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The Focus of WHS Training For Supervisors

Our WHS article last week listed the responsibilities and functions that a Supervisor might perform in most workplaces. If you missed seeing that then you might like to read it on our website using the link at the bottom of this article.

Bearing in mind the general responsibilities and functions of a Supervisor, this week’s article discusses what WHS training should be given to Supervisors. And we would really appreciate your feedback on the content shown in our list below.

The term Supervisors is not used in all workplaces. Some workplaces use the term Team Leader or Manager. Whatever the term used, they have the authority from within the PCBU’s chain of command that requires them to direct and coordinate the daily activities of a distinct group of workers. They have responsibility for the production of the group and the health and safety of all the workers in their group. They are a key factor in the PCBU being able to comply with WHS law.

Workplaces vary in size and in the nature of activities, risks, and how duties are delegated. So WHS training needs for Supervisors will also vary to some extent from one workplace to another. But they all have basic common training needs and these are included in the list below.

The Focus of WHS Training for Supervisors (or Team Leaders or Managers)

You may find it useful to compare each item below to check which items are applicable to your workplace and whether there is a need for more training of your Supervisors.

Training given to Supervisors should focus on the following areas:

  • The key aim of the WHS law and the PCBU – to ensure so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of everyone in their workplace.

  • The basic WHS legal requirements under the WHS Act and the WHS Regulation that apply to the Supervisor’s area of the workplace.

  • The WHS legal duty and responsibilities of the PCBU, the Officers, Workers and Others as they are legally required to achieve, implement, or contribute to the PCBU’s key WHS aim.

  • The Supervisors role, duties and responsibilities to help to achieve the PCBU’s key WHS aim.

  • Why it is vital that a Supervisor satisfies all their WHS duties and responsibilities and how their role fits in with the PCBU duties and responsibilities and the WHS Management System in their workplace.

  • How to communicate effectively with Management and Workers, and hold effective meetings and toolbox talks.

  • The Supervisor’s role in complying with mandatory WHS consultation with Workers and Others and what Supervisors must do about that.

  • How to lead and motivate Workers and Others to comply with their WHS legal duties, and contribute to the PCBU’s key WHS aim.

  • How to conduct a WHS inspection of their workplace, do risk assessments and recommend risk controls. Also if it is included in their role, to do job safety analysis, safe work procedures, and incident investigation.

  • What are the risks and risk control measures that apply in their area of the workplace.

  • What information, instruction, training and supervision they must give to Workers and Others in their area about those risks and control measures.


You can read last week’s article by clicking on the title, Your Wish List About Supervisor WHS Responsibilities & Functions

16th October 2018


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