Unit of competency details

SIRXOHS003A - Provide a safe working environment (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SIRXWHS403 - Provide a safe work environment 12/Jun/2012
Supersedes and is equivalent to WRRO3B - Provide a safe working environmentUpdated and equivalent to WRRO3B 18/Feb/2009

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 19/Feb/2009

Training packages that include this unit

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
SIB50210 - Diploma of Salon ManagementDiploma of Salon ManagementSuperseded1-2 
SIR40107 - Certificate IV in Community PharmacyCertificate IV in Community PharmacySuperseded
SIR40207 - Certificate IV in Retail ManagementCertificate IV in Retail ManagementSuperseded
SIF40108 - Certificate IV in Funeral ServicesCertificate IV in Funeral ServicesSuperseded
SIF50108 - Diploma of Mortuary ManagementDiploma of Mortuary ManagementSuperseded
SIR50207 - Diploma of Visual MerchandisingDiploma of Visual MerchandisingSuperseded
SFL40110 - Certificate IV in FloristryCertificate IV in FloristrySuperseded
SIF40208 - Certificate IV in EmbalmingCertificate IV in EmbalmingSuperseded
WRH50109 - Diploma of Hairdressing Salon ManagementDiploma of Hairdressing Salon ManagementSuperseded
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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  23/Oct/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop and implement policies and procedures relating to OHS issues. It is based on the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) guidelines.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit involves consulting with staff, assessing and controlling risks, establishing and maintaining record systems and evaluating policies and procedures. Senior management personnel are responsible for this function.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 


Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Develop policies to establish and maintain a safe working environment.


Develop store policy and procedures  based upon a commitment to OHS and with regard to relevant legislation .


Clearly define and allocate OHS responsibilities and duties, and include in job descriptions and duty statements for all relevant positions.


Promptly and consistently identify, seek or provide financial and human resources for the operation of the OHS system.


Ensure information on the OHS system is readily accessible and clearly explained to staff .


Establish procedures to identify existing and potential hazards .


Establish and maintain procedures  to facilitate the reporting of all safety-related incidents.


Develop control measures according to the hierarchy of control .


Establish systems to encourage staff members to identify and report matters likely to affect workplace safety.


Consult with staff.


Establish and maintain appropriate consultation processes  in consultation with staff according to OHS legislation and store policy.


Promptly deal with and resolve issues raised through consultation according to store policy.


Clearly and promptly provide information to staff on outcomes of consultation.


Establish and maintain a safe working environment.


Establish and maintain policy and procedures to facilitate identification and prevention of hazards.


Establish and maintain procedures to ensure safe handling and storage of hazardous goods .


Establish and maintain procedures to ensure equipment  is maintained and stored safely according to store policy.


Establish and maintain procedures to ensure safe lifting or shifting and manual handling techniques are employed by staff.


Establish and maintain store emergency procedures .


Assess risks.


Assess risks presented by identified hazards according to OHS legislation and codes of practice.


Develop procedure for ongoing risk assessment  and integrate with systems of work and procedures.


Monitor staff activities to ensure risk assessment procedure is adopted effectively.


Address risk identification and assessment at planning, design and evaluation stages of workplace changes to prevent creation of new hazards.


Control risks.


Develop measures to control assessed risks according to the hierarchy of control and implement according to store policy, OHS legislation and codes of practice.


Establish and implement interim or contingency measures when control measures are not immediately practicable, until permanent control measures are implemented.


Establish and maintain policies for hazardous events.


Identify potentially hazardous events.


Develop procedures to control risks associated with hazardous events and meet legislative requirements, in consultation with appropriate emergency services.


Provide appropriate information and training to all employees to enable implementation of the correct procedures in all relevant circumstances.


Train staff.


Develop and implement OHS training  program to ensure all staff are trained in OHS issues .


Establish and maintain record system.


Establish and monitor system for maintaining OHS records  to facilitate identification of patterns of occupational injury and disease according to store policy.


Evaluate policies and procedures.


Assess effectiveness of the OHS system and related policies, procedures and programs according to store policy.


Develop and implement improvements to the OHS system to ensure more effective achievement of store policy.


