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AHCOHS201A – Participate in OHS processes

Participate in OHS Processes


Learning Guide

Name: Address: Phone: Email:

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This work is copyright © Horticultural Training Pty Ltd 2012 All rights reserved. This work is copyright, but permission is given to students to make copies by photocopying or other duplicating processes for personal use within their own workplace where Horticultural Training Pty Ltd is conducting training. This permission does not extend to the making of copies for use outside the immediate training environment for which they are made, nor the making of copies for loan, hire or resale to third parties. For permission outside of these guidelines, apply in writing to Horticultural Training Pty Ltd. Horticultural Training Pty Ltd PO Box 134 Strathpine Queensland 4500 Telephone: Facsimile: Email:

07 3264 8613 07 3264 8775

Version 1:

A.Toohey, May 2012

This Learning Guide is produced as a training aid for unit module AHCOHS201A – Participate in OHS processes for the Australian Qualifications Framework- National Horticulture Competencies Training Guide Information This Training Guide will assist you build knowledge and skills towards a career in the horticulture industry. It is a workbook which will be useful to you for recording your learning and for presentation as evidence that you have completed the required learning and practice activities. Where it fits This Training Guide relates to Unit of Competency AHCOHS201A: Participate in OHS processes at AQF2 for the horticulture industry. (AQF stands for the Australian Qualifications Framework, level 2, which describes a person’s ability to perform a range of tasks in the workplace under supervision.) Pre-requisites There are no pre-requisites for this Training Guide. Recognition of prior learning If you can provide evidence that you have already achieved the knowledge and skills covered in this Training Guide, regardless of where they have been acquired, you can immediately apply for assessment. Evidence can include reports, statements from training courses, references from previous employers, photos, videos, practical demonstrations etc. Assessment The completed Assessment Guide should be checked by your Coach and recorded in your Competency Record Book. The Competency Record Book details your knowledge, skills, and work performance. Occupational health, safety and welfare Any work in the horticulture sector may be dangerous in some way. It is important to know about your workplace’s occupational health and safety procedures. As an employee you have a responsibility to:  Follow your workplace’s occupational health and safety procedures  Follow manufacturers guidelines for machinery, equipment and hazardous substances  Respond to a situation where someone is put at risk or injury (as long as you do not endanger yourself)  Report any incidents or situations, which cause you or other people injury, or put you or others at risk.

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Introduction to Workplace Health and Safety Workplace Health and Safety is a major consideration in every Australian workplace. Whatever activity you are undertaking there is a risk of injury at some level and this risk needs to be assessed and appropriate controls and training need to be implemented to mitigate this risk. Think of what you are doing now, how are you seated? Poor posture is an example of workplace risk when seated in front of a computer terminal for long periods of time. The estimated cost of work related injury and illness in the 2008-09 financial year was $60.6 billion. In 2010-11, 220 workers died from injuries incurred in the workplace. We can see from these statistics the impacts that work place accidents have on the community both socially and economically. Whilst the current laws and leglislation are state based, there is a process to harmonise these laws across Australia. The key pieces of legislation for both Queensland and New South Wales include the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. Everyone within a workplace has an obligation for Workplace Health and Safety. For an employee this includes tasks such as following all procedures, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and not endangering yourself or others. Legislation allows for penalties including fines and for serious infringements potential incarceration for persons not meeting their obligations. In the Horticultural industry common areas where accidents occur are from areas such as plant and equipment, Hazardous chemicals, Manual handling and slips trips and falls.

Activity Go to Appendix I. Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2013, safe work Australia. Write down your key thoughts on workplace health and safety and what it means to you in your career in this industry.

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Policies and Procedures Employers have legal responsibilities to provide a safe workplace and systems of work, to consult with employees and to keep them informed about health and safety matters. A Workplace Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS) is a set of plans, actions and procedures to systematically manage health and safety in the workplace that is actively endorsed by a committed employer to achieve the following; 

Provision of a safe and healthy workplace and the prevention/reduction of illness and injury equally for employees and contractors/others

Identification of workplace hazards, assessment and control of all risks

Active involvement in health and safety matters by managers, supervisors and employees and their representatives

Provision of information and training for employees at all levels so they can work safely

Audit and reviews of the WHSMS

Information on workplace Health & Safety should be provided to employees as part of their induction training as soon as they begin employment. This information may be presented to employees in the following ways; 

safety manual

a policy and procedure manual

work instructions


combination of the above

All policies should state the responsibilities of everyone at the workplace as well as defining all rules & standards. Occoupational Health and Safety (OHS) policies and procedures include (but are not limited to): 

Employment terms and conditions


Sexual harassment


Manual handling

Safe operating procedures/instructions

Use and care of Personal Protective Equipment

Smoking in the workplace

Alcohol & Drug (legal & illegal)

Inappropriate behaviour

Return to work

Emergency procedures

Internet & electronic communications

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Legal Obligations The Workplace Health & Safety Act imposes specific obligations which must be discharged. The employer has a duty of care to ensure the safety of workers and others in all circumstances. Employers have a legal responsibilty or a ‘Duty of Care’ for the provision of; 

Safe place of work

A physical work environment or premises to which an employee has normal access, amenities and areas of access and egress. Areas to free of defects and unsafe conditions. 

Safe systems of work

The procedure or usual method of doing a task, which the employee does as part of their job. This includes preparation of work area, resources and consumables, methods of using equipment, supply and use of protective equipment, staffing issues, training and instruction, warnings and signage and written guidelines or procedures to support task completion. 

Safe equipment & plant

Work equipment and plant provided is safe to use and maintained properly. 

Competent staff (training)

Any person who may be in control of any workplace must be competent to carry out their work or tasks safely.through training and education and licensing where legally required. Under the Workplace Health & Safety Act everyone has an obligation of care to their own health and safety along with the health and safety of others. Under the Workplace Health & Safety Act all workers or anyone else at a workplace has the following obligations --a)

To comply with the instructions given for workplace health and safety at the workplace by the employer at the workplace and any principal contractor for construction work at the workplace;


For a worker - to use personal protective equipment if the equipment is provided by the worker’s employer and the worker is properly instructed in its use;


Not to willfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for workplace health and safety at the workplace;


Not to willfully place at risk the workplace health and safety of any person at the workplace;


Not to willfully injure himself or herself.

Regulations These are made by the government and deal with issues such as registration of workplaces and plant, issuing certificates and other administrative matters. The Workplace Health & Safety Regulation specifies workplace health and safety obligations for individuals in their various roles. This means you may have multiple obligations. For example: A person may be an employer, principal contractor and supplier of plant at the same time. In this case, the

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person has obligations in each of these capacities. The Workplace Health and SafetyRegulation specifies the obligations for: 

People who conduct a business or undertaking (including employers, self-employed people and relevant persons)

People in control of a workplace (including owners)

Principal contractors

People in control of relevant workplace areas (including owners)

People in control of fixtures, fittings or plant included in relevant workplace areas (including owners)

Designers of plant

Manufacturers of plant

Hirers, importers and suppliers of plant

Owners of plant

Erectors and installers of plant

Manufacturers of substances

Suppliers and importers of substances

Designers of structures (including building designers)


Workplace visitors

Volunteers (and volunteer organisations)

Obligation of principal contractors Principal contractors must: a)

assist employers and/or self-employed people at the workplace to discharge their workplace health and safety obligations

b) protect people at the workplace from exposure to risks arising from something provided for general use at the workplace and a hazard for which no one else owes a workplace health and safety obligation c)

protect members of the public from injury or illness caused by work activities at or near the workplace

d) provide safeguards and take safety measures under a regulation made for principal contractors e)

ensure people at the workplace comply with their workplace health and safety obligations

Codes of Practice These are developed by organisations such as the Department Employment & Industrial Relations or Worksafe Australia. They are explanatory and practical documents that provide detailed information on identifying hazards and managing risks. They provide guidance to assist in identifying and implementing ways to meet their duty of care as defined by the WHS Act. 

