Unit of competency details

HLTWHS401A - Maintain workplace WHS processes (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from HLT07 Health Training Package07/Dec/2015
Supersedes HLTOHS401A - Maintain workplace OHS processesUpdated in V5 - Changes to address new national Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation06/May/2012

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

Qualifications that include this unit

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CHC52212 - Diploma of Community Services CoordinationDiploma of Community Services CoordinationSuperseded
HLT41412 - Certificate IV in Cast TechnologyCertificate IV in Cast TechnologyDeleted
HLT41112 - Certificate IV in Ambulance CommunicationsCertificate IV in Ambulance CommunicationsSuperseded
CHC40808 - Certificate IV in Community DevelopmentCertificate IV in Community DevelopmentSuperseded
CHC50812 - Diploma of Social HousingDiploma of Social HousingSuperseded
HLT60412 - Advanced Diploma of Dental ProstheticsAdvanced Diploma of Dental ProstheticsSuperseded1-2 
HLT41512 - Certificate IV in Hyperbaric TechnologyCertificate IV in Hyperbaric TechnologyDeleted
HLT41812 - Certificate IV in PathologyCertificate IV in PathologyDeleted1-2 
CHC52008 - Diploma of Community Services (Case management)Diploma of Community Services (Case management)Superseded
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Health (Community Care)Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (Community Care)Superseded
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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  02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History

HLT07 Version 4

HLT07 Version 5


HLTOHS401A Maintain workplace OHS processes

HLTWHS401A Maintain WHS workplace processes

Updated in V5 - Changes to address new national Work Health and Safety (WHS) Bill and updated legislation

Unit Descriptor


This unit specifies the workplace performance required by a worker with supervisory responsibilities to maintain organisation work health and safety (WHS) processes

Application of the Unit


Application of this unit should be contextualised to reflect any specific workplace risks, hazards and associated safety practices

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

  • Provide information to the work group

1.1 Clearly and accurately explain to the work group relevant provisions of WHS legislation, standards, codes of practice/compliance codes and guidance material

1.2 Provide information on organisation policies and procedures in a readily accessible manner and clearly explain to the work group

1.3 Explain roles and responsibilities of Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and Health and Safety Committees (HSCs)

1.4 Provide information to the work group, in an accessible and understandable format, on hazards, the outcomes of risk assessments, and required risk controls

  • Ensure others are able to implement safe work practices

2.1 Ensure personal protective equipment appropriate to the work is available and functional

2.2 Implement processes to confirm that others in the work group are following safe work practices, and organisation policies and procedures.

2.3 Identify WHS training needs and either address or report these needs to those with control

  • Implement WHS participative processes

3.1 Consult with the work group and provide advice in relation to WHS matters relevant to their work

3.2 Ensure WHS issues raised are dealt with promptly, and in accordance with organisation procedures and legislative requirements, or referred to appropriate personnel

3.3 Record outcomes of consultation regarding WHS and promptly communicate these outcomes to the work group

  • Monitor compliance with work procedures

4.1 Check work procedures for availability, clarity and completeness, addressing any deficiencies or reporting them to appropriate persons

4.2 Identify and address any deviations from procedures or report to appropriate persons

4.3 Evaluate hazard identification and reporting processes are for effectiveness and address any deficiencies or report to appropriate persons

4.4 Monitor WHS housekeeping practices to ensure that workplace standards are maintained, and take action to address any deficiencies

4.5 Ensure own behaviour is consistent with organisation and work procedures

  • Implement hazard identification, riskassessment and risk control procedures

5.1 Ensure hazards are identified and eliminated with residual risk reported according to organisation procedures

5.2 Conduct risk assessments

5.3 Develop control measures, taking account of the hierarchy of risk control

5.4 Implement and support outcomes of risk assessments and identified risk controls

5.5 Identify and address and/or report deficiencies in WHS risk controls according to organisation procedures

5.6 Identify personal professional limitations and seek expert advice as required

  • Implement organisation procedures for maintaining WHS records

6.1 Obtain feedback to ensure that workgroup is aware of organisation reporting requirements

6.2 Review WHS records to confirm that they are completed in an accurate, thorough and timely manner in accordance with legislative and organisation requirements

