Introduction to the course
Work Health and Safety (WHS) is imperative in the w
ork place, an issue that must be
acknowledged by every person who is in business.
Work health and safety can relate to many things su
ch as manual handling, stress, work
load, fatigue, accidents and anything that may put
the employee at risk.
The WHS laws apply to work wherever it is done as p
art of a business. For a Complementary
Health practitioner this may include part of a resi
dential premise plus access to the premise,
the back of a Health food shop or a separate buildi
The health and safety laws are broad and seek to re
gulate the safety standards across all
business activities.
Introduction to Work Health & Safety
The purpose of this session is to provide students
with the knowledge and skills to implement
WHS policies and procedures within a Complementary
Therapies practice.
This will cover WHS legislation, best practice proc
edures in health and safety management,
risk management with particular reference to health
and wellbeing and to accidents and
injury, and workers compensation.
Learning Outcomes:
Name the Act
Name the Regulation
Codes of Practice for Complementary Therapies Clin
The role of WorkCover
Changes to the safety legislation took place in 201
1and were implemented January 2012.
These will now provide a high level of uniformity i
n work health and safety throughout
Australia involving each of the states and territor
Online resources
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Available at:

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©Nature Care College
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Safe Practices Learning Guide €“ V3/01/13
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Changes to safety legislation:
Work Health &
Safety Act 2011
which was implemented in January 2012 has replaced
the Occupation Health & Safety Act 2000. The main o
bject of the Act is to provide for a
balanced and nationally consistent framework to sec
ure the health and safety of workers and
The WHS Act lays down the general requirements for
health and safety which must be met in
all places of work. The WHS Act is supported by the
WHS Regulation, Standards and Codes
of Practice.
The Act is law and failure to comply with the Act w
ill result in penalties. Parts 8 to 13 of the
Act deal with enforcement and compliance. The WHS A
ct retains and builds on the existing
enforcement framework; notice-based options are ret
ained graduating to prosecutions. A
range of sentencing options are available to the co
urts following the conviction of a
defendant. Each State and Territory continues to ha
ve its own regulator, in NSW it remains
The Regulations adopt a risk management approach to
WHS and are law. Failure to comply
with the Regulations will also result in penalties.
They are made to support, aID detail and
give effect to the objectives of the Act. The
WHS Regulation 2011
replaces the OHS
Regulation 2001 and covers the following:
Representation and participation
General risk and workplace management
Hazardous work
Plant and structures
Construction work
Hazardous chemicals
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Standards are advisory or technical documents that
set out acceptable minimum levels of
performance or quality. Specifications for a range
of equipment, products and materials
ensure they are safe and of good quality. There are
two main sources of standards in
Australia: Safe Work Australia and Standards Austr
Codes of Practice
Codes of Practice should be used in conjunction wit
h the legislation and provide practical
guidance on how the required standards of health an
d safety can be achieved. These codes
should be followed unless there is a course of acti
on that achieves the same or better
standard. Codes of Practice are advisory €“ they are
not law.
New Codes of Practice came available from January 2
012. The following three are just a
small number of a long list of Codes of Practice av
Confined spaces Hazardous manual tasks
Managing the risk of falls at workplaces
Following are some of the relevant definitions in t
he Act highlighting the change from
previous terminology:
Person conducting a business or undertaking –
* refers to a person conducting a business alone
or with others
* corporations, associations, partnerships, labo
ur hire, franchisees, sole traders
These duty holders’ work activities may overlap at
times. They will be required to consult, co-
operate and co-ordinate activities with each other
so far as is
reasonably practical,
health and safety of workers they engage, workers t
hey influence or direct and others
reasonably practicable