First Aid 2004

Formwork 2006

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Hazardous Substances 2003

Manual Tasks 2000

Manual Tasks Involving the Handling of People 2001

Mobile Crane Code of Practice 2006

Noise 2004

Plant Code of Practice 2005

Prevention of Workplace Harassment 2004

Risk Management 2007

Rural Plant 2004

Safe Design and Operation of Tractors Code of Practice 2005

Scaffolding Code of Practice 2009

The Storage and Use of Rural Chemicals at a Rural Workplace Industry Code of Practice 2000

Traffic Management for Construction or Maintenance Work Code of Practice 2008

Ministerial notices Ministerial notices are urgent workplace warnings. They are issued when a situation occurs that puts someone at an imminent serious risk of harm at, or near, a workplace. A notice may set out methods of work or other things to prevent or minimise exposure to the risk. A notice overrides any existing regulation.

Advisory Standards Advisory standards are also developed by government bodies for industry to use and implement. An advisory standard will give practical advice on ways to identify and manage exposure to risk. However a workplace does not have to follow an advisory standard as long as it chooses another way of identifying and managing exposure to risk suitable for their workplace.

The structure of WHS Legislation

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Act Made in Parliament. Provides principles of law and tools for the administration and enforcement

Regulations Made under each Act to lay down minimum standards to ensure compliance with the Act. They may include administrative matters and prescribe or prohibit methods of activity

Codes of Practice They are explanatory and practical documents that provide detailed information on identifying hazards and managing risks. They provide guidance as to identification and management of hazards and risks

Hazard Identification and Risk Control Hazard Identification and Risk Control Different aspects of work within an industry are constantly changing due to various technological, social, and economic factors. It is necessary to remain vigilant in maintaining a current knowledge of information regarding hazard identification and risk control measures, and to be able to provide and explain this information regularly as required.

A Hazard is something that can (or potentially can) cause harm. Hazards can be found in substances, plant, work processes or tasks and aspects of the work environment. Hazards in the workplace may vary due to the nature of the environment and work undertaken, yet can include: 

Equipment and machinery operation and maintenance

Vehicles, noise, chemicals, gasses, dusts, manual handling

Plants and animals/livestock

Solar radiation, electricity, overhead hazards including power lines

Confined spaces, tripping hazards, water bodies, firearms, explosives

Damaged or broken structures, damaged or worn equipment

Items blocking exits, items of equipment in areas used for access

Unsuitable surfaces, spillages and breakages

The Risk is the likelihood that a death, injury or illness might happen because of that hazard. Risk Factors are characteristics of the person, task or environment that affect the level of risk – what makes it dangerous? Risk Assessment is how likely that something will go ‘wrong’ and what will be the consequences? Risk control – those things we implement to prevent something from going wrong.

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Exposure – a period of time or the action of coming into contact with or being open to the effects of a hazard or risk.

Risk management is a systemic and logical method of managing the uncertainty regarding potential risk rather than responding after an injury ot incident. To properly manage exposure to risks, a person must; a)

Identify hazards


Assess risks that may result because of the hazards


Decide on appropriate control measures


Implement control measures


Monitor and review the effectiveness of the measures

Break down the job or task into steps, at each step examine and discuss with co-workers about the interaction of a worker with the plant, action, other persons, hazardous substances or other hazardous aspects. Gathering this information is important to help identify the risk factors associated with the task. The risk factors include; 




under what conditions

current controls and their effectiveness

The level of risk is determined by the extent of the consequences and the chance (likelihood) that the incident will occur. If the consequences are high (major or catastrophic) and the likelihood of the incident occurring is high, then the risk is high.

If a risk is determined to be unacceptable then the hazards need to be treated. In most cases there are a number of different options available. Hazard or risk controls vary in their capacity to eliminate or reduce risks. Therefore, a combination of control measures will need to be implemented to manage the risk. The effectiveness of control options in reducing the level of risk should be determined by re-analysing the risk with the treatment option in place. Decisions on whether to implement a specific control option are often based on the level of risk reduction achieved and the cost of implementing the control measures. WHS risk management is the process for dealing with health and safety problems faced in the workplace. There are various models of this basic process, some with more or less steps. Many are similar and have the same purpose.

WHS Risk Management Process

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Step 1- Identify tasks, activities, work processes & practices for assessment. Identify all the risk factors

Step 5- Monitor & review. Inspection checklists, review incident stats, observe/talk to coworkers

Step 4- Implement controls. Develop an action plan

Step 2- Assess and priortise risks

Step 3- Decide on control options. Hierarchy of Controls Eliminate Substitute Engineering Administration PPE

Training needs to address specific aspects of risk involved with OHS hazards in the workplace. This may be generic to the work or specific to particular tools, equipment, machinery, materials and work. These may include, but are not limited to: 

Health and Safety Inductions, Local Area Worksite Induction

Specific OHS training – First Aid, Emergency Procedures

Safe machinery operation and maintenance

Hazard identification and assessment

Hazardous Substances (safe use, handling, storage and transporting)

Manual handling Hierarchy of Control

The hierarchy of control is used to determine the most appropriate means of controlling a hazard. The higher level controls are most suitable as these controls aim to completely eliminate the hazard, whilst lower order controls are designed to make the hazard safer. When reviewing hazards to determine control measures, these higher order options are most preferable. Elimination of the hazard is a better option than managing the risk by providing personal protective equipment (PPE), as this process involves a subjective decision as to the kind of PPE, and to wear or not to wear it. Where it is practically impossible (e.g. exposure to the sun) to remove the hazard, then work through the best options of hazard management systematically (hierarchy of control). Elimination

The most effective option – The hazard is entirely removed. This option may not always be suitable because of the high degree of change. For instance, a lifting injury could be reduced by the use of a forklift or lifting aid. This involves using a different machine; material or work practice which involves

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less risk. An example may be the use of a drill press rather than an electric drill or implementing an IPM program instead of chemical control.

Substitution Safe Place Controls


Remove the hazard from the proximity of the worker – enclosed cabins on tractors for spray operations, Repositioning noisy machinery away from work sites.


The redesign of work processes or machinery to reduce a hazard – installing guards around moving parts.

Administrative Safe Person Controls

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Establishing and using organisational procedures or infrastructure systems to control hazard exposure. Limiting the time exposed to certain work or hazards, rotating workers, use of safety signs, provision of information and training, supervision of workers, enforcement of safe work procedures and preventative maintenance programs. PPE should be your last option after you have considered all other control methods. PPE is only used to control the long term or immediate effect of the hazard – when handling and mixing chemical - PPE must be used.

Note: there may be more than one control method. The one selected may depend on the best solution at the time, while a more effective control may take more time and/or resources. Common Hazards and Control Actions Hazard

Hazardous substances and dangerous goods (including pesticides, herbicides, petrol for vehicles, chainsaws and mowers)

Possible Employer Action to Prevent Injury / Illness

Possible Harmful Effects

Skin contact or accidental swallowing of chemicals (e.g. from a splash) can result in nausea, allergic reaction and/or poisoning

Fumes can cause headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting

  

Environmental harm

Use the least hazardous product for each job Provide safety information on labels and through Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) Provide appropriate PPE Label all containers Provide chemical disposal bags or bins

Preventative Action Employee Can Take

    

Manual handling (bending, reaching, stretching, pulling, lifting, repetitive motions, awkward posture)

Musculoskeletal disorders, including sprains and strains

   

Heat, or cold/wet weather conditions

Heat rashes, heat cramps, heat stress, dehydration,

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Provide mechanical aids Document safe system of work Provide training in safe manual handling techniques Encourage team lifts

Provide regular rest breaks

 

Follow safe handling procedures Wear PPE (including gloves, mask, overalls) where provided Dispense and mix chemicals in wellventilated areas Make sure chemicals are not decanted into unlabeled containers Clean up spills immediately (and dispose of waste material safely) Use mechanical aids provided Seek help when you think a team lift is required Exercise: warm up/stretch before starting work, and cool down/stretch at end of the shift or working day Be aware of potential for hot or cold weather Version 1 June 2012

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loss of fine motor controls, sunburn, numbness, frostbite, hypothermia

    

Sexual harassment, work place bullying

Emotional stress, fear and anxiety, physical illness

 

