Ensure your WHS Risk Controls Remain Effective
Weekly WHS Article 16th March 2022
If a PCBU does not maintain a risk control in a manner that keeps it effective then the PCBU will not be in compliance with WHS Regulation 37, and sections 17 and 19 of the WHS Act.
Fortunately, the Code of Practice, How to Manage Work Health & Safety Risks, has useful guidance at page 23 under the heading of How to Ensure that Controls Remain Effective, and this guidance is set out below. As you will see, managers and supervisors and also workers have an important role in keeping risk controls effective.
“How to ensure controls remain effective
An important part of controlling risk is ensuring that your chosen control measures are maintained after their initial implementation. The following actions may help you monitor the control measures you have implemented and ensure that they remain effective.
Accountability for health and safety –Managers and supervisors should be provided with the authority and resources to implement and maintain control measures effectively. Accountability should be clearly allocated to ensure procedures are followed and maintained.
Maintenance of plant and equipment – This will involve regular inspection and testing, repair or replacement of damaged or worn plant and equipment. It includes checking that any control measures are suitable for the nature and duration of work, are set up and used correctly.
Further information on maintaining plant and equipment is available in the Code of Practice: Managing the risks of plant in the workplace.
Up-to-date training and competency – Most control measures, depend on workers and supervisors having the appropriate competencies to do the job safely. Training must be provided to maintain competencies and to ensure new workers are capable of working safely.
Up-to-date hazard information – Information about hazards, such as plant and substances, may be updated by manufacturers and suppliers and should be checked to make sure controls are still relevant. New technology may provide more effective solutions than were previously available. Changes to operating conditions or the way activities are carried out may also mean that control measures need to be updated.
Regular review and consultation – Control measures are more effective where there is regular review of work procedures and consultation with your workers and their representatives.
If maintenance processes reveal new hazards, or existing hazards that are not being addressed, you will need to perform a review of your control measures
Reviewing the above action steps in the context of your workplace would help to identify potential weak points in your risk controls.”
The quotations from the, How to Manage Work Health & Safety Risks Code of Practice, are the copyright work of SafeWork NSW and are used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence (CC BY 3.0). To view a copy of this licence, visit www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/
16th March 2022