6.3 Use aggregate information and data from records to identify hazards and monitor risk controls

  • Implement emergency procedures

7.1 Obtain feedback to ensure that emergency procedures are available and known by the work group

7.2 Implement processes to ensure that emergency equipment is available and routinely checked for functionality

7.3 Implement processes to ensure that others in the workgroup are able to respond appropriately to emergencies

7.4 Conduct or contribute to investigations to identify cause of emergencies

7.5 Identify and implement or support control measures to prevent recurrence and minimise risk of emergencies

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

This includes knowledge of:

  • General duty requirements of the national Work Health and Safety model and relevant state/territory legislation that influence regulatory requirements relevant to the particular industry/type of work site
  • Hazard identification procedures such as workplace inspections and review of workplace data
  • Knowledge and understanding of guidance material including codes of practice/compliance codes relevant to the particular industry/type of work site
  • Legislative requirements for record keeping and reporting
  • Nature of common workplace hazards relevant to work role
  • PPE requirements including use, storage and maintenance
  • Principles of risk assessment
  • Relationship between WHS and sustainability in the workplace, including the importance of maintaining safety in the workplace to establishing and maintaining environmental, economic, workforce and social sustainability
  • Roles and responsibilities of Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and Health and Safety committees (HSCs)
  • Roles and responsibilities of workers, officers and Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs)
  • Sources of WHS information both internal and external to the workplace, including Safe Work Australia and relevant state/territory regulators
  • Standards and guidelines related to emergency procedures
  • The difference between hazard and risk
  • The hierarchy of risk control and its application
  • Workplace specific information including:
  • designated person(s) for raising WHS issues
  • hazard identification procedures relevant to the hazards in their work place
  • hazards of the particular work environment
  • organisation procedures related to WHS including hazard, incident and injury reporting, hazard identification, risk assessment and control, consultation and participation, incident investigation, record keeping
  • potential emergency situations, alarms and signals and required response
  • risk controls for specific hazards
  • work procedures related to the work of the team/work group including use of PPE and emergency response

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to

  • Maintain WHS processes in the work context particularly in relation to the supervision of a small workgroup

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

This includes the ability to:

  • Communicate with personnel in the work team, other work teams, managers and expert advisers
  • Conduct team meetings
  • Relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities
  • Supervise and direct staff
  • Take into account, use and promote opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues
  • Use language and literacy skills to interpret WHS documentation
  • Use technical skills to access WHS information

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:

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Evidence gathered by an assessor to determine competence will include:
  • written or verbal responses to scenarios and case studies
  • provision of workplace examples
  • evidence from workplace supervisor reports
  • portfolio of workplace documentation
  • Evidence of performance over time must be obtained to inform a judgement of competence

Products that could be used as evidence include:

  • Verbal and written responses to verbal, written or physical scenarios
  • Completed examples of information provided to work group, risk assessments, risk controls developed, reports to managers, reports on workplace inspections, audits, emergency exercises
  • Reports from work group members, supervisor

Processes that could be used as evidence include:

  • How information transfer was organised and conducted
  • How risk assessments were conducted
  • How deviations from workplace procedures were addressed

Access and equity considerations:

  • All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity 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 health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of 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 health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Related units:

Assessment of this unit should address and build on the content of related unit:

  • HLTWHS300A Contribute to WHS processes

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.

WHS legislation varies 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

Standards include:

Documents produced by national bodies, WHS regulators or industry bodies, that prescribe preventative action to avert occupational deaths, injuries and diseases

Standards are of an advisory nature only, except where a law adopts the standard and thus makes it mandatory

They may be called up as evidence in court or other enforcement action

Codes of practice/compliance codes are:

Documents generally prepared to provide advice to employers and workers, of an acceptable way of achieving standards

Codes of practice/compliance codes may:

  • be incorporated into regulations
  • not relate to a standard
  • be called up as evidence in court or other enforcement action

Guidance material:

