Unit of competency details

SIRXWHS403 - Provide a safe work environment (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 SIR07 Retail Services Training Package18/Apr/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to SIRXOHS003A - Provide a safe working environment12/Jun/2012

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 13/Jun/2012


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

The version details of this endorsed unit are in the table below. The latest information is at the top.



First Release

This is a revised unit, based on and equivalent to SIRXOHS003A Provide a safe working environment.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop and implement policies and procedures relating to work health and safety (WHS) issues.

It involves consulting with staff, assessing and controlling risks, establishing and maintaining record systems, and evaluating policies and procedures. It is based on the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) guidelines.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to senior management personnel responsible for ensuring that the workplace environment complies with WHS requirements.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria


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.

1. Develop and resource WHS policies.

1.1.Establish commitment to WHS and review relevant legislation  to ensure development of store policy and procedures  is based on sound principles.

1.2.Establish policy and resource requirements for the identification, control and reporting of existing and potential hazards  and safety incidents.

1.3.Establish policy and resource requirements for safe handling and storage of hazardous goods .

1.4.Establish policy and resource requirements to ensure equipment  is maintained and stored safely.

1.5.Establish policy and resource requirements to ensure safe lifting or shifting and manual handling techniques are applied by staff.

1.6.Establish policy and resource requirements for store emergency procedures .

1.7.Identify and seek or provide financial and human resources for the development and implementation of WHS procedures based on determined policies.

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

2. Establish and maintain risk assessment and hazard management procedures.

2.1.Identify potentially hazardous events and assess risks presented by identified hazards according to WHS legislation and codes of practice.

2.2.Develop risk control measures according to the hierarchy of controls  and legislative requirements, in consultation with appropriate emergency services.

2.3.Establish and maintain procedures for risk assessment  and integrate with systems of work and procedures to facilitate identification and prevention of hazards by staff.

2.4.Establish and maintain reporting procedures  to facilitate communication and recording of details of safety-related incidents.

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

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

3. Establish and maintain safe work procedures.

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

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

3.3.Establish and maintain procedures to ensure safe lifting, shifting and manual handling techniques are used by staff according to store policy.

3.4.Establish and maintain store emergency procedures according to store policy.

4. Train and consult with staff.

4.1.Develop and implement WHS training  program to ensure staff members are trained in WHS issues  and procedures.

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

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

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

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

5. Evaluate policies and procedures.

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

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

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

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

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication and interpersonal skills to:
  • ask questions to identify and confirm requirements
  • define and allocate WHS responsibilities and duties
  • explain information on the WHS system and provide information and training for staff through clear and direct communication
  • give instructions
  • report unsafe work practices
  • share information
  • use and interpret non-verbal communication
  • use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences
  • initiative and enterprise skills to develop processes and procedures to prevent safety hazards, including fire, chemical and electrical hazards
  • literacy and numeracy skills to:
  • document results
  • prepare reports
  • research, analyse and interpret a broad range of written material
  • undertake finance and risk assessment
  • technical skills to:
  • identify emergency exits
  • use safety alarms and fire extinguishers

Required knowledge 

  • first aid procedures
  • handling and storage procedures for hazardous and non-hazardous goods and equipment
  • organisational policy and procedures in regard to:
  • emergency evacuation of store
  • events likely to endanger staff or customers
  • hierarchy of control in emergency situations
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • WHS and emergency procedures, taking into account state and local government regulations and codes of practice
  • place of consultative committees
  • recording system for accidents, illness and incidents
  • procedures for spills, leakage of materials, accidents and sickness
  • relevant legislation and statutory requirements, including WHS legislation and codes of practice
  • 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, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the 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 work 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 work practices, for the provision of services and safe use of products
  • establishes and maintains consultative processes in regard to WHS
  • allocates and manages staff responsibility for WHS guidelines
  • develops and implements staff training programs that relate to WHS, health and hygiene legislation, and industry codes of practice
  • establishes and maintains systems for maintaining WHS records
  • evaluates, reviews and makes recommendations for improvements with regard to store policy and procedures in WHS and store emergency procedures.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a retail work environment
  • relevant documentation, such as:
  • WHS 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.

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:

  • observation of performance in the workplace
  • role play
  • 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.

Guidance information for assessment 

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.

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 individual, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • federal, state and local health and hygiene
  • WHS regulations
  • privacy legislation.

Store policy and procedures  may relate to:

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

Hazards  may include:

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

Hazardous goods  may include:

  • chemicals
  • electrical equipment
  • flammable goods
  • waste.

Equipment  may include:

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

Emergency procedures  may relate to:

  • accidents
  • armed robbery
  • bomb threats
  • chemical spills
  • events likely to endanger staff or customers
  • fires
  • locating and using alarms
  • sickness
  • store evacuations.

Hierarchy of controls  includes:

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

Risk assessment  may include:

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

Reporting procedures  may be:

  • digital or electronic
  • manual
  • scheduled
  • standardised.

Training  may include:

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

WHS issues  may include:

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

Staff  may include:

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

Consultation processes  may involve:

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

Records  may include:

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

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Work Health and Safety