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Provide shade where practicable Re-schedule work if extreme weather conditions present risk Assess work hours in difficult conditions Provide water in hot weather Provide appropriate clothing / PPE Establish work place policy Provide staff briefings or training

conditions to cause illness – rest and seek assistance if you feel that heat or cold may be affecting you Wear appropriate clothing and take regular rest breaks

 Report any concerns immediately

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Hazard Management Plan (Based on AS4804)

Step 1: Step 2: Step 3: Step 4:

Identify hazards associated with the task Assess the level of risk for each task Implement the control measure for each risk that is identified Monitor the adequacy of the plan for the duration of the risk and update if necessary

Company/ Organisation:

Horticultural Training Pty Ltd


Moorungumpin Creek Restoration Project

Prepared by:

Mathew Curlew



Hazard Identification Task / Activity / Hazard e.g. Manual handling injury


Risk Assessment

Control Measures



Risk Rating




(The event could occur at some time)

(Medical treatment required, high financial loss)

(2 weeks or less for action to occur)




(The event will probably occur in most circumstances)

(Medical treatment required, high financial loss)

(2 weeks or less for action to occur)

Use Hierarchy of control Eliminate: Use aids where possible Administrative: ensure proper training PPE: all operators to wear appropriate PPE

Eliminate: Re-schedule works in extreme weather conditions where possible Substitution: Provide shade where practicable Administration: Regular rest breaks, assess work hours in difficult conditions, follow procedures for first aid, provide drinking water PPE – wear appropriate sunsmart clothing, hat, protective eyewear

Person responsible for monitoring control measure Name & Signature Mathew Curlew Review date:

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Mathew Curlew

18/2/20XX - (2 weeks or less for action to occur)

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Risk Analysis Matrix (Qualitative) (Based on AS/NZS4360)

Section 1 - Measures of Likelihood





Almost Certain

The event is expected to occur in most circumstances



The event will probably occur in most circumstances



The event should occur at some time



The event could occur at some time



The event may occur only in exceptional circumstances

Section 2 – Measures of Consequence






No injuries, low financial loss



First Aid treatment, high financial loss



Medical treatment required, high financial loss



Extensive injuries, major financial loss



Death, huge financial loss

Section 3 – Level of Risk Insignificant Likelihood A (almost certain)

1 S

Minor 2 S

Moderate 3 H

Major 4 H

Catastrophic 5 H

B (likely)






C (moderate)






D (unlikely)






E (rare)






Section 4 – Prioritising Risk Control Actions Risk Level Timing of Response to Risk H = High Risk

Immediate action required

S = Significant Risk

One week or less for action to occur

M = Moderate Risk

Two weeks or less for action to occur

L = Low Risk

One month or less for action to occur

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Observe Safe Work Practices Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) PPE is one control option, and is only effective if it is used, maintained and stored according to best practice and enterprise procedures to sustain it’s effectiveness to provide the level of protection for which items were designed. PPE includes, but is not limited to; 

Steel capped boots that comply with AS/NZS 2210 – Occupational protective footwear

Safety helmet that comply with AS/NZS 1801:1997- Occupational protective helmets, and AS/NZS 1800:1998 – Selection care and use.

Hearing protection that comply with AS/1270:1988

Eye protection that comply with AS/NZS 1336:1997 Safety glasses or goggles are compulsory in designated eye protection areas and when using power or machine tools and pressure equipment. Face shields should be worn when handling acids and chemicals. Suitable welding goggles must be worn for gas welding and cutting. Welding helmets must be worn for electric arc welding. Welding screens should be used to protect the eyes of other persons from welding flashes.

Suitable hand protection

Sunscreen with an SPF 30+

Work wear suitable for the environment

Breathing protection that comply with AS/NZS 1715:1994 Approved face masks or respirators fitted with the appropriate filter should be worn when exposed to hazardous chemical vapours, fumes, dust or fibres. Employers must provide the correct type of respirator, train employees in fitting the devices and ensure that respirators are properly maintained and replaced as required. The Material Safety Data Sheets for the hazardous substance(s) involved will provide accurate information on the selection of respirators.

Machinery & Equipment Checks Before using any items of machinery or equipment, it is good practice to conduct basic safety checks according to the policies and procedures of the organisation and the manufacturers operating guidelines. This may involve the use of a pre-start checklists and/or other forms of inspection documents (operators manual, inspection diagrams with specifications). To conduct pre-operational and safety checks, including manufacturers’ servicing requirements and calibration information for machinery and equipment, may involve the following; 

Inspection of safety guards, PTO stubs and shafts, hitch and towing points

Pre-start and safety checks (including the service and maintenance records)

Checking fuels, oils and lubricants, electrolyte levels, wheels and tyre pressure

Fan belts, leads, lines, connections

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Air filters, brakes, clutch, gearbox, steering, lighting and transmission

Checking and confirming equipment calibration settings

Observing and monitoring noise levels for correct operation

Preparation of independently powered tools may include cleaning, priming, tightening, basic repairs and adjustments

Identify and segregate unsafe or faulty equipment for repair or replacement

Any faulty machinery or equipment that is identified will need to be tagged, and reported to a supervisor according to enterprise’s guidelines and OHS procedures. The appropriate safety checks conducted for use of machinery and equipment in the workplace addresses the identification and assessment of Occupational Health and Safety hazards and risks inherent to yourself, and others. OHS hazards and risks associated with the use of machinery in the workplace may include, but are not limited to; 

Mechanical malfunctions and exposed moving parts

Exposure to loud noise and fumes, solar radiation, dusts

Ergonomic hazards associated with posture and vibration

Hazardous substances (fuels, oils, fertilisers etc.)

Oil and grease spills

Presence of bystanders, livestock and wildlife

Difficult terrain and varying gradients, potholes, ditches, embankments, gullies, obstacles (rocks, logs, fences, debris, buildings)

Extreme weather conditions

Electricity and overhead powerlines

Hazardous Substances Hazardous substances are those that, following worker exposure, can have an adverse effect on health. Examples of hazardous substances include poisons, substances that cause burns or skin and eye irritation, and substances that may cause cancer. Many hazardous substances are also classed as dangerous goods. A substance is deemed to be a hazardous substance if it meets the classification criteria specified in the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances[(NOHSC: 1008 (2004)] 3 rd Edition. Dangerous Goods Dangerous goods are substances or particles that, because of their physical, chemical or acute toxicity properties, present an immediate hazard to people, properties or the environment. Types of substance classified as dangerous goods include explosives, flammable liquids and gases, corrosives, chemically reactive or acutely (highly) toxic substances. The criteria used to determine whether substances are classified as dangerous goods are contained in the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code), which itself is aligned closely with the criteria of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the Australian Standard AS1940 ( The Storage

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and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids). The ADG Code contains a list of substances classified as dangerous goods.

Hazards associated with Handling Hazardous Substances The use of hazardous substances in the workplace carries the inherent risk associated with handling these materials. Risks should be assessed in accordance with the procedures of the enterprise, and OHS requirements for use and handling. Enterprise procedures may include: 

Hazard policies and procedures

Emergency policies and procedures

Use of personal protective clothing and equipment

Hazard identification and issue resolution procedures

Job procedures and work instructions

Reporting procedures

Installation of workplace signage

Hazardous substances are those that are dangerous if you come in contact with them or those, which can react with other substances in a dangerous manner. There are a number of such substances, which are classified as hazardous in the workplace. It is important that all staff members be aware of what to do when handling them. All employees must be instructed in the safe handling of hazardous substances before having to handle them.

Health Effects The risk associated with handling a hazardous substance is associated with its 

Level of toxicity

Solvent in which the chemical is mixed


Concentration of active constituent

Flammability or corrosiveness

Method of application

Exposure to Hazardous Substances Without proper procedures and the proper use of PPE, users can be exposed in a number of ways. 1.

Inhalation (most rapid route)

The substance is absorbed into the body & blood stream by breathing in the vapours of the hazardous substance. 

A healthy set of lungs has approximately 70m2 of surface area designed to extract oxygen from the atmosphere to the blood stream

This allows for the rapid absorption of chemicals into the blood stream when breathing in contaminates.

This can occur when working in confined spaces or when respirators are not maintained correctly

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Ingestion (swallowing)

By not washing your hands before eating, drinking or smoking can result in the chemical being transferred into your blood steam. 

