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Your Wish List About Supervisor WHS Responsibilities & Functions

This article considers the responsibilities of a Supervisor and the functions a Supervisor could perform. These will be different from one workplace to another depending on the size of the business or undertaking. You may find it useful to review the list below and amend it if needed to compile your wish list of Supervisor responsibilities and functions that best suits your workplace.

Effective supervision of workplace activities is a major factor in preventing workplace health and safety incidents. And it’s a WHS legal necessity. You can find the WHS Act legal requirements at the bottom of this article.

A Wish List about Supervisor Responsibilities and Functions

For your workplace would you like to have Supervisors who:

  • Are personally motivated about carrying out their WHS duty of care and keeping their area of the workplace safe and healthy for workers and others,

  • Can motivate and lead workers on safety matters,

  • Ensure that workers are not affected at work by; stress, alcohol, or other drugs,

  • Effectively communicate with workers and direct and monitor their work activities,

  • Regularly inspect their workplace for health and safety risks, do risk assessments and job safety analysis,

  • Effectively provide information, instruction and training to their workers about their work activities and responsibilities,

  • Ensure that the appropriate PPE is used and maintained,

  • Monitor worker activities and ensure that workers are working safely and as required in safe work procedures,

  • Develop, maintain and review safe work procedures where needed,

  • Consult with workers about health and safety matters and communicate worker’s concerns to management,

  • Ensure that new employees, or other persons in their workplace are inducted and protected from risk of injury,

  • Personally train, or ensure that workers are trained, in the safe use of plant, machinery, equipment, hazardous chemicals, dangerous goods, and materials in their workplace,

  • Ensure that good housekeeping standards are met,

  • Ensure that plant, machinery and equipment is properly maintained,

  • Ensure that appropriate first aid and emergency equipment is properly maintained and can be used by workers who are trained for that purpose,

  • Ensure that work related incidents and near misses are reported and investigated,

If you would like to know if Courtenell could help you achieve your wish list of Supervisor responsibilities and functions then please give us call. We are always very interested in knowing what clients want so we can provide that and help you make a difference in your workplace.

The WHS Legal Requirement of Supervisor Responsibilities and Functions

An important part of a PCBU’s primary duty of care is to provide “… any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking” WHS Act Section 19(3)(f). The responsibility to provide “information, training, instruction or supervision” mainly rests with the Supervisors in your workplace and their duty of care is shown in Section 28 of the WHS Act.

The Officers of the PCBU also have a duty as shown in Section 27 that includes taking reasonable steps to:

“(e) to ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the person conducting the business or undertaking under this Act, and

Example. For the purposes of paragraph (e), the duties or obligations under this Act of a person conducting a business or undertaking may include:

• reporting notifiable incidents,

• consulting with workers,

• ensuring compliance with notices issued under this Act,

• ensuring the provision of training and instruction to workers about work health and


• ensuring that health and safety representatives receive their entitlements to training.

(f) to verify the provision and use of the resources and processes referred to in paragraphs (c)– (e). Note: The word “resources” includes personnel.

9th October 2018


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