key personnel for action as appropriate

4. Monitor and review effectiveness of control strategy

4.1. Regularly review effectiveness of control strategy

4.2. Determine frequency, method and scope of review in consultation with workplace stakeholders and in accordance with workplace procedures

4.3. Seek input from stakeholders to review

4.4. Identify areas for improvement in the control of the selected hazard and make recommendations for improvement

5. Apply professional practice

5.1. Manage collection of information and data, reporting of outcomes and maintenance of records in an ethical manner 

5.2. Identify situations where OHS specialists may be required

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • analytical skills to:
  • identify areas for hazard control
  • analyse relevant workplace information and data
  • contribute to the assessment of the resources needed to systematically manage OHS and, where appropriate, access resources
  • attention to detail when making observations and recording outcomes
  • research skills to access relevant OHS information and data
  • numeracy skills to carry out simple arithmetical calculations (e.g. % change), and to produce graphs of workplace information and data to identify trends and recognise limitations
  • technological skills to use basic measuring equipment including reading scales and dials applicable to selected hazards
  • communication skills to:
  • conduct effective formal and informal meetings and to communicate effectively with personnel at all levels of the organization, OHS specialists and, as required, emergency services personnel
  • prepare reports for a range of target groups including OHS committee, OHS representatives, managers and supervisors
  • use language and literacy skills appropriate to the workgroup and the task
  • consultation and negotiation skills to develop plans, and to implement and monitor designated actions
  • project management skills to achieve change in OHS matters
  • organisational skills to manage own tasks within a timeframe
  • information technology skills to access and enter internal and external information and data on OHS and to use a range of communication media

Required knowledge 

  • organisational personnel at all levels
  • OHS specialists and managers
  • report writing
  • location of information and data and advice from different sources to identify hazards
  • units of measurement to interpret measurement information and data
  • control strategies
  • software systems to assist in extraction, analysis and reporting of required information and data on specific hazards
  • word processing and other basic software for displaying visual information and data for reporting results and recommendations
  • relevant OHS legislation (acts, regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material)

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 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • hazard identification, analysis of the work environment and participation in the development of risk control for selected hazard types
  • knowledge of relevant OHS legislation (acts, regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material).

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • reports from other parties consulted in identifying hazards and conducting risk assessments.

Method of assessment 

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

  • analysis of responses to case studies and scenarios
  • assessment of written reports on the effectiveness of the hazard identification, risk assessment, control and management actions taken
  • demonstration of techniques used to identify hazards; assess associated risks; control, monitor and evaluate risks
  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • observation of performance in role plays
  • observation of presentations
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of characteristics, mode of action and units of measurement of major hazard types
  • review of control strategies developed for the selected hazard
  • assessment of reports to stakeholders about the results of workplace measurements and interpretations.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • other OHS units.

Range Statement


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

External sources of information and data  may include:

  • Australian Safety and Compensation Council
  • databases with national and state injury data such as National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)
  • employer groups
  • industry bodies
  • journals and websites
  • legislation, codes of practice and standards
  • manufacturers' manual and specifications
  • OHS regulatory authorities
  • OHS specialists
  • unions

Hazards  may include:

  • source or a situation with a potential for harm in terms of:
  • injury
  • ill health
  • damage to property
  • damage to the environment
  • a combination of the above

Workplace sources of information and data  may include:

  • employees
  • hazard, incident and investigation reports
  • material safety data sheets (MSDSs)
  • minutes of meetings
  • OHS representatives
  • reports and audits
  • workplace inspections

Appropriate tools  may include:

  • checklists produced as part of codes of practice
  • notes or drawings
  • photographs
  • tools developed for a specific work environment, situation or hazard
  • tools provided by external sources or advisors

Stakeholders  may include:

  • employees
  • health and safety, and other employee representatives
  • managers
  • OHS committees
  • supervisors

Key personnel  may include:

  • managers in related areas
  • people involved in OHS decision making or who are or affected by OHS decisions

OHS specialists  may include:

  • engineers
  • ergonomists
  • occupational hygienists
  • organisational psychologists
  • toxicologists
  • workplace injury and return to work advisors

Equipment  may include basic instrumentation such as:

  • goniometer
  • humidity measuring devices
  • light meters
  • simple gas sampling devices
  • sound level meters
  • temperature measuring devices

Strategies  may include:

  • focus groups
  • interviews
  • questionnaires

Recognised standards  may include:

  • codes of practice
  • exposure standards
  • guidance notes
  • national and industry standards
  • OHS regulations

Risks  may include:

  • the chance of something happening that will result in injury or damage which are measured in terms of consequences (injury or damage) and likelihood of the consequence

Risk register  may include:

  • list of:
  • hazards
  • location of hazards
  • people exposed to the hazards
  • possible control measures and dates for implementation
  • range of possible scenarios or circumstances under which these hazards may cause injury or damage
  • results of the risk assessment

Hierarchy of control  may include:

  • eliminating hazards
  • and where this is not practicable, minimising risk by:
  • substitution
  • isolating the hazard from personnel
  • using engineering controls
  • using administrative controls (e.g. procedures, training)
  • using PPE

Personal protective equipment  is equipment designed to be worn by a person to provide protection from hazards, and may include:

  • clothing and footwear
  • face and eye protection
  • hand protection
  • head protection
  • hearing protection
  • respiratory protection

Factors with a potential to impact on effectiveness of controls  may include:

  • cultural diversity
  • geographic location
  • hierarchical structure
  • language
  • literacy and numeracy levels
  • shift work and rostering arrangements
  • size of organisation
  • training required
  • workplace culture related to OHS including commitment by managers and supervisors and compliance with procedures and training
  • workplace organisational structures (size of organisation, geographic, hierarchical)

Ethical manner  may include:

  • commercial-in-confidence information and data as appropriate
  • confidentiality
  • own currency of knowledge
  • privacy as appropriate

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Regulation, Licensing and Risk - Occupational Health and Safety

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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