Queensland Workplace Health and Safety and the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations has released a document that makes its expectations very clear: –
When assessing matters where a risk of harm is present, Inspectors will review the degree of uncontrolled risks and they will assess the risk control measures you have in place based on a 1 to 5 rating:
- Are controls in place. The controls are working and are effective, i.e. the hazard or risk has been eliminated or residual risk is minimised.
- Controls are in place, so far as is reasonably practicable. There is some remaining risk because better controls do not appear to be available or a better alternative would require investment grossly disproportionate to the risk. Ongoing monitoring of this risk is needed.
- Controls in place are low level with no evidence of investigation into higher order controls or no assessment of the feasibility of implementing higher order controls. Low level control measures may still be considered a contravention if higher level control measures are reasonably practicable.
- Controls currently in place are inadequate. There are known problems or limitations with existing controls and further action is needed to eliminate or minimise exposure to the risk.
- The risk is essentially uncontrolled. Controls either have not been implemented, or they are grossly inadequate. Urgent action is required.
If your operations fall into the 3, 4 or 5 categories, it indicates a contravention has occurred and enforcement action is required.
What would the Inspector like to see in place at your site?
It’s quite simple. They want to see that the business is focussing on high order risk controls by having evidence that the business:
- Consults with workers;
- Exercises due diligence;
- Has risk assessment and management documentation in place;
- Has management systems that collect and maintain registers and records and reporting systems as part of ensuring compliance;
- Provides adequate welfare facilities and a safe workplace.