Entry into Comcare’s offices is restricted due to the COVID-19 situation. Find out how you can contact us during this time.

Use space to open navigation items

Manage risks in the workplace

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

The ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU), who is usually the employer, must manage risks to health and safety by eliminating risks as much as is reasonably practicable.


Those responsible for preventing and managing risks include:

  • employers
  • the self-employed
  • principal contractors
  • anyone who manages or controls a workplace
  • designers
  • manufacturers
  • importers and suppliers of plant, substances or structures that are used at work.

This applies to all types of work and all workplaces that are covered by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

Managing work health and safety risks within a workplace involves the elements of governance, prevention, response and recovery.

Governance

Governance is the framework, procedures, policies and processes that organisations use to manage work health and safety duties, functions and operations.

One of the primary duties of a PCBU is to:

  • develop organisational work health and safety policies
  • define key work health and safety roles and responsibilities
  • address obligations to consult
  • define arrangements for working with Comcare.

Developing a culture that promotes workplace health and safety also belongs in this category.

For more information, see workplace health and management system.

Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure! At the centre of an effective preventative system is compliance with work health and safety obligations and stopping hazards entering the workplace.

Having policies and procedures to effectively manage risks and hazards allows an organisation to identify and resolve hazards before they cause injury or illness to workers.

Strategies to prevent physical hazards and ergonomic hazards include:

Organisations should consider psychosocial hazards in the same way as other health and safety hazards and risks. A commitment to preventing psychosocial hazards in the workplace should be included in health and safety policies.

Response

If a safety incident takes place, the organisation must take steps to remove the hazard that caused the incident. It should also implement changes to stop the incident from happening again.

Your organisation’s response documentation must include information on:

  • incident investigation
  • incident notification requirements
  • emergency preparedness and response
  • first aid policies and procedures.

Recovery

When a worker is ill or injured, the employer has responsibilities under both the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

These responsibilities are usually addressed by a rehabilitation management system that manages workplace injury or illness.

Page last reviewed: 15 December 2019
Get updates from us
Subscribe
Working during the Coronavirus pandemic. Subscribe to eNews to get advice from the national work health and safety authority.

Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 27 May 2020

https://www.comcare.gov.au/safe-healthy-work/prevent-harm/manage-risks