in terms of health and safety encompasses ways in w
hich to do
the job safely
employees, independent contractors, apprentices, t
rainees, work experience and
duty officers
Someone who makes or participates in making decisio
ns that affect the whole or a
substantial part of, a business or undertaking
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Officers must exercise
due diligence
to ensure the PCBU meets its health and safety dut
Due diligence
includes taking reasonable steps to keep up to dat
e with WHS matters and
hazard management.
duties of workers
Take reasonable care for their own and others safet
Comply with any reasonable instruction given by the
Workers must cooperate with WHS policy or procedure
duties of other persons at the workplace
Take reasonable care for their own and others safet
Comply with any reasonable instruction by the PCBU
Offences and Penalties
Reckless conduct €“ category 1
For a breach in health and safety duty for an indiv
idual, $300,000 or 5 years imprisonment or
For a breach in health and safety duty for a PCBU $
600,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both
in the case of an offence committed by a body corpo
rate $3,000,000
Category 2 offence
Maximum penalty for an individual $150,000
Maximum penalty for a PCBU $300,000
Maximum penalty for a body corporate $1,500,000
Category 3 offence
Maximum penalty for an individual $50,000
Maximum penalty for a PCBU $100,000
Maximum penalty for a body corporate $500,000
Duty of Care
The primary duty of care is owed by the employer to
its employees, by an employer to people
other than its employees, and of a self-employed pe
rson to others.
The primary duty of care can readily apply concurre
ntly to multiple duty holders
A PCBU has a primary duty of care to: workers, sub
contractors and others in the workplace.
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Manufacturers, designers, persons that supply plan
t or substances have a duty of care.
Duty officers and workers have a duty of care
If there is more than one PCBU involved in the work
place they will share the duty of care.
responsibilities include:
1. safe work environment
for example: Air quality, lighting, noise, dust,
air conditioning and security
2. Consultation
3. Safe plant and structures
4. Information, training, instruction and supervisi
5. Safe use handling and storage of plant, structur
es and substances
6. Incident notification
7. Facilities for workers welfare
8. Workplace monitoring
The WHS Act 2011 states that a PCBU must so far as
reasonably practicable consult with
workers about their health and safety at work. Fail
ure to comply may result in penalties.
Consultation under the Act requires that:
Relevant information about the matter is shared wi
th workers
Workers are given reasonable opportunity to:
Express their views and raise WHS issues i
n relation to the matter
Contribute to the decision-making process
relating to the matter
Views of workers are taken into account by the PCB
Workers consulted are advised of the outcome of the
consultation in a timely manner
Consultation must occur when:
Identifying hazards and assessing risks
Making decisions about the adequacy of facilities f
or the welfare of workers
Proposing changes that may affect the health or saf
ety of workers
Making decisions about the procedures for:
Consulting with workers and others to resolve heal
th or safety issues
Resolving WHS issues
Monitoring the conditions at the workplace
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Providing information and training to workers
Consultation can be undertaken by one or more of th
e following methods:
Health and Safety committee
One or more Health and Safety representatives
Other agreed arrangements:
Tool box meetings
WHS items on agenda
Procedures for reporting incidents and hazards
Health and safety representative (HSR)
An HSR represents the workers to facilitate consul
tation and resolution of issues in relation
to WHS. An HSR also investigates complaints, inspe
cts the workplace, issue provisional
improvement notices (PINs) can request the establis
hment of a health and safety committee
and direct unsafe work to cease.
Health and safety committees
A health and safety committee must be established w
ithin 2 months after being requested to
do so by the HSR or by five or more workers at the
workplace or if required to do so by the
regulations. The PCBU may establish a health and sa
fety committee in the workplace under
their own initiative.
Online resources
National Codes of Practice €“ Relevant to a
Complementary Therapies Clinic
1. Code of Practice for Hazardous Manual Tasks
Available at