This normally occurs after there has been a failure to wash your hands thoroughly after the application of chemicals due to residues remaining on the skin.

Never store chemicals and food containers together

Accidents have occurred due to the decanting of a hazardous substance into food containers e.g. soft drink bottles where misidentification of the product has occurred


Skin Absorption (dermal)

This is the most common way of hazardous substance entering the body. The rate of absorption is faster in hotter weather and slower in cold weather. This is due to increased circulation which in turn increases the rate of absorption. 

The rate of absorption of hazardous substances into the skin varies for different parts of the body

The rate of chemical absorption is faster in summer or when the body is hot compared to winter

Eye splash can also poses a high rise due to a rapid uptake in to the blood stream


Eye Splash

Chemicals contaminating the eye will damage the eye on impact. The eye is also supplied with large blood vessels which are able to take up the chemical very quickly into the body. The eye also has the fastest absorption rate in the body.

In the workplace the major storage area will be clearly marked and constructed as per the Code of Practice. Labels will give information regarding – 




application rate of the product

Dangerous Goods Class

First Aid and emergency action

An expiry date

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will give detailed information on – 

the properties of the substance

how to safely handle, transport, store and dispose of the substance.

It will also give details on the long and short term health effects

the best practice for the use of Personal Protective Equipment

how to recognise symptoms of exposure and the First Aid and necessary emergency actions

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Acute and chronic poisoning 

Acute poisoning: is caused by a sudden exposure of a large amount of hazardous substance to the body. This can be a result of an accidental exposure to a concentrated form. (During the mixing process). Because the symptoms of a acute poisoning occur so soon after poisoning, the source of the poison is readily identified

Chronic poisoning: can be just as dangerous but has a different approach. This can be caused by repeat exposures over an extended period of time. This could be caused by inhaling of residues or undetected skin contact. The symptoms of this may not be seen for several years. (During the application process)

Poisoning Symptoms The symptoms of all hazardous substances are described on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). With the most widely occurring symptoms interfere with the nervous system. Some of the symptoms can include: 



Blurred vision


Sweating profusely



Some staff members may not notice any build up of symptoms as season progresses. This is due to continuous exposure of small amounts of a period of time. It is wise to seek medical advice if you are feeling unwell at any time during or after handling chemicals. Do not continue to use chemical products if you are feeling unwell. A build up of chemicals in your blood system could result in impaired reflexes, reduced eyesight vision and your overall ability to drive a car or use machinery.

Noise Hazards Noise is any unwanted sound that may damage a persons hearing level. The amount of damage received will depend upon the exposure over time. Risk of hearing damage is dependant not only on the level of noise, but also the duration of exposure. As noise levels increase, the permitted time of exposure for the unprotected ear decreases.

The daily noise dose is set as equal to 1.0 for 85LAeq,8h LAeq,8h represents the eight-hour equivalent sound pressure level measured in Aweighted decibels, db(A) That is, the equivalent continuous noise level of 85db(A) over an 8 hour shift equals a daily dose of 1.0. For every 3dB (A) rise in noise level over 85dB (A), it is said that the noise is twice as loud, therefore the exposure time must be halved. The table below shows the allowable exposure, in hours per day for different sound levels.

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Exposure time and noise levels

Noise Levels dB(A)

Maximum Period of Exposure















Multiple Noise Sources Risk of hearing damage is dependent not only on the level of noise, but also on the duration of exposure. As noise levels increase, the permitted time of exposure for the unprotected ear decreases. If two similar machines each produce a sound pressure level of 85dB, the combined sound pressure level is not 170dB it is 88dB. (85dB + 85dB = 0 difference in sound levels, therefore 85dB + 3 = 88dB) To find the combined total sound pressure level for two noise sources which emit different sound pressure levels, use the ‘Adding Sound Levels’ Table.

Difference in the sound levels measured

Add this value to the higher of the two sound levels

0 or 1


2 or 3


4 to 9


10 or more


Example: If two noise sources were measured at 89dB and 91dB, their combined sound level would be 89dB + 91dB = 2 difference in sound levels, therefore 91dB + 2 = 93dB

The best way to manage noise is to 

Identify the hazard;

Assess the risks that may result because of the hazard;

Decide on the control measures to prevent or minimise the risk;

Implement the control measures

Monitor and review the effectiveness of the measures

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Noise control measures are ways to manage the risk from exposure to noise. The following control measures are listed in order of most effective. 


Eliminate or replace the plant or equipment, e.g. using electric powered tools may be quieter than pneumatic tools 

Engineering controls Reduce noise by minor design changes, e.g. avoid metal on metal contact by using plastic bumpers, using conveyors instead of rollers

Isolation Separate the noisy elements, such as moving pumps, fans, air compresors which are not integral to the machines use

Administrative controls Restriction of time of operation of the machinery, restricting worker exposure to noise through job rotation

Personal hearing protectors Supply workers with correct personal hearing protectors, areas where workers and others may be exposed to excessive noise should be sign-posted as ‘hearing protection areas’

Usually a combination of control measures has to be used to prevent exposure to excessive noise. As with the hierarchy of control measures, elimination, engineering & administrative measures are preferred, as these actually reduce the risk to noise. The use of personal hearing protectors only reduces the risk to excessive noise; it does not actually reduce noise exposure.

Selection of hearing protectors Hearing protectors are to be used for the purpose of reducing noise to a level where the risk of hearing damage is reduced, and, at the same time, allow the individual to hear instructions or warnings in the work environment. Generally speaking the effect of wearing a hearing protector should be similar to if you were to cup your hands over your ears. The primary criterion for selecting a hearing protector is that the level of noise entering our ears must be reduced to below the legal limits of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011, which are: A.

An 8-hour equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level of 85 dB(A), referenced to 20 μPa; or


A C-weighted peak sound pressure level of 140 dB(C), referenced to 20 μPa.

The exposure limit under (A) basically means that if during an 8-hour shift the average noise level entering our ears is 85 dB or higher, we are exposed to excessive noise. The limit under (B) deals with impact noise (for example, such as noise from falling tools onto workbenches or the firing of nail guns) which, if exceeding the exposure limit, may create an immediate risk of hearing loss. To select a hearing protector correctly we need to know which workers are exposed, what their exposure levels are and whether or not the hearing protector is compatible with the work environment and other protective equipment being used.

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Manual Handling Back injuries at work are the most frequent and some of the most severe injuries amongst workers in Australia. A substantial component of horticultural and agricultural work involves manual handling. Manual handling means any activity, which requires a person to use any physical force to lift, carry, push, pull, restrain or hold a load.

Studies indicate that there is a relation between musculoskeletal problems and physical workload during work. Stress can cause you to have a poor posture while undertaking physical activities. Time pressures can result in hurried movements with high accelerations and poor posture. High risk work practices can include: 

Moving, lifting, shovelling, loading materials

Pulling, pushing, up-ending materials

Hand tool use

Storing materials at high or low positions


Repetitious tasks

Handling plants, animals and bulky materials

The risks to those undertaking these activities should be assessed prior to the activity, to ensure that risk and hazard minimising controls (including machinery use or more staff) may be arranged so that work may be carried out according to current safe practices.

Posture and spine The spine, or backbone, is the central support of the skeletal system, which supports body weight and allows flexibility in movement. A healthy spine is S-shaped with three natural curves and requires strong and flexible muscles in the back, leg and abdomen in order to maintain good alignment. Standing is a natural posture for the spine and it is not suited to lifting loads when the upper body is acutely bent or twisted. When the back is bent, the mere weight of the upper body puts extra pressure, particularly on the lower discs in the spine. Back injuries can happen when soft tissue suffers severe strains or discs are ruptured.

Risk Controls 

Redesign the task to eliminate or reduce the risk.

Change workplace layout, for example provide tables with an adjustable work height.

Prevent unnecessary handling and use smaller containers to package loads.

Provide mechanical aids for lifting and moving heavy materials and loads.

Provide the appropriate training and education to perform the task.

Provide training for proper manual handling and the prevention of back injury.

Reduce repetitive tasks by introducing variation in work patterns.

