Unit of competency details

CHCWHS312A - Follow WHS safety procedures for direct care work (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes CHCOHS312B - Follow safety procedures for direct care workUpdated in V4 - Changes to address new national WHS legislation. 06/May/2012
Is superseded by HLTWHS002 - Follow safe work practices for direct client careThis version was released in HLT Health Training Package release 1.0 and meets the requirements of the New Standards for Training Packages. 30/Jun/2013

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

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
CHC40608 - Certificate IV in Leisure and HealthCertificate IV in Leisure and HealthSuperseded
HLT44007 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (Community Care)Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (Community Care)Superseded
CHC40108 - Certificate IV in Aged CareCertificate IV in Aged CareSuperseded
CHC30408 - Certificate III in DisabilityCertificate III in DisabilitySuperseded2-3 
CHC10108 - Certificate I in Work Preparation (Community services)Certificate I in Work Preparation (Community services)Deleted
CHC30212 - Certificate III in Aged CareCertificate III in Aged CareSuperseded
CHC30112 - Certificate III in Community Services WorkCertificate III in Community Services WorkSuperseded1-2 
CHC40412 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other DrugsCertificate IV in Alcohol and Other DrugsSuperseded
CHC30312 - Certificate III in Home and Community CareCertificate III in Home and Community CareSuperseded1-2 
HLT51612 - Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled-Division 2 nursing)Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled-Division 2 nursing)Superseded
Items per page 10 | 20 | 50 | 100
Displaying items 1 - 10 of 12

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping


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  02/Oct/2012 
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

CHC08 Version 3

CHC08 Version 4


CHSOHS312B Follow safety procedures for direct care work

CHCWHS312A Follow WHS safety procedures for direct care work

New unit in V4 - Addition of new unit to address changes in national WHS legislation. Replaces CHCOHS312B

Unit Descriptor


This unit specifies the workplace performance required by an individual involved in following work health and safety procedures for direct care work.

The unit focuses on maintaining safety of the worker, the people being supported and other community members

Application of the Unit


On completion of this unit, the worker in these particular sectors will be able to accurately identify the major work health and safety hazards, manual handling, together with other hazards that may include dealing with behaviours of concern, stress, etc

The worker will also be able to assess related risk as well as follow instructions and procedures with minimal supervision and support

The worker will also be capable of participating and contributing to work health and safety (WHS) management issues

Where the worker is undertaking tasks delegated by a health professional specific instruction or policy should be provided in relation to infection control or the worker should have the skills and knowledge addressed in HLTIN301C Comply with infection control policies and procedures in health work

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria

  • Identify sources of risk to personal safety, assess the level of risk and follow risk minimisation procedures

1.1 Identify environments, situations and client-related risk factors

1.2 Apply practical strategies and organisation procedures to minimise risk

1.3 Identify any behaviours of concern in the work context and follow organisation procedures to minimise risk

1.4 Identify risks associated with driving and travelling with and without clients and follow organisation procedures to minimise risk

1.5 Follow organisation policies and procedures when working in a new or unstable environment

  • Identify manual handling hazards, assess related risk and follow risk minimisation procedures

2.1 Identify manual handling hazards

2.2 Assess the risk using the tools described in the Manual Handling Code of practice (or equivalent) for own State/territory

2.3 Apply recognised control measures for manual handling risk, including eliminating manual handling wherever possible

2.4 Follow established manual handling procedures and work instructions for minimising manual handling activity/risk

  • Identify sources of infection and apply industry accepted practice to minimise risk of infection to themselves, clients and others

3.1 Identify risks of infection

3.2 Apply standard precautions to prevent the spread of infection as part of own work routine

3.3 Recognise situations when additional infection control procedures are required

3.4 Apply additional precautions when standard precautions alone may not be sufficient to prevent transmission of infection

3.5 Identify other sources of infection for workers

  • Identify other hazards and assess risk

4.1 Identify other hazards in the work area during the performance of duties

4.2 Assess level of risk

4.3 Conduct environmental assessment to identify potential sources of risk to personal safety

  • Follow procedures and strategies for risk control

5.1 Report hazards in the work area to designated personnel according to workplace procedures

5.2 Follow accurately workplace procedures and work instructions for controlling risks with minimal supervision

5.3 Whenever necessary, within the scope of responsibilities and competencies, follow workplace procedures for dealing with incidents, fire and/or hazardous events