or via

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Workplace Injury Management and Worker’s Compensati
Injury management is about ensuring prompt, safe an
d durable return-to-work of an injured
worker. Injury management encompasses treatment of
the injury, rehabilitation back to work,
retraining into a new skill or new job, management
of workers compensation claim and the
employment practices of an employer.
The aims of Workplace Injury Management and respons
ibilities of the PCBU are:
Attend to the injured worker as soon as possible
Notify the insurance company within 48 hours of a
significant injury
Notify the insurance company of any other workplac
e injury within 7 days
Cooperate and participate with the insurance compan
y in the development of a injury
management plan
Implement and monitor a return-to-work plan for the
injured worker
The PCBU’s obligations also include:
Up-to-date workers compensation insurance policy c
overing all workers
Keep correct records of all wages paid to workers
Supply a register of injuries in which workers can
write work related injury details
Have policies and procedures in place before an in
jury happens
Injury or accident reports must also be maintained
for inspection. Regulations specify that
any injury, whether reportable or not, must be docu
mented at the workplace.
Documentation must include:
I. Time of injury
II. Body part affected
III. Task that the worker was performing at time of
IV. First Aid or medical care given and by whom
V. Time off work by the employee
VI. Any medical certificates from treating doctors
or health practitioners
Further to this documentation, a report on the inci
dent must be conducted and a review of the
Risk Management for the task/object must be made.
All documentation must be signed and dated.
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In June 2012 the government introduced changes to t
he Workers Compensation Scheme in
NSW. The focus is on return to work and make benefi
t calculations fairer for all workers,
improve financial support for seriously injured wor
kers, and provide more assistance for
injured workers to return to work.
Further information on Injury Management and Worker
s compensation can be
obtained from the following resources
Online resources
Injury Management and Return-to-Work programs
Workers compensation changes: information for worke
Available at

or via
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Safe Practices Learning Guide €“ V3/01/13
Page 43 of 66
The purpose of this session is to ensure that stude
nts will be able to identify Risk in the
workplace and have the knowledge to conduct a risk
management process.
Learning Outcome(s):
Identify risk in the workplace
Conduct a risk assessment
Name the 4 steps in the risk management process
Identify when to conduct a risk assessment
Identify who should be involved in a risk assessme
Describe the steps of WHS Management system
The duty holder, in managing risks to health and sa
fety, must identify reasonably foreseeable
hazards that could give rise to risk to health and
While the ultimate aim is for the PCBU to make sure
there is a safe
environment for work, it is up to everyone to be sa
Hazards are anything with potential to harm life,
health or property and
risks are the potential outcome of hazards and th
e probability of injury,
illness, damage or loss occurring as a result of ha
A hazard is:
A source or situation with the potential for harm i
n terms of human injury or ill-
health, damage to property, the environment, or a c
ombination of these
The WHS Act requires that you consult, so far as is
reasonably practicable, with workers who
carry out work for you who are likely to be affecte
d by a work health safety matter.
Specific hazards may include, but are not limited t
Bodily fluids
Manual handling

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Work posture
Underfoot hazards
Moving parts of machinery
Cytotoxic medicines and waste
Other workplace hazards may include
Occupational violence
In relation to any hazard, means the probability an
d consequences of injury, illness or
damage resulting from exposure to a hazard.
In WHS terms, risk management is a process where si
tuations are recognised which have
the potential to cause harm and doing something to
prevent or reduce this harm.
In any risk management process there are certain st
akeholders that need to be involved.
€“ it is important for the PCBU to be aware of any
potential risk that may
arise in the workplace to ensure a safe working e
nvironment. As mentioned in
session one, there are fines and penalties that app
ly for not complying with WHS
€“ any worker who is involved in the task or is exp
osed to the equipment
or who works in the environment should be consulted
in the risk management
process. Watching how a worker performs a task can
give the assessor an idea of
what could go wrong?
must exercise due diligence to ensure that the bus
iness or undertaking
complies with the WHS Act and Regulations. This inc
ludes taking steps to understand
hazards and risks associated with the operations of
the business and that the
business uses appropriate resources and processes t
o eliminate or minimise risks to
health and safety
WHS representatives or professionals
€“ these people have a working knowledge
of the laws and regulations and can assist in the f
inal analysis. It may be necessary,