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Principles of Manual Handling 1.

Plan the lift Assess the load, Assess the position, Know your destination, Decide if assistance is required before you attempt to lift


Determine the best technique Give consideration to suitable balance; Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting and reaching


Use the right grip Power grip with the whole hand rather than use finger only


Keep load close to the body Prevent excessive stress on the back by keeping centre of gravity of the load close to the body. Use the strongest muscles of the arm to hold the load, and leg muscles to perform the lift.

The job/task should be designed so as to provide alternative tasks that do not heavily stress the same muscles. Throughout the work shift, heavier handling tasks should be alternated with lighter tasks which allow the active muscles to recover. To enable load sharing, lifting partners should be of similar height and build and should be trained in lifting techniques. There should be a person nominated as team leader to coordinate the lift. Team lifting should not be used as a first option in risk control.

The following points should be considered: A.

Lifting aids should be used if possible.


There should be sufficient space for lifting to be done in the right position and with correct posture and body movements.


There should be no obstructions when moving objects.


The start and finish height of the load should be a suitable level above the floor, that is, between midthigh to shoulder height, preferably at about waist height.


The centre of gravity of the load should be as close to the body as possible. A load is more difficult (heavier) to lift or carry if it is not close to the body. For example, 10 kg held at a distance of 80 cm imposes the same load as 50 kg right next to the body.


The back should not be twisted or bent sideways.


Lifting with one hand should be avoided.

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Safety Signs Safety signs should be placed where everyone can see them – their directions are mandatory, which means people in the workplace MUST do what they indicate.

The Use of Colour for Safety Purposes Colour can convey strong messages to our brain when associated with certain functions or warnings. For example, the colour red is associated with “stop” or “danger”. The Standards Association of Australia has issued the Australian Standard AS1318, “Use of Colour for the Marking of Physical Hazards and the Identification of Certain Equipment in Industry”. RED - Emergency – Information 


Fire protection equipment

Stop buttons or Emergency stop controls

Examples of these are stop signs, fire blanket receptacles, fire buckets and areas around fire extinguishers, hoses, reels and hydrants, stop buttons for stopping of machinery and emergency stop bars or controls on hazardous machines.

YELLOW - Caution – Be careful 

Caution is to be exercised

Radioactive hazards or sources are located

Examples of areas where caution is to be exercised are low doorways, temporary or permanent barricades, and hazards created by the removal of guards or covers for industrial machinery.

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GREEN  Safety 

First Aid Equipment

Examples of these are location of first aid facilities, stretchers, respiratory and revival equipment, showers, exit signs and safety instruction signs.

BLUE - Mandatory – You must wear this 

Mandatory (obligatory) instructions to be followed

Signs depicting areas where personal protective equipment must be worn

General information

Examples of these are safety instruction signs for the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment.

Stop and Prohibition – ‘you must not …’ The signs and symbols you see in the workplace are to remind you or inform you about something.

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Procedures Relating to Emergencies In each workplace there should be an emergency procedure and emergency response policy in place. Employers have an obligation to ensure that all employees, visitors and other persons entering the workplace are fully aware of these policies.

Training and induction sessions on emergency response procedures and victim extraction from workplace injury situations should be conducted for all workplaces. All staff should be encouraged to attend emergency accident response training/drills regularly. To ensure that the emergency is handled effectively, efficiently and speedily the following factors need to be considered; 

The procedure to be followed in the event of fire or emergency

The means of escape from the workplace office/building in the event of fire or emergency

The location and operation of; Fire fighting equipment, Fire alarms and other fire safety equipment

If members of the public are ordinarily admitted to the workplace/office building The procedure for conducting them to an exit in the event of fire/emergency

The procedures to be followed for wardens and their responsibilities Contacting emergency services Conducting persons to an exit Marshalling persons in a safe place (assembly point) Checking that all persons are present at assembly point Checking the building for missing persons and/or reporting missing persons to appropriate personnel Maintaining communications with relevant persons and/or emergency services officers

In the event of an emergency the following steps should be considered; 

Ensure safety of yourself, bystanders and the casualty

Be alert to possible dangers

Call for assistance as required

Communicate effectively to calm and reassure those affected

Gather information from personnel who are able to assist

Provide necessary information to emergency personnel

Follow directions given by emergency personnel

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Monitoring & Reporting Monitoring and reporting WHS issues There are various ways individuals input to ongoing monitoring and reporting of OHS aspects within the workplace. This may be determined by the employee’s responsibilities and enterprise procedures and guidelines. By using risk assessments, enterprise checklists, hazard identification documentation, machinery maintenance and (non) conformance appraisal logs, incident/accident assessment documentation, it can allow issues to be raised with designated personnel according to the procedures of the enterprise and relevant OHS legislation. Designated personnel may include supervisors, managers, enterprise or industry OHS officers, or operations directors.

Contributing to WHS planning Raising OHS issues in the workplace is important.

Many organisations allow for such input through OHS

committees, team or work group meetings, or supervisor/management meetings. Discussions with all workers allows for the development of effective solutions to control the level of risk associated with the workplace activities. Employers are encouraged to perform their own investigations into incidents. Internal mechanisms for doing this include WHS officers, WHS representatives and WHS committees.

Workplace health and safety officers (WHSO) Any workplace with 30 or more employees is required by Queensland law to have a workplace health and safety officer (WHSO). Workplace health and safety officers are appointed by employers and principal contractors to: 

Advise the employer on health and safety issues

Implement workplace health and safety related initiatives

Perform workplace inspections

Help with the functioning of the health and safety committee

Workplace health and safety representatives (WHSR) Workers may elect a workplace health and safety representative themselves, or at the employer's suggestion. Workplace health and safety representatives (WHSR's) are entitled to: 

Undertake workplace inspections

Report hazards

Review incidents

Issue provisional improvement notices (where the WHSR has completed the approved training)

After conducting an internal investigation a WHSR may: 

Make recommendations by completing a hazard report form

Provide the form to the employer - WHSRs must keep a copy

Issue a provisional improvement notice depending on the circumstances surrounding the issue being investigated.

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If the issues are not satisfactorily resolved by the Workplace Health and Safety Officer, the employer or selfemployed person, the WHSR may notify a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspector.

Workplace health and safety committees Health and safety committees help workers and employers work together to make a workplace healthy and safe. A worker can ask for a health and safety committee. Once a worker has asked for a committee, the employer is required by law to appoint one. Employers can also establish a health and safety committee without a worker asking for one. In some larger workplaces, there can be more than one health and safety representative. There may also be more than one committee. Major employers may have different health and safety representatives, and committees, at different offices. Their role includes: 

Encouraging and maintaining an active interest in workplace health and safety

Considering training and education needs to address workplace health and safety issues

Keeping workers up-to-date with new standards, rules and procedures

Reviewing the circumstances surrounding workplace incidents

Helping resolve issues about workplace health and safety

Providing the employer with advice on how to address workplace health and safety issues

Incident reporting and recording Based on the recommendations of AS1885 – Work Injury & Disease Recording Standard. The Standard has been developed to satisfy the following objectives; 

To provide information on the nature and extent of occupational injury and disease at the workplace

To provide a comprehensive set of data for the management of occupational health and safety at the workplace and enterprise level

To assist in the efficient allocation of resources

To identify appropriate preventative strategies

To provide data to monitor effectiveness of preventative strategies

To provide a national format for the collation of statistical data

Why investigate incidents - Reasons for conducting incident investigation include; 

To prevent similar incidents from occurring

Establishing common patterns or trends of incidents – even minor or near miss incidents

To communicate particular hazard or incident causes amongst workers, other company sites or divisions

To assist in prioritizing of control measures

To evaluate the effectiveness of earlier corrective or preventative measures

As part of legislative requirements

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All incidents, including near misses require investigation to identify all the causes and prevent future incidents, injuries or deaths. Incident Notification A – About the Incident Incident Address: Wallaby Road, Wombat Ridge Qld 4165 Incident Date: 22/4/20XX

Incident Time: 11.15am

Workplace controller where incident occurred: TreeScape Pty Ltd (The workplace controller is the person or organisation who had primary responsibility for the workplace at the time of the incident)

