Unit of competency details

BSBWHS406A - Assist with responding to incidents (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 18/Dec/2012

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes BSBOHS307B - Participate in OHS investigationsTerminology updated to reflect new work health and safety legislation. Unit revised and expanded to focus on assisting with incident response, which includes assisting with incident investigations appropriate to the job role and function. Language simplified. Elements and Performance Criteria reviewed and revised to minimise overlap and duplication with other BSBWHS units - NOT EQUIVALENT. 17/Dec/2012
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBWHS406 - Assist with responding to incidentsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 24/Mar/2015

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  06/May/2013 
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Modification History



Release 1

This Unit first released with BSB07 Business Training Package version 7.0.

Replaces but is not equivalent to BSBOHS307B Participate in OHS investigations.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to assist with actions and activities performed in response to incidents.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to individuals who assist with the range of actions and activities undertaken in response to incidents as part of their work health and safety (WHS) role.

The unit applies to people who work in a broad range of WHS roles across all industries.

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 RTOs are advised to contextualise the unit of competency by referring to the existing State/Territory OHS legislative requirements.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

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. Assist with identifying legislative and other requirements

1.1 Apply knowledge of WHS legislation  to identify duty holders  and legislative requirements regarding responding to incidents 

1.2 Apply knowledge of workplace policies, procedures and processes to identify workplace requirements regarding responding to incidents

1.3 Communicate requirements to individuals and parties  appropriate to own job role and work area

2. Assist with implementing initial incident response procedures

2.1 Assist with providing first aid according to workplace procedures and processes, where necessary

2.2 Assist with notifying, reporting and documenting incidents according to workplace procedures and processes

2.3 Assist with meeting legislative requirements  regarding incidents, where necessary

3. Assist with collecting WHS information and data relevant to an investigation

3.1 Assist with obtaining information and data from those involved, using appropriate data-collection techniques,  about actions and events  leading up to or occurring during or after an incident

3.2 Assist with identifying and accessing sources of additional information and data  related to an incident

4. Assist incident investigations

4.1 Assist investigators  and provide relevant information during investigations

4.2 Use appropriate techniques  when participating in workplace investigations

4.3 Review reports on incidents, injuries and illnesses

4.4 Contact responsible persons and relevant authorities when required

5. Assist in implementing recommended measures and actions arising from investigations

5.1 Communicate recommendations arising from investigations to relevant others

5.2 Assist with measures and actions appropriate to own job role and work area

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to communicate with people from a range of backgrounds and with a range of abilities
  • information-management skills to store and retrieve relevant documents
  • literacy and numeracy skills to review reports
  • organisational and time-management skills to sequence tasks and meet timelines
  • presentation and consultation skills to:
  • communicate WHS issues arising in the workplace
  • provide information to a wide range of forums
  • research skills to obtain internal and external WHS information and data.

Required knowledge 

  • basic principles of incident causation and injury processes
  • formal and informal communication and consultation processes, and key personnel related to communication
  • hierarchy of control and considerations for choosing between different risk controls, including possible inadequacies of particular risk controls
  • internal and external sources of WHS information and data, and how to access them
  • nature of workplace processes (work flow, planning and control) and hazards relevant to the workplace
  • organisational culture as it impacts on the work team
  • organisational WHS policies, procedures, processes and systems
  • principles and practices of a systemic approach to managing WHS
  • relevant commonwealth and state or territory WHS legislation, duty holders and duties regarding a range of hazards, types of work, and industries specified in WHS regulations.

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:

  • following the hierarchy of control
  • attention to detail
  • thoroughness in completion of documentation
  • knowledge of relevant commonwealth and state or territory WHS Acts, regulations, codes of practice, standards and guidance material.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • relevant WHS information, such as:
  • organisational policies
  • standard operating procedures and plans
  • relevant Acts, regulations and codes of practice
  • licensing requirements
  • standards
  • appropriate office equipment and resources
  • relevant internal and external data files.

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 documentation completed when contributing to WHS investigations
  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of basic principles of incident causation
  • review of reports on safety incidents, injuries and illnesses
  • evaluation of communications to relevant others about recommendations arising from investigations.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • BSBWHS402A Assist with compliance with WHS laws
  • BSBWHS403A Contribute to implementing and maintaining WHS consultation and participation processes
  • BSBWHS404A Contribute to WHS hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control
  • BSBWHS405A Contribute to implementing and maintaining WHS management systems.

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.

WHS legislation  may include:

  • WHS Acts, regulations and codes of practice.

Duty holders  may include:

  • as specified in WHS Acts:
  • persons conducting businesses or undertakings (PCBUs) or their officers
  • workers
  • other persons at a workplace.

Incidents  may include:

  • accidents

Individuals and parties  may include:

  • contractors and subcontractors
  • health and safety committees
  • health and safety representatives
  • managers, supervisors and PCBUs or their officers
  • unions
  • WHS entry permit holders
  • WHS inspectors
  • WHS regulators
  • workers.

Meeting legislative requirements  may include:

  • compliance with a non-disturbance notice
  • notification of notifiable incidents
  • preservation of the incident site.

Appropriate data-collection techniques  may include:

  • accessing information and statistics on accidents and dangerous occurrences
  • conducting regular accident or special workplace WHS inspections
  • engaging the services of an internal or external consultant or specialist WHS practitioner
  • facilitating the engagement of personnel to conduct specialised testing on hazards in the workplace.

Actions and events  may include:

  • anything that may have contributed to the occurrence or severity of the incident, including design decisions
  • facts about the incident, such as:
  • systems
  • people
  • tools
  • equipment
  • materials
  • fixtures
  • time and nature of any injuries sustained.

Sources of additional information and data  may include:

  • booklets and publications from statutory authorities
  • manufacturer manuals, specifications and instructions
  • records of:
  • hazards identified in the workplace
  • previous actions taken to control hazards
  • risk assessments
  • rights and responsibilities of those involved in WHS in the workplace
  • safe work procedures
  • WHS consultation and participation processes
  • WHS Acts, regulations, codes of practice, industry standards and guidelines
  • WHS-related websites
  • workplace WHS policies, procedures and agreements.

Investigators  may include:

  • external consultants
  • industry representatives, managers, supervisors and PCBUs or their officers
  • inspectors from statutory WHS investigative bodies or regulators
  • internal WHS specialists
  • WHS representatives conducting workplace investigations for issues raised in the workplace.

Appropriate techniques  may include:

  • examination of relevant information and data
  • inspections
  • interviews
  • simulations
  • timelines of actions and events.

Unit Sector(s)

Regulation, Licensing and Risk – Work Health and Safety

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