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for example, to engage someone who is an expert in
Manual Handling or Stress
Risk Management Process
The Risk Management process consists of three steps
in sequence that leads to an informed
decision about the best way to control the impact o
f risks.
Step 1 €“ Hazard identification
Not all tasks or workplaces are a risk. The potenti
al for something to go
wrong can be present in any task. Hazard identifica
tion is a way of
analysing tasks to find out what can be a potential
to causing harm.
Identifying risk involves going into the workplace
and inventorying anything
that may pose a risk.
It is assumed that every object in the workplace is
a risk until proven otherwise.
For example, a desk is a suspected Occupational Ove
ruse Hazard (OOS), a power point is
an electrocution hazard, a window is a glare hazard
, a carpet is a trip hazard until proven
In a Complementary Therapies Clinic hazards will fa
ll into four categories:
i. Environmental €“ everything about where people wo
ii. Organisational €“ everything about how people ar
e allocated work
iii. Postural €“ everything about how people do thei
r work
iv. Infectious €“ anywhere an infection may be sprea
The first step in the process of hazard identificat
ion is to gather information from all the
stakeholders mentioned in the introduction.
Methods for identifying hazards
Workplace inspections
Previous injuries or accidents

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Safety audits
Information regarding health and safety from
Manufacturers, suppliers, technical specialists
Observe the work in progress, for example, sitting
at a desk, observe where the screen is,
how high the chair is etc. Then record anything tha
t may pose a risk or be a hazard.
Step 2 €“ Risk Assessment
Once a hazard has been identified, the next step in
a risk management system is to Asses
the risks. This is to determine what could happen i
f someone is exposed to a hazard and the
likelihood of it happening.
The first objective is to determine whether the tas
k or object poses a risk, this is then ranked
from 1 -6, according to the following table.
Identify the hazard
Gather information about any task,
object, furniture, product etc that is
likely to be a hazard
Record the hazards
Proceed to risk assessment

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How likely is it to be that bad?
How severely
could it hurt
someone or how
ill could it make
++ Very likely
Could happen
any time
+ Likely
Could happen at
some time
= Unlikely
Could happen
but very rarely
– Very Unlikely
Could happen
but probably
never will
X Kill or cause
disability or ill
1 1 2 3
!!! Long term
illness or serious
1 2 3 4
!! Medical
attention and
several days off
2 3 4 5
! First Aid
3 4 5 6
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To determine the source(s) of the risk there are th
ings that need to be considered, they
The activities that make up the task
The process in place to perform the task or use th
e object
Any other tools or equipment that may be required
The work area, the design, and the layout and
The work environment
By considering the above, a hazard can be ranked fo
r its risk factor.
Remember, it is important to take into account all
reasonable variations of the task or
different aspects of the object. For example, an em
ployee may sit on an office chair astride,
with the back facing the front. Therefore, there ar
e direct risk factors and contributing risk
factors that need to assessed.
If the problem is obvious and the risk of injury is
high, then action must be taken.
Risk assessment
termine whether the task,
object, furniture, product etc
that poses a risk
Determine the sources of
the risks
Record the risk
Proceed to
control/eliminate the risk