  • Contribute to WHS in the workplace

6.1 Describe employee rights and employer obligations regarding consultation on WHS matters

6.2 Raise task and/or job specific WHS issues with appropriate people in accordance with workplace procedures and relevant WHS legislative requirements

6.3 Contribute to participative arrangements for WHS management in the workplace within organisation procedures and the scope of responsibilities and competencies

6.4 Provide feedback to supervisor on hazards in work area in line with organisation WHS policies and procedures

6.5 Provide support in implementing procedures to control risks in accordance with organisation procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include:

  • Awareness of all relevant workplace procedures including:
  • hazard management policies and procedures
  • care plans and work instruction
  • procedures for the use of manual handling and mobility equipment, personal protective equipment, duress and other alarms
  • emergency, fire and incident procedures
  • Awareness of the role of Safe Work Australia and the National Work Health and Safety model
  • Current state/territory WHS legislation and how it impacts on workplace regulations, codes of practice and industry standards
  • Basic concepts of likelihood of occurrence and consequences (severity) of injury
  • Basic home fire safety
  • Basic understanding of sources of infection and means to minimise transfer of infectious diseases
  • Awareness that WHS issues are regulated
  • Duty of care within the respective scope of responsibilities
  • Knowledge and understanding of the workplace WHS system sufficient to recognise situations affecting WHS and to take the appropriate action to rectify the situation, including specific awareness of manual handling hazards as well as general awareness of other hazards that occur in the sector
  • Knowledge of the relationship between WHS and sustainability in the workplace, including how the maintenance of health and safety contributes to environmental, economic, workforce and social sustainability
  • Meaning of WHS signs and symbols relevant to the work area
  • Significance of service provision setting
  • Relevant state/territory Manual Handling Code of practice
  • Relevant state/territory WHS authority or department

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply and describe procedures for:
  • recognising hazards, particularly with regard to manual handling, in the workplace
  • reporting hazards identified using documented organisation processes
  • Identify manual handling risk and modify work practices appropriately
  • Identify risks to personal safety and apply accepted practices to minimise risk
  • Demonstrate standard infection control procedures, including use of approved hand washing techniques
  • Work safely, and follow the enterprise’s WHS policies and procedures
  • Identify, report and manage workplace hazards (within the limits of worker control)
  • Undertake appropriate observation and reporting

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

  • Access and use manual handling equipment commonly available in the industry sector to reduce risks associated with manual handling
  • Communicate WHS issues to designated personnel
  • Demonstrate correct use of equipment according to organisation and manufacturer instructions
  • Exercise duty of care within the respective scope of responsibilities in accordance with current WHS legislation
  • Identify client-related risk factors and modify approach and choice of equipment to minimise risk
  • Implement work processes and practices to prevent or minimise risk
  • Recognise potential situations that require action and then implement appropriate corrective action as much as possible to eliminate risk
  • Refer to and apply safe work practices
  • Solve problems
  • Take into account and use opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues
  • Use body biomechanics, as a supplement to other manual handling risk reduction strategies, to reduce the risk in routine tasks
  • Use reading and writing skills – appropriate literacy competence – as required to fulfil job roles in a safe manner and as specified by organisation/service and to access information in care plans, read labels and workplace procedures:
  • literacy support in the workplace may range from having access to support or assistance from expert/mentor/supervisor, to having no communication supports available
  • literacy may be required in English, a community language, or Braille, etc, depending on the language used in pamphlets or workplace manual
  • Apply communication skills – language competence – as required to fulfil job roles in a safe manner and as specified by the organisation/service:
  • assessors should look for skills in asking questions, providing clear information including to client and co-worker, listening to and understanding workplace instructions, and clarifying workplace instructions when necessary
  • service/organisation may require competence in English or community language, depending on client group

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects of assessment:

