Unit of competency details

BSBOHS509A - Ensure a safe workplace (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 18/Apr/2008

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBWHS501A - Ensure a safe workplaceTerminology updated to reflect new work health and safety legislation. Element 1 and Element 4 revised. Guidance information for assessment amended. Critical aspects revised. Language simplified - EQUIVALENT. 17/Dec/2012

Training packages that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
UEP12 - Electricity Supply Industry - Generation Sector Training PackageElectricity Supply Industry - Generation Sector Training Package 1.0 
UEG11 - Gas Industry Training PackageGas Industry Training Package 1.0 
TAE10 - Training and EducationTraining and Education 1.0-3.4 
RII09 - Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training PackageResources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package 2.0-3.2 
RGR08 - Racing Training PackageRacing Training Package 1.0-1.1 
PUA00 - Public Safety Training PackagePublic Safety Training Package 8.1 
ICT10 - Integrated Telecommunications Training PackageIntegrated Telecommunications Training Package 2.0 
ICA11 - Information and Communications Technology Training PackageInformation and Communications Technology Training Package 2.0 
DEF12 - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 2.0 
CUV11 - Visual Arts, Crafts and Design Training PackageVisual Arts, Crafts and Design Training Package 1.0 
CUV03 - Visual Arts, Craft and Design Training PackageVisual Arts, Craft and Design Training Package 3.0 
CUS09 - MusicMusic 1.1-1.2 
CUL11 - Library, Information and Cultural Services Training PackageLibrary, Information and Cultural Services Training Package 1.0 
CUF07 - Screen and Media Training PackageScreen and Media Training Package 1.2 
CUA11 - Live Performance Training PackageLive Performance Training Package 1.0 
CPP07 - Property Services Training PackageProperty Services Training Package 7.0-14.5 
BSB07 - Business Services Training PackageBusiness Services Training Package 5.0-6.0 
AUR05 - Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training PackageAutomotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package 3.0-4.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
UEP50412 - Diploma of ESI Generation Maintenance - Electrical ElectronicDiploma of ESI Generation Maintenance - Electrical Electronic 
UEP50312 - Diploma of ESI Generation (Maintenance)Diploma of ESI Generation (Maintenance) 
UEP50212 - Diploma of ESI Generation (Operations)Diploma of ESI Generation (Operations) 
UEP50112 - Diploma of ESI Generation - Systems OperationsDiploma of ESI Generation - Systems Operations 
UEG60211 - Advanced Diploma of Gas Supply Industry OperationsAdvanced Diploma of Gas Supply Industry Operations 
UEG50211 - Diploma of Gas Supply Industry OperationsDiploma of Gas Supply Industry Operations 
TLI50510 - Diploma of Deployment LogisticsDiploma of Deployment Logistics 1-3 
TLI50410 - Diploma of LogisticsDiploma of Logistics 1-3 
TLI50210 - Diploma of Materiel LogisticsDiploma of Materiel Logistics 1-2 
TAE50310 - Diploma of International Education ServicesDiploma of International Education Services 1-3 
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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  25/Jul/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to establish, maintain and evaluate the organisation's occupational health and safety (OHS) policies, procedures and programs in the relevant work area in accordance with OHS legal requirements.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Managers play an important role in ensuring the safety of the workplace and the wellbeing of their staff. This unit applies to managers working in a range of contexts. It takes a systems approach and ensures compliance with relevant legislative requirements.

All those who have, or are likely to have, a management responsibility for OHS should undertake this unit.

It is relevant for those with managerial responsibilities, either as an owner or employee-manager of a business.

