Unit of competency details

RIIOHS301A - Conduct safety and health investigations (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to RIIWHS301D - Conduct safety and health investigations 13/Nov/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 22/Jun/2011

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
RII30209 - Certificate III in Underground Coal OperationsCertificate III in Underground Coal OperationsSuperseded
RII30311 - Certificate III in Underground Metalliferous MiningCertificate III in Underground Metalliferous MiningSuperseded1-2 
RII50909 - Diploma of Underground Coal Mining ManagementDiploma of Underground Coal Mining ManagementSuperseded
RII30112 - Certificate III in Surface Extraction OperationsCertificate III in Surface Extraction OperationsSuperseded
AUR32613 - Certificate III in Automotive Tyre ManagementCertificate III in Automotive Tyre ManagementSuperseded
RII40212 - Certificate IV in Surface Coal Mining (Open Cut Examiner)Certificate IV in Surface Coal Mining (Open Cut Examiner)Superseded1-2 
RII40109 - Certificate IV in Surface Extraction OperationsCertificate IV in Surface Extraction OperationsSuperseded1-3 
RII40311 - Certificate IV in Metalliferous Mining Operations (Underground)Certificate IV in Metalliferous Mining Operations (Underground)Superseded1-3 
RII40509 - Certificate IV in Resource ProcessingCertificate IV in Resource ProcessingSuperseded1-3 
RII40209 - Certificate IV in Surface Coal Mining (Open Cut Examiner)Certificate IV in Surface Coal Mining (Open Cut Examiner)Superseded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/Sep/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers conducting safety and health investigations in resources and infrastructure industries. It includes determining the investigation objectives; gathering information; evaluating information; identifying courses of action; and preparing and presenting investigation reports.

Application of the Unit

This unit is appropriate for those working in operational roles or on safety committees, at worksites within:

  • Civil construction
  • Coal mining
  • Drilling
  • Extractive industries
  • Metalliferous mining

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

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. Determine the investigation objectives

1.1. Access, interpret and apply compliance documentation  relevant to conducting safety and health investigations

1.2. Determine the scope of the investigation  to ensure pre- and post-incident timeframe is considered consistent with legislative requirements and site standard

1.3. Determine the proposed investigation objectives from an analysis of the available information  and factors

1.4. Test the proposed objectives and clarify the scope of the investigation

1.5. Ensure the final objectives and scope of the investigation will be achievable within available resources and authority constraints

2. Gather information

2.1. Maintain site security  and integrity of evidence in accordance with legislative and site requirements

2.2. Plan and prepare for the systematic collection of information 

2.3. Schedule information collection and completion to ensure minimum backtracking or repeat actions

2.4. Ensure methods used to collect and examine information, including interviewing  and recording , meet standards and legislative requirements

2.5. Collect, test and organise all information appropriate to the investigation according to legislative and/or industry standards

3. Evaluate information

3.1. Assess and evaluate information for its validity and reliability and organise as evidence to aid decision making

3.2. Undertake further research where information is unclear or inadequate, and correct the discrepancy/ deficiency

3.3. Analyse the evidence to determine the causes of the incident

3.4. Draw conclusion from the relevant evidence based on reasoned argument and balance of probability or other agreed standard

3.5. Ensure the findings address the factual objectives established for the investigation

4. Identify courses of action

4.1. Frame options for the courses of action to address or respond to the findings of the investigation

4.2. Ensure options are provided in a form which meets the audience, requirements, can be easily understood and enables the selection of the most appropriate course of action

4.3. Ensure the course of action selected will resolve the issues or problems recognised by the investigation and reduce the probability of recurrence

4.4. Ensure the selected course of action can be implemented in accordance with relevant national, state and industry standards

5. Prepare and present investigation reports

5.1. Prepare investigation reports  in accordance with specified standards

5.2. Present reports in a format, which ensures that findings, causes, options and courses of action can be readily understood by audience

5.3. Present the reports, including findings and recommendations , to the required audience

5.4. Review the investigation process and pass recommendations  for process changes and improvements to the appropriate authority

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

Specific skills are required to achieve the performance criteria in this unit, particularly for the application in the various circumstances in which this unit may be applied. This includes the ability to carry out the following as required to conduct safety and health investigations:

  • apply legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures
  • locate, interpret and apply relevant legislative and operational information
  • identify and/or confirm the linkages between factors and outcomes, causes and effects and direct/indirect causal relationships
  • apply technical literacy and communicate sufficiently to interpret and apply common industry terminology, and interpret work procedures and processes
  • speak in plain English and communicate orally with supervisors and other employees
  • question and listen actively, e.g. when obtaining information of technical working practices
  • write effectively to allow report writing
  • plan and organise sufficiently to prepare and apply investigative processes
  • apply teamwork skills sufficient to involve and engage the employers/supervisors in the investigation processes
  • solve problems to assess technical mining issues
  • apply presentation skills to deliver report to various levels of industry