Is an advisory technical document, providing detailed information for use by unions, officers, PCBUs, health and safety committee members and representatives, safety officers and others requiring guidance

Advises on ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’

Has no legal standing

Organisation policies and procedures include:

Policies and procedures underpinning the management of WHS including:

  • hazard, incident and injury reporting
  • hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • human resources policies and procedures such as harassment and grievance procedures, induction programs, team meetings, alcohol and drug policies
  • consultation and participation
  • incident investigation
  • quality system documentation

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


In relation to any hazard, means the probability and consequences of injury, illness or damage resulting from exposure to a hazard

Risk assessments involve analysing a hazard to:

Identify factors influencing the risk and the range of potential consequences:

  • effectiveness of existing controls
  • likelihood of each consequence considering exposure and hazard level

And combining these in some way to obtain a level of risk

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

Examples of risks requiring management in a direct client care work environment may include:

  • Worker fatigue or burnout requiring appropriate supervision and stress management
  • Injury or damage resulting from violent or aggressive behaviour, requiring strategies to defuse or avoid behaviours of concern
  • Risks relating to working in client’s homes, requiring appropriate worker education and associated strategies
  • Fire in client’s homes requiring workers to provide basic information on home fire safety

Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes:

Equipment worn by a person to provide protection from hazards, by providing a physical barrier between the person and the hazard and may include:

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

Work procedures include:

  • Standard operating procedures
  • Batch specifications
  • Operator or manufacturer manuals
  • Procedures for selecting, fitting, using and maintaining personal protective equipment.

Hazard identification is:

The process of identifying sources of harm and may be required:

  • at design or pre purchase of equipment and materials
  • at commissioning or pre-implementation of new processes or practices
  • 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, buildings or materials

Reporting processes include:

  • Hazards reports
  • Maintenance requests and reports
  • Reports on completion of inspections
  • Incident reports
  • Reports of non-compliance with work procedures
  • Reporting on progress of action plans

WHS housekeeping practices address items such as:

  • Workplace cleanliness and tidiness
  • Unobstructed walkways and emergency exits
  • Underfoot conditions
  • Work space around equipment and machinery
  • Functioning services such as lighting, air flow and ventilation, emergency lighting
  • Storage areas including manual handling issues, storage, personal protective equipment
  • Signage

Residual risk is:

The risk which remains after controls have been implemented

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

The ranking of ways control risks ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest, including:

  • 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)

Expert advice can be obtained from:

Persons either internal or external to the organisation including:

  • safety professionals
  • ergonomists
  • employee assistance and workplace counselling services
  • occupational hygienists
  • audiologists
  • safety engineers
  • toxicologists
  • occupational health professionals
  • Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)
  • Health and Safety committees (HSCs)

Other persons providing specific technical knowledge or expertise in areas related to WHS including:

  • risk managers
  • health professionals
  • injury management advisors
  • legal practitioners with experience in WHS
  • engineers (e.g. design, acoustic, mechanical, civil)
  • security and emergency response personnel
  • workplace trainers and assessors
  • maintenance and trade persons

WHS records may include:

  • Hazard, incident and investigation reports
  • Workplace inspection reports
  • Incident investigation reports
  • First aid records
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Job Safety Analyses (JSAs) and risk assessments
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and registers
  • Employees handbooks
  • Plant and equipment operation records including those relevant to registered plant
  • Maintenance and testing reports
  • Training records
  • Environmental monitoring records
  • Health surveillance records

Legislative requirements for record keeping include those specified under:

WHS legislation for:

  • serious incident and injury reporting
  • registered plant
  • hazardous substances and dangerous goods
  • environmental monitoring
  • health surveillance

Privacy legislation

Emergencies 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

Emergency equipment is equipment required as part of the emergency response by the organisation and includes:

  • First aid equipment
  • Eye wash shower or portable eye washes
  • Fire extinguishers and equipment
  • Communication equipment
  • Evacuation alarms
  • Evacuation equipment, especially that for disabled persons
  • Torches
  • Items of clothing such as coloured hats and vests

Incidents include:

Any event that has caused or has the potential for injury, ill-health or damage

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.