  • This unit is most appropriately assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace and under the normal range of workplace conditions
  • Simulation should be based on the actual work setting and must include demonstration of practical skills such as use of appropriate equipment
  • Simulations may also include the use of case studies, scenarios and role play
  • In addition to the practical skills, this unit of competency requires a body of knowledge which may be assessed through questioning and the use of 'what if' scenarios both on site (during demonstration of normal procedures and walk throughs of abnormal ones) and off site (e.g. in transit, home visits, telephone counselling, etc)
  • Assessment will occur over a range of situations that may include disruptions to normal smooth operations
  • Assessment may need to be conducted over an extended period of time, or on more than one occasion to cover the relevant range of situations
  • Within the limits of worker, client and public safety and the requirements of the competency, consideration must be given to workers whose literacy skills are limited and/or who are physically and/or intellectually disabled

Access and equity considerations:

  • All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • 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

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

  • Assessment will require access to:
  • Client handling and mobility devices commonly used in the industry sector including patient hoists, standing lifter, wheelchair, slide sheets and other client assistive devices and mobility aids
  • Recognised risk control strategies
  • Appropriate equipment
  • Workplace health and safety policies and procedures
  • Other related policies and procedures
  • Duties statements and/or job descriptions
  • Sample care plans

Method of assessment:

  • Assessment may be best conducted using a range of practical exercises and scenarios/case studies/what ifs as well as through questions to check the reasoning behind the observable actions
  • These assessment activities should include a range of routine problems that may have been generated from the past incident history and hazardous incidents in similar work contexts within the sector and/or industry
  • A diversity of assessment tasks is essential for holistic assessment

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. Add any 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.

Definition of hazard:

  • A ‘hazard’ is something with the potential to cause injury or disease to people, damage to property or disruption to productivity
  • Hazards arise, for example, from workplace environment; use of plant for example and equipment; poor work design; inappropriate systems, procedures and/or human behaviour

Legislative requirements for manual handling and WHS consultation/participation vary in different states and will include:

  • National Work Health and Safety Model
  • Current relevant State/territory WHS legislation
  • Relevant state/territory Manual Handling Code of Conduct

Examples of manual handling hazards in the aged care and disabilities sectors include:

  • Carrying trays and other items
  • Lifting tasks such as moving a person in bed, assisting to stand, transfer to chair or wheelchair, lifting objects
  • Pushing pulling tasks such as pushing trolleys, wheel chairs, shower chairs, dressing clients
  • Reaching and postural tasks such as feeding a person, showering
  • Restraining tasks

The risk factors for manual handling are influenced by:

  • Duration and frequency of the task
  • Environmental conditions such as underfoot conditions, lighting, heat
  • Forces exerted
  • In people-handling the risk is also affected by the:
  • ability of client to support/control part/whole of the body
  • predictability in movement and behaviours
  • pain levels
  • ability to follow instructions
  • any equipment attached to the client
    e.g. catheters, IVs etc
  • client clothing
  • Movement undertaken
  • Postures adopted

Manual handling equipment may include:

  • Client hoists
  • Other manual handling assistive devices
  • Slide sheets
  • Standing lifters

Sources of risk to personal safety:

  • Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Behaviours of concern
  • Personal risks may arise from clients, client family, the public or animals
  • Risk environments may be in access to work (e.g. car parking arrangements, access to private home) and in carrying out work
  • Situations with a higher risk of threat and client related factors may be identified from incident reports, care plans, case management meetings
  • Working new, isolated and/or potentially unstable environments

Examples of workplace hazards in aged care, home and community care and disabilities sectors (other than manual handling) may include:

  • Biological hazards including body fluids; contaminated food; soiled clothing and linen; clinical waste; syringes and other 'sharps'; etc
  • Chemicals (e.g. toxic or hazardous substances, gases and liquids under pressure, includes cleaning chemicals)
  • Electrical hazards related to use of equipment, faulty wiring
  • Equipment including suitability for purpose and fitness for use
  • Personal threat by (e.g. through behaviours of concern) clients and/or visitors
  • Work organisation issues such as shift work or irregular hours/on call
  • Work-related environment (e.g. underfoot, lighting, space, noise, air quality, furniture/fittings, car parking etc)
  • Work-related stress

