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General risk and workplace management

Managing hazards

A hazard is a situation in the workplace that has the potential to harm the health and safety of people or to damage plant and equipment. The situation could involve a task, chemical or equipment used. The best way to prevent injuries or illness in your workplace is to find these hazards and fix them.

Hazard management is a continuous process that is used to improve the health and safety of all workplaces. It is essentially a problem-solving process aimed at defining problems (identifying hazards), gathering information about them (assessing the risks) and solving them (controlling the risks).

This three step approach to identifying, assessing and controlling hazards is a good starting point for carrying out this process in your workplace.

Codes of Practice

The Code of Practice for How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks has been developed and approved to provide practical guidance for persons who have duties to manage risks to health and safety under the WHS Act and Regulations.

The duty is placed on persons conducting a business or undertaking, including employers, self-employed, principal contractors, persons with management or control of a workplace, designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of plant, substances or structures that are used for work.

The Code of Practice for Managing the Work Environment and Facilities has been approved and applies to all types of work and all workplaces covered by the WHS Act and Regulations applying in a jurisdiction, including workplaces that are mobile, temporary and remote. It has been developed to provide practical guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to provide and maintain a physical work environment that is without risks to health and safety. This Code covers:

  • the physical work environment, such as workspace, lighting and ventilation
  • facilities for workers, including toilets, drinking water, washing and dining areas, change rooms, personal storage and shelter
  • remote and isolated work, and
  • emergency plans.