Required knowledge 

Specific knowledge is required to achieve the Performance Criteria of this unit, particularly its application in a variety of circumstances in which the unit may be used. This includes knowledge of the following, as required to conduct safety and health investigations:

  • legislation and regulations
  • topic or subject area which is the target for the investigation
  • theory of safety and health investigative research and analysis
  • symptoms and possible immediate effects of post traumatic stress in an investigation situation
  • appropriate industry context
  • site procedures and conventions related to safety and health investigations
  • site risk management processes and their applications
  • conventions and requirements for written communications, including report writing

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 

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to worksite operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit and include evidence of the following:

  • knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions for conducting safety and health investigations
  • implementation of requirements, procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient completion of safety and health investigations
  • working with others to undertake and complete safety and health investigations that meets all of the required outcomes
  • consistent timely completion of safety and health investigations that safely, effectively and efficiently meets the required outcomes

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

  • This unit must be assessed in the context of the work environment. Where personal safety or environmental damage are limiting factors, assessment may occur in a simulated environment provided it is realistic and sufficiently rigorous to cover all aspects of workplace performance, including task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.
  • The assessment environment should not disadvantage the participant. For example, language, literacy and numeracy demands of assessment should not be greater than those required on the job.
  • Customisation of assessment and delivery environment to sensitively accommodate cultural diversity.
  • Aboriginal people and other people from a non English speaking background may have second language issues.
  • Assessment of this competency requires typical resources normally used in the work environment. Selection and use of resources for particular worksites may differ due to site circumstances.
  • Where applicable, physical resources should include equipment modified for people with disabilities.
  • Access must be provided to appropriate learning and/or assessment support when required.

Method of assessment 

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency. The assessment strategy for this unit must verify required knowledge and skill and practical application using more than one of the following assessment methods:

  • written and/or oral assessment of the candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and/or first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:
  • implementation of appropriate requirement, procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient achievement of required outcomes
  • consistently achieving the required outcomes
  • first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:
  • working with others to undertake and complete safety and health investigation

Guidance information for assessment 

Consult the SkillsDMC User Guide for further information on assessment including access and equity issues.

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.

Relevant compliance documentation  may include:

  • legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures
  • manufacturer's guidelines and specifications
  • Australian standards
  • code of practice
  • Employment and workplace relations legislation
  • Equal Employment Opportunity and Disability Discrimination legislation

Investigations  may involve a range of issues but will generally be related to:

  • accidents, incidents or near misses
  • safety and health systems and issues
  • safety aspects of technical processes and procedures
  • safety aspects of equipment specifications and performance definition

Analysis of information  may be divided into five main areas including:

  • people
  • environment
  • equipment
  • procedures
  • organisation

Site security  may require:

  • signage
  • barricades
  • actions to treat and/or comfort victims and witnesses
  • temporary engineering and stability measures
  • security personnel
  • other relevant measures

This is in order to:

  • create a safe environment
  • ensure the integrity of evidence

Information  collection may include:

  • reconstruction of events
  • interviews
  • statements
  • audio recording
  • photographs
  • scale diagrams
  • accessing other formal information sources

Information  sources may include:

  • applicable commonwealth/state/territory legislation and codes of practice relating to the industry, dangerous and hazardous goods, environmental protection and OHS
  • emergency procedures
  • enterprise quality assurance procedures
  • manufacturer's/documentation and handbooks
  • materials safety data sheets
  • worksite communications, management and inventory systems
  • worksite safety management systems
  • worksite's rescue service publications and information
  • operations manuals or equivalent
  • personal and work area work procedures and practices
  • quality work specifications and procedures
  • workplace operating procedures and policies

Interview  techniques and processes may need to be:

  • managed to avoid prejudicing individual legal rights
  • varied to avoid exacerbating post traumatic stress or similar symptoms for witnesses and involved parties

Recording  and reporting requirements are:

  • in accordance with legislative and worksite policies and procedures

Investigation report  formats may be established on a site basis but are likely to include:

  • objective(s)
  • general overview
  • research and information collection methodology
  • analytical criteria
  • findings (including essential and contributing factors)
  • recommendations
  • follow-up actions
  • records of all relevant evidence

Investigation recommendations  may include:

  • safety management systems
  • processes and procedures
  • behaviours/actions
  • equipment and materials
  • working environment

Unit Sector(s)

Occupational Health and Safety

Competency field

Refer to Unit Sector(s).

Co-requisite units

Not applicable.