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Online resources
How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks
Code of Practice
Available at:
Step 3 €“ Control or eliminate the risk
There is a legal compulsion on employers to do some
thing once a hazard exits and that
people are at risk from injury.
The law specifies that an instance where a risk is
identified that places workers in some kind
of danger the employer must take steps to eliminate
the risk immediately.
A hierarchy of risk control is applied to controlli
ng occupational risks.
of risk ie. discontinue use of product, equipment,
cease work process
ie. replace with a similar item that does the same
job but with a lower
hazard level
ie. put a barrier between the person and the hazar
4. Engineering controls ie. change the process, equ
ipment or tools so the risk is reduced
Administration controls
ie. guidelines, procedures, rosters, training to m
inimise the
Personal protective equipment
ie. equipment worn to provide a temporary barrier
The employer is obliged to document and audit risk
control procedures and present them as
part of their WHS report to the clinic and all empl
Risk management procedures need to be fully documen
ted and ongoing.
Controlling risks for certain hazards will require
employers to comply with the specific
controls set out in the WHS Regulations.
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Level 1
control measures €“ the most effective control me
asure involves eliminating the
hazard and associated risk.
Level 2
control measures €“ if it is not practical to elim
inate then you may, substitute the
hazard with something safer or isolate the hazard f
rom people or use engineering controls.
Level 3
control measures €“ these control measures do not c
ontrol the hazard at the source
they rely on human behaviour, use administrative co
ntrols or use of PPE.
Important note:
Recording the risk management process is very impor
tant in complying with WHS
regulations. A detailed account of the risk assessm
ent must be completed and kept as a
record every time the process is conducted.
The final step is to monitor or review the control
s to ensure they remain effective. This
should be done
at regular intervals during normal operations,
at least twice a year on a regular basis.
Once procedures are in place it is important to mon
itor whether they are effective and
whether the employees are following them. Reviewing
is way to determine if any changes are
required and if there are any gaps that have become
Control/eliminate risk
Is the task, object, furniture,
product etc necessary?
How can the risk be
Record the measures to
control the risk
Monitor and review

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By reviewing a policy or procedure it can be seen w
hether the decision or process made
about the risk is the best way. If not, then an imp
roved method could be put into place.
A re-evaluation is needed if:
There is evidence that the risk assessment is no l
onger valid; or
If there has been an injury or accident from the h
azard that was assessed; or
If the work environment or work practices associat
ed with the hazard that was
assessed have changed.
When to do Risk Management
Risk Management procedures need to be fully documen
ted and ongoing.
Hazard identification and assessment needs to occur
Before setting up and using a workplace,
on moving premises,
when any changes are carried out,
when work practices change,
when a new employee joins the clinic,
following an incident report,
when there is new equipment or new products, or wh
en new knowledge becomes

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Review Questions
1. PCBU under the WHS Act have a responsibility
a) provide a completely risk free workplace
b) request staff provide their own PPE
c) ensure the health and safety of all that enter t
heir premises
d) all of the above
2. Under the WHS Act and Regulations which of the f
ollowing provide practical guidance
and advice on how to achieve best practice in th
e workplace:
a) Australian Industry Guidelines
b) NSW Workplace Guidance Criteria
c) Training Needs Analysis
d) Codes of Practice
3. In WHS terms, what is €˜a hazard’?
4. Name the four categories which hazards will fal
l into in a Complementary Therapies
5. Name the four steps in the risk management proc
6. A risk that has been assessed as a category 1 si
gnifies which of the following:
a) there is a very low risk of death
b) there is a very high risk of death
c) injury may occur but it is unlikely
d) none of the above
7. When would you conduct a risk assessment?
8. Who should be involved in a risk assessment?
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The purpose of this session is make students aware
of different and specific circumstances
that apply to a Complementary Therapies Clinic.
Learning Outcome(s):
Discuss stress as an WHS issue
Discuss Occupational Overuse Syndrome
Discuss Manual Handling as an WHS issue
Discuss issues concerning workplace violence and b
Be aware of other health and wellbeing issues such
as hazardous substances,
psychological factors, occupational disorders, shif
t work, working alone and
individual workload
WHS Management Risk to Health and Wellbeing
For a Complementary Therapies Clinic, four main iss
ues with health and wellbeing apply in
1. Stress in the workplace
2. Manual Handling
3. Occupational Overuse Syndrome
4. Violence and Bullying in the workplace
Stress in the workplace
Job stress is defined generally as the harmful phy
sical and emotional responses that occur
when the requirements of the job do not match the c
apabilities, resources, or needs of the
worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even
injury (NIOSH, 1999).
Stress is found in all workplaces, it can have both
good and bad effects on individuals, their
work performance and their health and well-being.
The focus for the employer in controlling or managi
ng stress should be in changing the work
environment or providing affected employees with he
lp to reduce high levels of stress.


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