The members-only area provides answers to common questions or requests for information from our clients on various issues.
Due diligence (Section 27) means taking reasonable steps to ensure compliance mechanisms are in place that enables a corporation to meet its OHS responsibilities. It means you must:
Regulation 213 of the Work Health and Safety Act states:
A person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure that maintenance, inspection, and if necessary, testing of plant is carried out by a competent person in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, or if those aren’t available, in accordance with recommendations of a competent person. If it is not reasonably practicable to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations or the recommendations of a competent person, the inspection and testing must occur annually.
The inspection of plant should be conducted in accordance with a regular maintenance system to identify any:
Inspection of associated work processes should be conducted regularly to identify any:
Regularly inspect hand-held powered plant and repair or replace them when necessary, and replace damaged or worn parts (such as grinding wheels).
Any control measures implemented, such as guards and warning devices, must be regularly inspected and tested to ensure they remain effective.
You should keep an up-to-date register of the items of plant requiring regular inspection and maintenance. It should include information on:
Reasonably practicable control measures must be implemented to ensure the health and safety of the person conducting the inspection, for example, by ensuring that plant is switched off or isolated from the energy source to avoid accidental re-energising of dangerous parts.
Any guards that are removed must be replaced correctly to prevent access to the hazardous part of the plant when it is returned to use.
Managing the Risks of Plant in the Workplace Code of Practice
Regulation 210 of the Work Health and Safety Act states:
If there is a need to operate plant during maintenance or cleaning, the person with management or control of the plant must ensure that the operators’ controls allow the safe operation of the plant while a person is undertaking the maintenance or cleaning.
If the plant is operated by a person other than the person who is carrying out the maintenance or cleaning, the person operating the plant must be authorised to do so by the person with management or control of the plant.
Plant must be maintained and repaired according to the manufacturer’s specifications or, in the absence of such specifications, in accordance with a competent person’s recommendations. For example, ensure fluid levels and pressures are correct and ensure brakes are functioning properly.
Plant should be isolated before maintenance or cleaning commences. Where plant is isolated and plant shutdown will result, any total or partial shutdown should not allow a hazardous situation to be created.
Isolated or disengaged plant should:
A process should be put in place to enable effective communication and consultation with affected workers and other persons conducting a business or undertaking to prevent any risk to health and safety arising from restarting the operation of the plant, which has been shut down due to inspection, maintenance or cleaning.
Where plant cannot be isolated, methods to prevent accidental operations must be implemented. The work should be carried out under controlled procedures to allow for maintenance and cleaning without risk to the health and safety of the person performing the work.
Following maintenance, all guarding must be replaced prior to the start-up of plant.
Damaged plant should be withdrawn from service until any risks to health and safety have been controlled.
Managing the Risks of Plantin the Workplace Code of Practice
An officer includes:
A PCBU includes an employer, corporation, association, partnership, sole trader and certain volunteer organisations. For example, a volunteer organisation that employs a person to carry out work is a PCBU. But a volunteer organisation that operates with volunteers and does not employ anyone is not a PCBU.
A PCBU has the primary duty of care for workplace health and safety.
With proper use, a portable fire extinguisher will be able to reduce or eliminate the degree of injury, damage and cost to business in the event of a small fire.
Below is a basic chart showing which fire extinguisher to use for each type of fire.
Small carbonaceous fire
Large carbonaceous fire
Petroleum-based liquids Petrol
Fires involving energised electrical equipment
Cooking oils and fats
Source: Fire and Rescue NSW
Reasonably practicable means doing what is reasonably able to be done to ensure the health and safety of workers and others.
Employers and businesses (and other PCBUs) should always try to eliminate, so far as is reasonably practicable, any health and safety risks in the workplace.
If a risk cannot be removed, you must minimise it by doing one or more of these things:
If these controls do not fully eliminate or minimise the risk, then you must implement administrative controls and then, if appropriate, ensure the provision of suitable personal protective equipment. A combination of controls may be used to minimise risk if a single control is not sufficient.
In determining control measures, then you should identify and consider everything that may be relevant to the hazards and risks and the means of eliminating or minimising the risks.
When determining what is reasonably practicable, you should take into account:
Talking to workers will help you identify hazards. Analysing previous incidents will also provide an excellent source of information about risks.
The WHS Regulation and relevant codes of practice will also provide more information about controlling hazards.
Other sources of information include:
Source: SafeWork NSW Website
A worker is someone who carries out work for a PCBU.
A worker includes an employee, labour hire staff, volunteer, apprentice, work experience student, subcontractor, and contractor.
A sole trader who is a PCBU and carries out work for another business (PCBU) is also a worker for that PCBU.
The duties of a worker, as set out in the model WHS Act, are the same as those of an employee, as set out in the OHS Act. While at work, a worker must take reasonable care for their own safety and ensure that they do not adversely affect the health and safety of others (clients, customers and visitors).
A worker must comply with any reasonable instruction and cooperate with the PCBU’s WHS policy and procedures.