Describe what happened 1. The work being undertaken when the incident happened – planting trees and shrubs along roadside 2. The overall action, exposure or event that best describes the circumstance that resulted in the injury, illness, fatality or the dangerous event – workers are required to complete tree planting activities adjacent to fast moving traffic. Tree planting activities on roadside verge, approximately 10 metres in from kurb. 3. The object, substance or circumstance which was directly involved in inflicting the injury, illness, death or dangerous event –Worker carrying hand tools along roadside, approximately 6 metres from roadside kurb to access next planting area/grouping. Worker was alarmed when a private vehicle swerved around another vehicle travelling in the same direction, causing the worker to drop the hand tools and run towards the existing tree line. The worker sustained an injury to his right ankle. (Private vehicle in question was illegally overtaking on the left hand side of another private vehicle which was indicating to turn right into side road - Emu Lane 4. The name and type of any machinery, equipment or substance involved – private vehicle 5. Was anyone else involved – three workers were located within 8 meters of the incident site, they were alarmed by the event, they did not sustain any physical injuries and were hesitant to resume planting tasks. 6. Was electricity or electrical equipment involved - No . Did the incident involve Workplace Health and Safety related licensed work? (if yes, provide details of the type of licensed work)


Incident outcome

√ dangerous event

Dangerous electrical event

√ Serious bodily injury

 Work caused illness  Serious electrical incident 

 Major accident under the DGSM Act

Did this incident result in an injury to a person(s)?

√ Yes

 No – Go to Section D

B – About the Injured Person Family Name: Cassowary Given Name(s): Greg Home Address: 19 Quondong Way, Misty Valley Qld Postcode: 4160 Contact phone number: 0419 852698 Date of birth: 6/4/19XX Gender: √ male  female Occupation: Horticulturalist Injured persons involvement with workplace: √ worker  self employed  member of the public  labour hire worker  group training apprentice/trainee C – About the injury / illness Injury or illness description:(fracture, laceration, strain, electrical shock, burn etc) What part of the body was injured Strain/sprain Right ankle As a result of the incident was the person  unconcious  resuscitated  fatally injured √ hospitalized (provide hospital details in space provided) Misty Valley Public Hospital, Qld

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D – About the Employer, Self Employed Person, Principal Contractor or Major Hazard Facility Legal Name: TreeScape Pty Ltd Trading Name: TreeScape Pty Ltd Main business address: 78 Elaeocarpus Road, Misty Valley Qld 4160 ABN: 223005879 Business phone number: 0732868974 Business fax number: 0732864126 Business email address: Main business activity: (e.g. landscape/construction, plant nusrsery, tree pruning/removal, revegation/restoration etc) Natural areas revegetation/restoration Main industry sector:  Education & Training  Mining  Construction  Wholesale Trade √ Agriculture, forestry & fishing  Professional, Scientific & Technical Services  Administrative & Support services  Electricity, Gas, Water & Waste Services  Other Services (please specify) E – About the Person Completing this Form Family Name: Curlew

Given Name(s): Mathew

Contact phone number: 0419 225471

Work email address:

Are you reporting this incident on behalf of -

√ the employer  a self employed person  a principal contractor

 a major hazard facility  other (specify your relationship to the workplace or incident) Suggestions may be made by workers to assist management in the development of effective solutions to control the level of risk associated with workplace activities. The following example details the information that may be helpful when completing a Quality Improvement Suggestion Form..

Quality Improvement Suggestion Form Suggested by: Mathew Curlew

Date: 23/4/20XX

Where is the location of the issue/concern (e.g. office building, storage shed, chemical shed, on-site) On-site – Wallaby Road, Wombat Ridge Qld Planting trees & shrubs along roadside Provide a brief description of the issue/concern Workers are required to complete tree planting activities adjacent to fast moving traffic. The concern is – Potential of workers being struck by moving traffic What is your suggested improvement? Isolation – traffic control, barricades or other means to protect workers where possible, traffic control signage to alert traffic of activities within the designated zone/working area Administartion – tool box talks on roadside safety to be conducted weekly for all workers, traffic controllers directing traffic need to be trained and competent to perform duties , management to action an approved traffic control plan for the duration of the project PPE – Hi-Vis clothing to be worn by all workers and/or visitors to the site

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(Continued from previous page)

What benefits or savings could there be in implementing this suggested Improvement? Management and workers are meeting their WHS obligations Management and supervisors leading by example - Encouraging a Safe Work Culture within the organisation Personnel have sufficient skills and resources to complete the required tasks in a safe manner Minimize the potential of personal injury at the site Improved communication skills throughout the working group All workers aware of potential risks/hazards relating to the site Lost time injury claims for the organisation will be reduced

Interpersonal Skills Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from bullying, harassement, discrimnination and violence. Under Occupational Health and Safety legislation, employers and employees have a legal responsibility to comply with any measures that promote health and safety in the workplace.

The Anti Discrimination Act promotes equality of opportunity for everyone by protecting them from unfair discrimination in certain areas of activity and from sexual harassement and certain associated objectionable conduct. The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of the following attributes; 


Relationship status


Parental status





Religious belief or religious activity

Political belief or activity

Trade union activity

Gender identity

Lawful sexual activity


Family responsibilities

Association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes

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Under federal and state legislation, unlawful harassement occurs when someone is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sexual preference or some other characteristic specified under antidiscrimination or human rights legislation. It can also happen if someone is working in a ‘hostile’ or intimidating environment. Harassement can include behaviour such as; 

Telling insulting jokes about particular racial groups

Sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails

Displaying offensive or pornographic posters or screen savers

Making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race or religion

Asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including their sex life

Workplace bullying is ‘the repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker’. Bullying behaviour can range from very obvious verbal or physical assault to very subtle psychological abuse. This behaviour may include; 

Physical or verbal abuse

Yelling, screaming or offensive language

Excluding or isolating employees

Psychological harassement


Assigning meaningless tasks unrelated to the job

Giving employees impossible jobs

Deliberately changed work rosters to inconvenience employees

Undermining work performance by deliberately withholding information vital for effective work performance

Culture / Cultural Identity There are many different definitions of ‘culture’. One quite useful definition of culture is - An integrated pattern of human behaviour that includes; 







Institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group

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Acknowledging and respecting cultural differences rather than minimizing them is important for effective crosscultural communication, with the following characteristics being identified as common to effective cross-cultural communicators. 

Having respect for people from other cultures

Making continued and sincere attempts to understand the world from others points of view

Being open to new learning

Being flexible

Having a sense of humour

Tolerating ambiguity well

Check and use correct pronunciation of names and the correct or preferred way of addressing a person (e.g. formally or informally)

Use plain English and clear enunciation (avoid using sarcasm, slang and jargon)

Be patient, approachable and listen carefully

Make sure that the other person understands what you have said and that you understand what they have said

Reflect on each cross-cultural interaction to identify those things that went well and areas that could be improved

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Feedback Sheet At Horticultural Training Pty Ltd we strive to continually improve our learning and assessment resources. This page has been attached so that comments which you feel may aid in this regard can be submitted. Please fill in the subject name and number as this will be removed from this learning/assessment guide. Name:____________________________________________________

Date: ___________________

Phone: ______________

Unit Code: _______________________________________________

Unit Name:_____________________________________________________________________________ (Please circle one of the below)



Industry Representative


Comments:____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature: __________________________________

Trainer Comments _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia


Disclaimer The information provided in this document can only assist you in the most general way. This document does not replace any statutory requirements under any relevant State and Territory legislation. Safe Work Australia is not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information or material contained on this document. Before relying on the material, users should carefully make their own assessment as to its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. To the extent that the material on this document includes views or recommendations of third parties, such views or recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of Safe Work Australia or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action.