Assess compliance with OHS legislation and codes of practice to ensure that legal OHS standards are maintained.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • interpersonal communication skills to:
  • define and allocate OHS responsibilities and duties
  • explain information on the OHS system and provide information and training for staff through clear and direct communication
  • ask questions to identify and confirm requirements
  • share information
  • give instructions
  • use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences
  • use and interpret non-verbal communication
  • consultation processes
  • identifying and preventing safety hazards, including fire, chemical and electrical hazards
  • negotiation skills
  • using safety alarms, fire extinguishers and emergency exits
  • developing processes and procedures
  • literacy skills in regard to:
  • researching, analysing and interpreting a broad range of written material
  • preparing reports
  • documenting results
  • numeracy skills in relation to:
  • finance and risk assessment.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • store policy and procedures, in regard to:
  • OHS and emergency procedures, taking into account state and local government regulations and codes of practice
  • emergency evacuation of store
  • events likely to endanger staff or customers
  • hierarchy of control in emergency situations
  • place of consultative committees
  • recording system for accidents, illness and incidents
  • relevant legislation and statutory requirements, including OHS legislation and codes of practice
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • first aid procedures
  • handling and storage procedures for hazardous and non-hazardous goods and equipment
  • procedures for spills, leakage of materials, accidents and sickness
  • safe lifting and manual handling procedures
  • waste disposal methods, including hazardous substances.

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 for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • maintains, manages and applies safe working practices, including necessary resources, control measures and risk assessments, in all areas of the store, according to relevant legislation
  • maintains, manages and applies emergency procedures according to store policy and procedures
  • develops and manages store policy and procedures in regard to the consistent application by staff members of safe working practices, for the provision of services and safe use of products
  • establishes and maintains consultative processes in regard to OHS
  • allocates and manages staff responsibility for OHS guidelines
  • develops and implements staff training programs that relate to OHS, and health and hygiene legislation and industry codes of practice
  • establishes and maintains systems for maintaining OHS records
  • evaluates, reviews and makes recommendations for improvements with regard to store policy and procedures in OHS and store emergency procedures.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a real or simulated work environment
  • relevant documentation, such as:
  • OHS legislation and codes of practice
  • store policy and procedures manuals
  • industry codes of practice
  • enterprise agreements in regard to consultative committees
  • staff members
  • emergency equipment.

Methods of assessment 

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

  • observation of performance in the workplace
  • a role play
  • third-party reports from a supervisor
  • written or verbal questioning to assess knowledge and understanding
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

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

  • SIRXHRM001A Administer human resources policy
  • SIRXHRM002A Recruit and select personnel.

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically in the context of the job role and with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification.

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 in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Store policy and procedures  may relate to:

  • OHS
  • emergency procedures
  • use of technology
  • job roles and responsibilities
  • delegation.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • OHS regulations
  • privacy legislation
  • Work Care or Work Cover regulations
  • federal, state and local health and hygiene.

Staff  may include:

  • new or existing staff
  • full-time, part-time, casual or contract
  • people with varying levels of language and literacy
  • people from a range of cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds
  • people with a range of job roles and responsibilities.

Hazards  may include:

  • unguarded equipment
  • electricity and water
  • fires
  • chemical spills
  • sharp cutting tools and instruments
  • broken or damaged equipment or technology
  • damaged packing material or containers
  • manual handling
  • stress.

Reporting procedures  may be:

  • manual
  • digital or electronic
  • scheduled
  • standardised.

Hierarchy of control  may include:

  • elimination of hazards
  • substitution
  • isolating hazards
  • use of engineering controls
  • use of administrative controls
  • appropriate use of personal protective clothing and equipment.

Consultation processes  may involve:

  • minutes from health and safety meetings
  • suggestions for improvements put forward by employees
  • staff meetings, management meetings.

Hazardous goods  may include:

  • electrical equipment
  • chemicals
  • flammable goods
  • waste.

Equipment  may include:

  • manual handling equipment
  • steps and ladders
  • electrical equipment including:
  • retail technology
  • cleaning equipment
  • food storage equipment
  • food warming and preparation equipment
  • electrical tools
  • hand tools
  • knives and scissors
  • manual cleaning equipment.

Emergency procedures  may relate to:

  • locating and using alarms
  • events likely to endanger staff or customers
  • sickness
  • accidents
  • fire
  • store evacuation
  • chemical spills
  • bomb threat
  • armed robbery.

Risk assessment  may include:

  • conducting regular reviews of injury or accident registers
  • consultation processes, including discussions with employees
  • assessment of individual tasks and job design.

Training  may include:

  • on-the-job, off-the job training or a combination of both
  • induction training
  • training for specific hazards identified in the industry
  • fire and emergency evacuation training
  • ongoing professional development training, including OHS implications.

OHS issues  may include:

  • customers and staff, equipment, premises and stock
  • sickness and accident reporting procedures
  • storage and use of flammable materials
  • safe lifting and manual handling procedures
  • store evacuation
  • chemical containment
  • first aid procedures
  • range of responsibilities or job description, including general duty of care of employees and employers
  • workplace inspection and safety audits
  • checking equipment prior to and during work
  • reporting process for and issues resolution, injury or accidents.

Records  may include:

  • workplace inspection and audit reports
  • training records for new employees
  • training records for existing employees
  • manufacturer instructions, including MSDS maintenance records
  • revision of policies and procedures to ensure relevance through audits against state and territory legislation and regulations.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Occupational Health and Safety