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. Establish and maintain an OHS system

1.1. Locate and communicate OHS policies which clearly express the organisation's commitment to implement relevant OHS legislation  in the enterprise

1.2. Define OHS responsibilities for all workplace personnel in accordance with OHS policies, procedures and programs

1.3. Identify and approve financial and human resources for the effective operation of the OHS system

2. Establish and maintain participative arrangements for the management of OHS

2.1. Establish and maintain participative arrangements with employees and their representatives in accordance with relevant OHS legislation

2.2. Appropriately resolve issues raised through participative arrangements and consultation

2.3. Promptly provide information about the outcomes of participation and consultation in a manner accessible to employees

3. Establish and maintain procedures for identifying hazards, and assessing and controlling risks

3.1. Develop procedures for ongoing hazard identification, and assessment and control of associated risks 

3.2. Include hazard identification at the planning, design and evaluation stages of any change in the workplace to ensure that new hazards are not created by the proposed changes

3.3. Develop and maintain procedures for selection and implementation of risk control measures in accordance with the hierarchy of control

3.4. Identify inadequacies in existing risk control measures in accordance with the hierarchy of control and promptly provide resources to enable implementation of new measures

3.5. Identify intervention points for expert OHS advice

4. Establish and maintain a quality OHS management system

4.1. Develop and provide an OHS induction and training program for all employees as part of the organisation's training program

4.2. Utilise system for OHS record keeping  to allow identification of patterns of occupational injury and disease in the organisation

4.3. Measure and evaluate the OHS system in line with the organisation's quality systems framework

4.4. Develop and implement improvements to the OHS system to achieve organisational OHS objectives

4.5. Ensure compliance with the OHS legislative framework so that legal OHS standards are maintained as a minimum

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • analytic skills to analyse relevant workplace data in order to identify hazards, and to assess and control risks
  • communication skills to consult with staff and to promote a safe workplace
  • problem-solving skills to deal with complex and non-routine difficulties
  • technology skills to store and retrieve relevant workplace data.

Required knowledge 

  • application of the hierarchy of control (the preferred order of risk control measures from most to least preferred, that is, elimination, engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protective equipment)
  • hazard identification and risk management
  • relevant legislation from all levels of government that affects business operation, especially in regard to OHS and environmental issues, equal opportunity, industrial relations and anti-discrimination
  • reporting requirements.

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:

  • detailed knowledge and application of all relevant OHS legislative frameworks
  • establishment and maintenance of arrangements for managing OHS within the organisations' business systems and practices
  • identification of intervention points for expert OHS advice
  • principles and practice of effective OHS management in a small, medium or large business.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to appropriate documentation and resources normally used in the workplace.

Method of assessment 

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

  • analysis of responses to case studies and scenarios
  • assessment of written reports
  • demonstration of techniques
  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • review of OHS policies, information provided on the OHS system, information about the outcomes of participation and consultation provided to employees
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of OHS and OHS legislation
  • evaluation of OHS induction and training
  • review of OHS record keeping system.

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
  • units from the Diploma of Management.

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.

OHS legislation  will depend on state/territory legislation and requirements, and will include:

  • common law duties to meet general duty of care requirements
  • regulations and approved codes of practice relating to hazards in the work area
  • requirements for establishment of consultative arrangements including those for health and safety representatives, and health and safety committees
  • requirements for effective management of hazards
  • requirements for provision of information and training including training in safe operating procedures, procedures for workplace hazards, hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control, and emergency and evacuation procedures
  • requirements for the maintenance and confidentiality of records of occupational injury and disease

Control of associated risks  may include:

  • administrative
  • counselling/disciplinary processes
  • elimination
  • engineering
  • housekeeping and storage
  • issue resolution
  • OHS records maintenance and analysis
  • personal protective equipment
  • purchasing of supplies and equipment
  • workplace inspections including plant and equipment

Organisational health and safety record keeping  may relate to:

  • audit and inspection reports
  • workplace environmental monitoring records
  • consultation e.g. meetings of health & safety committees, work group meeting agendas including OHS items and actions
  • induction, instruction and training
  • manufacturers' and suppliers' information including dangerous goods storage lists
  • hazardous substances registers
  • plant and equipment maintenance and testing reports
  • workers compensation and rehabilitation records
  • first aid/medical post records

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Management and Leadership - Management

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

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