Creative Commons With the exception of the Safe Work Australia logo and front cover image, this report is licensed by Safe Work Australia under a Creative Commons 3.0 Australia Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit In essence, you are free to copy, communicate and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to Safe Work Australia and abide by the other licensing terms. The report should be attributed as Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia, 2013. Enquiries regarding the licence and any use of the report are welcome at: Copyright Officer Stakeholder Engagement Safe Work Australia GPO Box 641 Canberra ACT 2601 Email: ISBN 978 1 74361 003 9 [PDF] ISBN 978 1 74361 004 6 [DOCX]

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia 2013 Visit for more information

Contents Key work health and safety statistics


National OHS Strategy 2002–2012


Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022


Injury rates by industry


Injury rates by occupation


Nature of injury or disease


How the injury or disease occurred


Work-related fatalities 8 Mesothelioma 10 The Australian Mesothelioma Registry


Occupational disease indicators 12 Jurisdictional comparison 13 Premium rates 14 Enforcement 14 Cost of work-related injury and disease


Sources 16

Key work health and safety statistics •

In 2009–10, there were 131 170 workers’ compensation claims for serious1 work-related injuries or illnesses. This equates to an incidence rate of 13.0 serious claims per 1000 employees.

Preliminary data for 2010–11 show there were 127 330 serious workers’ compensation claims, which equates to 12.2 serious claims per 1000 employees. While the final number of accepted claims for the 2010–11 year is likely to be around 2% higher, an improvement from 2009–10 is still expected.

Per hour worked, male employees experienced a rate of serious injury or disease 30% higher than female employees.

Incidence rates of serious workers’ compensation claims increase with employee age.

The highest occupation incidence rates were recorded by Labourers & related workers, over double the rate for all occupations.

The highest industry incidence rates were recorded by the Transport & storage, Agriculture, forestry & fishing and Manufacturing industries.

A typical serious workers’ compensation claim involves four weeks absence from work.

One-quarter of serious claims required 12 or more weeks off work.

One in five serious claims involved an injury to the back.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Work Related Injury Survey showed 58 out of every 1000 workers experienced an injury or illness in the workplace in 2009–10. However, half of these incidents involved less than one day or shift absent from work.

In 2010–11, 220 workers died due to an injury incurred at work. This equates to 1.93 deaths per 100 000 workers.

Work related injury and illness were estimated to cost $60.6 billion in the 2008–09 financial year. This represented 4.8% of GDP.

1 Serious claims involve a death, a permanent incapacity or a temporary incapacity requiring an absence from work of one working week or more

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 1

National OHS Strategy 2002–2012 As a step towards achieving its national vision of Australian workplaces free from death, injury and disease, the National OHS Strategy set the following targets:

Injury and musculoskeletal claims Target: 40% reduction in the incidence of work-related injury by 30 June 2012. Result: There was a 28% decrease in the injury incidence rate up to 2010–11. Figure 1 shows that it is unlikely that the 2012 target will be met.

Fatalities Target: 20% reduction in the incidence of compensated work-related fatalities by 30 June 2012. Result: A 47% decrease was recorded up to 2010–11 which is more than twice the desired result. Figure 2 shows that it is very likely the target will be achieved.

International fatalities Target: Australia to have the lowest work-related traumatic injury fatality rate in the world by 2009. Result: While the gap between Australia and the better performing countries has reduced, Australia remains in seventh place. Figure 3 shows that Australia did not meet the target.

Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 This new strategy builds on the National OHS Strategy and promotes a vision of healthy, safe and productive working lives. The Australian Strategy includes national targets to: • reduce the number of worker fatalities by at least 20% • reduce the incidence rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30%, and • reduce the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30%. 2 ... Safe Work Australia

Figure 1 Incidence rate of serious claims: achieved versus reduction required to meet target Claims ms per 1000 1 employees





8 base 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 period Achieved Reduction required to meet target

Figure 2 Incidence rate of fatalities: achieved versus reduction required to meet target

Fatalitiess per 100 000 employees




14 1.4

1.0 base 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 period Achieved Reduction required to meet target

Figure 3 Comparison of Australia’s work-related injury fatality rate with the best performing countries standardised by industry Fatalities per 100 000 workers

4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0



Australia Finland



Sweden Norway



UK Switzerland



Denmark New Zealand

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 3

4 ... Safe Work Australia

Transport & storage Agriculture, forestry, & fishing Manufacturing Construction Personal & other services Wholesale trade Health & community services Mining Accommodation, cafes & restaurants Government administration & defence Cultural & recreational services Property & business services Retail trade Education Electricity, gas & water supply Communication services Finance & insurance 0



20 Serious claims per 1000 employees


Figure 4 Serious claims: incidence rates by industry, 2010–11p


21.9 21.2 21.1 18.7 17.5 14.2 13.8 13.0 10.2 9.6 9.0 8.5 8.1 7.9 6.2 6.2 2.9

In 2010–11, four industries (Transport & storage; Agriculture, forestry & fishing; Manufacturing and Construction) had incidence rates of serious injury substantially above the all industries rate of 12.2 serious claims per 1000 employees. These industries, with the addition of the Health & community services industry (a major employer), were identified as priority industries under the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012.

Injury rates by industry

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 5

Serious claims per 1000 employees




Advanced clerical & service workers 30


Managers & administrators






Associate professionals



Elementary clerical, sales & service workers

Intermediate clerical, sales & service workers





Tradespersons & related workers



Labourers & related workers

Intermediate production & transport workers

Figure 5 Serious claims: incidence rates by occupation, 2010–11p

In 2010–11, three occupations (Labourers & related workers; Intermediate production & transport workers and Tradespersons & related workers) had incidence rates of serious injury substantially above the all occupations rate of 12.2 serious claims per 1000 employees.

Injury rates by occupation

6 ... Safe Work Australia 6.3 6.1 6.0 3.6 2.2 1.5 1.4 4.6 3.5

Disorders of muscle, tendons and other soft tissues

Dorsopathies - disorders of the spinal vertebrae Mental disorders Deafness Hernia Dislocation Burns Other injuries Other disease 40%


Contusion with intact skin surface excluding fractures

20% 30% Percentage of serious claims


Open wound not involving traumatic amputation






Sprains and strains of joints and adjacent muscles

Figure 6 Serious claims: percentage by nature of injury/disease, 2010–11p

The most common work-related injuries that were compensated were sprains and strains (41.9% of all serious claims). In 2010–11, injury or poisoning accounted for 72% of serious workers’ compensation claims with disease claims accounting for the balance. However, the number of disease claims is likely to be an underestimate due to the difficulties associated with linking disease to workplace exposure(s).

Nature of injury or disease

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 7

5.8 3.8 2.5 1.4 1.0 4.0

Sound and pressure

Vehicle incident

Heat, radiation and electricity

Chemicals and other substances

Other mechanisms of injury 40%


Mental stress

20% 30% Percentage of serious claims


Hitting objects with a part of the body



Being hit by moving objects



Body stressing

Falls, trips and slips of a person

Figure 7 Serious claims: percentage by mechanism of injury/disease, 2010–11p

Body stressing, Falls, trips & slips of a person and Being hit by a moving object were the mechanisms of work-related injury or illness responsible for 75% of serious workers’ compensation claims in 2010–11. These mechanisms, together with Hitting objects with a part of the body, were identified as priority mechanisms in the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012. There has been little change in the proportion of claims due to these mechanisms since the Strategy began.

How the injury or disease occurred

Work-related fatalities •

Preliminary data for 2010–11 show there were 169 accepted workers’ compensation claims for work-related fatalities, down from the 215 recorded for 2009–10. Two thirds (130) of these fatalities were due to injury with the remainder due to disease.

Workers’ compensation data do not include fatalities where there are no dependants to lodge a claim or where the worker was selfemployed. Therefore, workers’ compensation data underestimate the total number of work-related fatalities.

The Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report combines information on fatalities from a number of sources but excludes deaths due to disease. The 2010–11 report shows there were 220 worker fatalities. In addition, 110 workers died while commuting to or from work and 44 bystanders were killed as a result of someone else’s work activity.

The 220 worker deaths in 2010–11 is the lowest number of workrelated injury fatalities since the series began in 2003–04 with the highest number, 300 deaths, recorded in 2006–07.

Table 1 shows that the Agriculture, forestry & fishing industry had the highest number of fatalities in 2010–11 (60 deaths) and the highest fatality rate (16.47 deaths per 100 000 workers). This was followed by the Transport and storage industry with 41 deaths and a fatality rate of 8.54 deaths per 100 000 workers.