Standard precautions include:

  • Appropriate reprocessing and storage of reusable instruments
  • Aseptic technique
  • Personal hygiene practices especially washing and drying hands (e.g. before and after client contact)
  • Safe disposal of sharps and other clinical waste
  • Safe handling of sharps
  • Surface cleaning and management of blood and body fluid spills
  • Techniques to limit contamination
  • Use of personal protective equipment

Additional precautions may include:

  • Additional use of personal protective equipment
  • Dedicated equipment (e.g. to each client or as appropriate to work function)
  • Special ventilation requirements

Organisation procedures for managing risks, including those related to manual handling may be:

  • Client assessment documents and care plans
  • Communication, consultation and issue resolution procedures
  • Hazard management documents include policies and procedures on specific hazards as well as hazard and incident reporting (including follow up to sharps incidents) and investigation, workplace inspections, maintenance etc
  • Hazard management policies and procedures (these may be integrated with quality, care or other documents or be separated as WHS policies and procedures)
  • Human resources management procedures such as harassment and grievance procedures, induction programs, team meetings, management of performance levels, alcohol and drug policies
  • Job procedures and work instructions, including medications policy and procedures
  • Other related procedures including waste management, security
  • Post incident/injury management such as first aid, critical incident debriefing, compensation and return to work
  • Strategies for reducing the amount of manual handling required and manual handling risk
  • Supporting people with behaviours of concern

Work instructions may be:

  • In a community language
  • In English
  • Provided visually e.g. video, WHS signs, symbols and other pictorial presentation, etc.
  • Verbal
  • Work instructions include care plans and there should be an awareness of their role in risk management especially in risks associated with manual handling and behaviours of concern
  • Written

Designated personnel for WHS referrals may be:

  • Elected Health and Safety Representative/employee representative
  • Employer
  • Health and Safety committee
  • Other personnel with WHS responsibilities
  • Supervisor

Examples of WHS issues which may be raised by workers with designated personnel may include:

  • Clarification on understanding of WHS policies and procedures
  • Communication and consultation processes, including carer input to care plans
  • Effectiveness of risk controls in place
  • Follow up to reports and feedback
  • Hazards identified
  • WHS impact of the changing condition of clients
  • Problems encountered in managing risks associated with hazards, in particular, manual handling
    (e.g. availability and appropriateness of handling and mobility equipment) and behaviours of concern
  • Training needs

Examples of contributions may include:

  • Attendance at meetings
  • Behaviour that contributes to a safe working environment which includes following WHS procedures
  • Identifying and reporting risks and hazards
  • Input to care plans
  • Listening to the ideas and opinions of others in the team
  • Recommendations on changes to work processes, equipment or practices
  • Sharing opinions, views, knowledge and skills
  • Using equipment according to guidelines and operating manuals

Examples of participative arrangements may include:

  • Documented issue resolution processes
  • Easy access to relevant written workplace information
  • Formal and informal WHS meetings
  • Health and safety committees
  • Meetings called by Health and Safety Representatives
  • Other committees such as consultative planning and purchasing
  • Other means and processes for raising requests and concerns as well as contributing suggestions and reports to management
  • Regular information sessions (using clear and understandable language) on existing or new WHS issues
  • Team meeting and case management meetings

Risk control in the work area may include:

Application of the hierarchy of risk control, namely:

  • 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)

Controlling manual handling risks in the work area may include:

  • Changes to the load or client
  • Changes to work organisation or work practices
  • Changes to workplace layout
  • Minimising amount of handling
  • Provision of equipment
  • Task-specific training

Report hazards in the work areamay be verbal or written and may include:

  • Face-to-face
  • Memos
  • Notes
  • Phone messages
  • Specially designed report forms

Basic home fire safety includes knowledge of:

  • Behaviour that may contribute to fire injury and/or fatality
  • High fire risk groups
  • Optimum placement of smoke alarms
  • Referring client for smoke alarm installation and maintenance
  • Role of a working smoke alarm
  • Smoke alarm testing and cleaning
  • Types of smoke alarms

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.