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Work health and safety procedures

A procedure sets out the steps to be followed for work activities. You must consult with affected workers when developing procedures for:

  • resolving work health and safety issues
  • consulting with workers on work health and safety
  • monitoring workers’ health and workplace conditions
  • providing information and training.

Procedures should be in writing to provide clarity and certainty at the workplace and demonstrate compliance. They should clearly set out the role of health and safety representatives, and any other parties involved in the activity. The procedures should be easily accessible, for example by placing them on noticeboards and intranet sites.

In the context of issue resolution where procedures are agreed to, the Work, Health and Safety Regulations 2011 include minimum requirements including that these procedures are set out in writing and communicated to all workers to whom the procedure applies.

Many workplaces are required by law to have health and safety committees, which help develop standards, rules and procedures for health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the workplace. According to the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, when it comes to risk management, a procedure is a form of ‘administrative control’ that means a method of work, a process or a procedure designed to minimise risk.

The Work Health and Safety Act (2011) states that while at work, a worker must co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.

Resources

Information sourceContents
Codes of Practice—How to Manage Work Health and Safety RisksThis code provides practical guidance for people who have duties under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations to manage risks to health and safety. There is an additional code that provides practical guidance on Work Health and Safety Consultation obligations.
Risk Management- A snapshot [PDF,135KB]A handy reminder of the key considerations for managing work health and safety risks as outlined more fully in the Code of Practice - How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks.
Australian Public Service Commission—Governance Training ModuleTraining module specific to governance in the context of the Australian Public Service.
Safe Work Australia—Frequently Asked Questions: OfficersCommonly asked questions relating to officers and responsibilities with respect to managing responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act (2011).
Code of Practice—How to Manage Work Health and Safety RisksThis code provides practical guidance for people who have duties under the WHS Act and Regulations to manage risks to health and safety.
Comcare—Guidance document for officers in exercising due diligenceGuidance documentation for officers responsible for exercising due diligence.
Page last updated: 19 Oct 2016