Table 2 shows that 79 workers died in a Vehicle incident in 2010–11 and a further 29 died due to Falls from a height.

The total number of work-related disease fatalities has been conservatively estimated to be at least 2000 deaths per year2.

Recent ABS Causes of Death data show that there were 583 deaths attributed to mesothelioma in 2009. It has been estimated that the numbers will not peak until after 20143.

2 Kerr et al. 1996. Best Estimate of the Magnitude of Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Substances, Worksafe Australia Developmental Grant Final Report, April 1996. 3 Clements et al. 2007. Actuarial projections for mesothelioma: an epidemiological perspective. Presented to the Actuaries of Australia XIth Accident Compensation Seminar.

8 ... Safe Work Australia

Table 1 Worker fatalities: number of traumatic injury fatalities and fatality rate (fatalities per 100 000 workers), 2010–11 Industry


Fatality Rate

Agriculture, forestry & fishing



Transport & storage









Property & business services



Cultural & recreational services






Wholesale trade



Retail trade



Government administration & defence



Personal & other services



Other industries





All industries Source: Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, 2010–11

Table 2 Worker fatalities: number of traumatic injury fatalities by mechanism of injury Mechanism of injury Vehicle incident







Falls from a height




Being hit by moving objects




Being hit by falling objects







Being trapped between stationary & moving objects Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment







All other mechanisms









Source: Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, 2010–11

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 9

Mesothelioma Data on the number of new cases of mesothelioma are collected nationally by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). These data show that: •

The number of new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed increased from 156 in 1982 to a peak of 668 in 2007. In 2009, 666 cases were diagnosed. Based on a number of projections, the incidence of mesothelioma is not expected to peak until after 2014.

The age standardised rate of new cases of mesothelioma has increased from 1.1 new cases per 100 000 population in 1983 to 2.8 in 2009.

The majority (80–90%) of mesothelioma cases involve males. Figure 8 The number of new cases of mesothelioma by sex and year of diagnosis, 1982 to 2009 700


Number of new cases

600 Males

500 400 300 200


100 0

Year of diagnosis

10 ... Safe Work Australia

The Australian Mesothelioma Registry The Australian Mesothelioma Registry collects information on all mesothelioma cases diagnosed since 1 July 2010. This information includes notifications of new cases of the disease from Australian cancer registries and estimates of the past asbestos exposure of consenting patients. The registry released its first report in 2012 covering all mesothelioma cases diagnosed in 2011. Some of the measures in this first report are based on a relatively small number of cases. Therefore the findings at this stage should be considered preliminary. The first report found that at 15 August 2012: •

There were 612 diagnoses of mesothelioma for 2011 reported to the Registry

This equates to an incidence rate of 2.7 diagnoses per 100 000 population

Males accounted for 85% of notified cases.

79% of patients were aged 65 years or over.

There were 310 deaths of patients diagnosed in 2011 (51% of patients diagnosed).

Mesothelioma was the cause of death in 94% of cases.

The jobs with highest exposure likelihood were Construction and building trades, and Electrical and related trades.

The most common circumstances of non-occupational exposure were home renovation-related activities and car maintenance.

Of the 87 patients diagnosed in 2011 for whom asbestos exposure was assessed: •

6 had neither occupational nor non-occupational exposure

14 had occupational exposure/s only

35 had both occupational and non-occupational exposures, and

32 had non-occupational exposure/s only.

Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 11

Occupational disease indicators •

Safe Work Australia identified eight priority occupational disease groups to receive attention under the National OHS Strategy. These disease groups have been chosen because they have a high attribution to the work environment.

Workers’ compensation data are complemented, where possible, by information from other sources4 to better identify occupational disease trends.

Table 2 presents the trends in the incidence of occupational diseases between 2000–01 and 2008–09. Decreasing trends were observed for five of the eight priority disease groups. Noise-induced hearing loss; Respiratory diseases and Occupational cancers did not display a clear overall trend of increase or decrease.

Table 2 Occupational disease indicators: trend from 2000–01 to 2008–09 Trend over time

Occupational Disease

Musculoskeletal disorders

Mental disorders


Noise-induced hearing loss

Infectious and parasitic diseases


Respiratory diseases

Contact dermatitis

Cardiovascular diseases


Occupational cancers

4 National Hospital Morbidity Database, National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, National Cancer Statistics Clearing House

12 ... Safe Work Australia

Jurisdictional comparison •

In 2009–10 the lowest incidence rate of serious workers’ compensation claims was recorded by the Australian Government (Figure 9) with Queensland and Tasmania recording the highest rates. The preliminary data for 2010–11 show a similar pattern. Serious claims per 1000 employees

Figure 9 Incidence of serious claims: jurisdiction by year 18 15 12 9 6 3 0
















Aus Gov 7.9











Aus Avg 2010–11










Long term claims are those involving 12 or more weeks of compensation. The lowest rate of long term claims in 2009–10 was recorded by the Australian Government. The highest rate was recorded by the Australian Capital Territory (Figure 10). Preliminary data for 2010–11 should be used with caution as they are likely to increase as shorter-term claims accrue additional time lost. Figure 10 Incidence of long term claims: jurisdiction by year Long term claims per 1000 employees

Tas 16.1

4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0









Aus Gov





















Aus Avg 2010–11










Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 13

Premium rates •

The standardised average premium rate5 in Australia has decreased 16%, from 1.79% of payroll in 2005-06 to 1.49% in 2010–11.

Standardised premium rates across the jurisdictions range from 0.92% of payroll in Australian Government to 2.49% in South Australia. Figure 11 Standardised premium rates by jurisdiction, 2009–10

Percentage ntage of payroll






ACT Private







Aus Gov











2010–11 Aus avg










Enforcement •

In 2010–11 more than 140 000 workplace interventions were undertaken by work health and safety authorities around Australia.

Authorities issued 57 600 notices made up of 970 infringement notices, 5292 prohibition notices and 51 349 improvement notices.

Legal proceedings against businesses were finalised in 397 cases and $15.5 million was handed out in fines by the courts.

There were 1100 work health and safety inspectors actively inspecting workplaces during 2010–11.

5 Standardisation takes into account differences in remuneration, employer excess and journey claim coverage. Figures include self-insurers.

14 ... Safe Work Australia

Cost of work-related injury and disease •

Work related injury and illness were estimated to cost $60.6 billion in the 2008–09 financial year. This represented 4.8% of GDP.

Injuries accounted for 51% of the cost with disease the balance.

Nearly two-thirds of the cost (74%) was borne by the affected worker with 21% borne by the community and 5% by the employer.

Figure 12 shows that 69% of the cost comes partial incapacity incidents where the worker returned to work on reduced duties or a lower income. Around 13% of injuries and illnesses resulted in partial incapacity in 2008–09. A further 16% of costs comes from full incapacity where the worker was unable to return to work in any capacity.

Figure 12 Cost of work-related injury and disease by severity, 2008–09 45 Economic cost ($b)

40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Short absence

Long absence

Partial incapacity

Full incapacity


Notes: The cost estimate includes direct costs (payment of wages and medical costs) and indirect costs (lost productivity, loss of future earnings and social welfare payments). Under the methodology adopted, workers’ compensation premiums are not considered as a cost to the employer but treated as a burden to the community as compensation payments are redistributed to injured and ill workers. Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2013 … 15

Sources All workers’ compensation statistics regarding claims have been sourced from the National Dataset for Compensation-based Statistics (NDS). Safe Work Australia produces an annual comprehensive statistical bulletin, the Compendium of Workers’ Compensation Statistics, Australia, in which many of the national statistics in this booklet can be found. Additional information on fatalities can be found in Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities. Jurisdictional data, workers’ compensation scheme data and more information on progress towards the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012 targets is available in the Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) report. Information on occupational disease can be found in the publication, Occupational Disease Indicators. Information on Mesothelioma can be found in the publications Mesothelioma in Australia and Asbestos-related disease indicators. Information on the cost of occupational injury and disease can be found in the report The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community. All of these reports can be found on the Safe Work Australia website at Information on the Australian Mesothelioma Registry can be found at

Safe Work Australia

GPO Box 641 Canberra ACT 2601 Phone: 1300 551 832 Email: