WHS-PRO-002 WHS Risk Management Procedure
To assist James Cook University (JCU) to fulfil its duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (the Act) by documenting the risk management requirements prescribed by the Act.
This Work Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure is a subsidiary of the Work Health and Safety Policy and aligns to the overall intent of the JCU Risk Management Policy and the JCU Risk Management Framework and Plan.
This Work Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure applies to all staff, students, contractors, volunteers, adjuncts and visitors involved in JCU business operations and activities for the management of work health and safety risk.
This Procedure does not apply to the JCU Controlled Entities.
A situation or thing that has the potential to harm a person.
The level of risk determined before controls have been considered.
A person who makes decisions, or participates in making decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of a business or undertaking or has the capacity to significantly affect the financial standing of the business or undertaking.
A person is not considered an Officer under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), if they are only responsible for implementing or executing those decisions.
Holders of the following JCU positions are considered Officers:
1. Members of Council;
2. University Executive, Directors, Deans and Pro Vice Chancellor.
Visitors to a JCU controlled site / campus and students not performing work experience or paid or unpaid work.
Person in Control of a Business or Undertaking
A business or an undertaking that is either conducted alone or with others, whether or not for profit or gain.
A PCBU can be but is not limited to:
Which is, or was at a particular time, reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters including:
The likelihood that harm will occur when exposed to a hazard and consequence of that harm (death, injury or illness).
A systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking.
Process to understand the nature of the work health and safety risk and determine the level of risk.
Process of finding, recognising and describing work health and safety risks.
In the context of this Procedure, risk management means the identification of work health and safety hazards, the assessment of risks posed by the hazards, the control of those risks either by eliminating the hazard entirely or by minimising the risk and the review of implemented control measures to maintain so far as is reasonably practicable, a work environment that is without risks to health and safety.
A matrix that is used as part of a risk assessment to define the various levels of risk as the likelihood of the harm occurring and the consequence of harm.
The person or entity with the accountability and authority to manage the risk.
A register of risk that identifies the hazards and what action needs to be taken to control the risk.
Risk remaining after control measures have been implemented.
Any person who is responsible for Workers, the allocation of tasks to Workers and / or the oversight of all JCU students during teaching and / or learning activities including field trips.
A person who carries out work in any capacity for JCU, and includes working as:
A workplace is the place where work is carried out for JCU and includes any place where a Worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work.
Table of Contents
1 Duty, Obligations and Responsibilities
All staff, contractors, adjuncts and Others of JCU have a responsibility to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. This includes the implementation of risk control measures within their control to prevent injuries or illnesses.
The WHS-PRO-001 Work Health and Safety Responsibilities Procedure outlines these responsibilities in detail.
1.1 James Cook University
JCU as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), has a primary duty under the Act to ensure health and safety of Workers and Others. To fulfil this duty, JCU must eliminate risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable and, if it is not reasonably practicable to do so, to minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
In addition, JCU has a duty under the Act to consult, so far as is reasonably practicable, with Workers who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a workplace health and safety matter.
An Officer of JCU has a duty under the Act to exercise due diligence to ensure JCU fulfils its health and safety obligations under the Act. To satisfy this duty, Officers must understand the health and safety risks and hazards of the University’s operations to ensure JCU is managing these risks and hazards appropriately.
In practice, this Procedure requires Officers to implement a process that ensures all work health and safety risks are thoroughly scrutinised and mitigated as far as is reasonably practicable.
Note: This Procedure deals specifically with work health and safety risk management responsibilities. Officers have other responsibilities under the Act.
Officers should be conversant with WHS-PRO-001 Work Health and Safety Responsibilities Procedure to understand their work health and safety statutory responsibilities and how they apply to JCU operations.
A Worker is to follow the requirements outlined in this Procedure to effectively manage the health and safety risks that might arise out of the conduct of the University’s activities. In practice, this means to:
- Report hazards when identified
- Participate in the risk management processes when required
- Comply with all risk control procedures and policies that have been implemented to prevent or minimise incidents and injuries.
1.4 Work Health and Safety (WHS) Unit
The WHS Unit is responsible for the overall maintenance and implementation of the Health and Safety Management System (HSMS).
As part of the implementation of the HSMS, the WHS Unit has an advisory function in relation to the risk management process at JCU. This is done through the:
- Development and implementation of this Work Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure across the JCU business;
- Provision of support, guidance and training to assist the JCU community with risk; assessments, selection of appropriate risk controls and the maintenance of the Work Health and Safety Risk Register;
- Consultation with stakeholders to ensure the risk management process is meeting the needs of the University;
- Reporting of health and safety hazards and risk management to the Work Health and Safety Advisory Committee (WHSAC).
The WHS Unit is also responsible for reviewing all risk assessments with a residual risk of high or very high. The WHS Unit must provide advice and support to the Risk Owner to assist them in minimising work health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable when required.
1.5 Risk Owner
Risk Owners must become, and maintain competency in, the implementation of risk management processes within the work area to which they have been authorised.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Documenting information about how work health and safety risks will be managed in the Risk Register, riskware;
- Consult with all Workers and Others that may be impacted by the activity to which the risk assessment is being prepared;
- Monitor and review risk assessments to ensure the controls that have been applied are effective in minimising the risk to as low as reasonably practicable.
Others are to comply so far as the person is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by JCU. This means to:
- Report hazards when identified;
- Participate in the risk management processes when required;
- Comply with all risk control procedures and policies that have been implemented to prevent or minimise incidents and injuries.
2 Commitment to Risk Management
James Cook University recognises that risk management is an integral part of good governance and management practice and is committed to its application at all management levels within a University-wide framework.
JCU’s overarching Risk Management Policy and the JCU Risk Management Framework and Plan provides the foundations and organisational arrangements for designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and continually improving risk management throughout the University.
The Risk Management Policy establishes a mandate and commitment for managing risk. The Risk Management Framework and Plan details the processes by which risk management will be implemented within the organisation.
Health and safety related risk management is further defined and implemented via JCU’s Health and Safety Management System (HSMS). The HSMS defines the minimum standards for health and safety hazards and risk management, which align to the overarching risk management framework.
3 Review of the Work Health and Safety Risk Management Process
In order to ensure work health and safety risk management processes are effective throughout the University, this Work Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure will be reviewed at least every two years and in accordance with WHS-POL-MAN-001a WHS Document Management Guideline. Reviews may be required outside the nominated two-year cyclic review period, due to:
- Legislative changes;
- System failures reported or identified during incident investigations;
- Suggestions from employees directly or via consultation arrangements;
- Industry best practice;
- Changes to the jcu parent risk management framework.
Consequently, any changes to work health and safety risk management will initiate a review and an amendment of all related documents and processes to ensure consistency at all levels of business.
4 Risk Management Process
Risk management is a step-by-step process of:
- Identifying hazards;
- Assessing risks;
- Eliminating or minimising the risks so far as is reasonably practicable;
- Reviewing the control measures (refer to Appendix 2, Figure 1 ).
Consultation with Workers is required throughout the entire risk management process.
5 When must a Work Health and Safety Risk Assessment be done?
A risk assessment must be done when:
- There is uncertainty about how a hazard may result in injury or illness;
- The work activity involves a number of different hazards and there is a lack of understanding about how the hazards may interact with each other to produce new or greater risks;
- Changes at the workplace occur that may impact on the effectiveness of control measures. This is explained in the subsequent section titled "Change Management";
- Prior to the commencement of work or the engagement of any contractor (see information about contractor safety management).
In addition to this requirement, a risk assessment is mandatory for any high risk activity that is stipulated by the act or its delegated legislation. This includes but is not limited to:
- Entry into confined space;
- Diving work;
- Remote and isolated work;
- Construction work;
- Live electrical work.
The JCU HSMS may prescribe how risks associated with specific JCU activities are to be managed. If an approved JCU HSMS document exists, it must be read in conjunction with this Procedure to determine all risk management requirements relating to the specific activity or undertaking.
A risk assessment may not be necessary if:
- Excluded by legislation by requiring that a hazard or risk is to be controlled in a specific way;
- Guidance material, such as a code of practice, establishes a method of controlling a hazard that is applicable to the work environment and jcu management decide to adopt this method.
6 Communication and Consultation
Underpinning the entire process of risk management is the need to consult with Workers and Others with duties under the Act.
JCU is required under the Act to consult with its Workers, so far as is reasonably practicable at each stage of the risk management process.
JCU will establish mechanisms that enable Workers to report hazards and health and safety issues immediately to encourage proactive risk management practices and Worker involvement in the risk management decision-making process.
In addition, when deciding how to eliminate or minimise work health and safety risk as part of the HSMS, JCU Management must consult with Workers and their Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) when they are directly affected or are likely to be directly affected by the decisions made. The agreed consultation process is outlined in the WHS-PRO-003 Consultation and Participation Procedure.
7 Risk Assessment
Assessing risk involves considering the potential consequence if a Worker or Other is exposed to the hazard and as a result, the likelihood that harm could occur.
Once the likelihood and consequences have been decided, the inherent risk associated with a hazard is to be determined using the Risk Matrix attached at Appendix 1 .
Further information on the risk assessment methodology can be sourced from the risk management training provided by the WHS Unit. See subsequent section titled "Training Requirements" for further information.
8 Controlling the Risk
If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, the risk must be minimised by implementing options from the hierarchy of controls. The diagram below illustrates the hierarchical order in which the control options are to be implemented to treat the work health and safety risk. The risk control measure selected must be the highest possible option in the hierarchy. In many cases, it will be necessary to apply more than one control method.
Personal protective equipment must only be used as a last resort or to complement other control measures implemented. See Appendix 2, Figure 2: Hierarchy of Controls
8.1 Prescribed Controls
The Act, or its delegated legislation, may prescribe specific requirements to control high risk activities. In this instance the Risk Owner is to implement the required controls in accordance with the Act or its delegated legislation.
9 Monitoring and Review
Risk assessments must be reviewed and maintained to ensure the controls applied are effective in minimising the risk to as low as reasonably practicable.
A risk assessment must be reviewed and any measures adopted to control the risk:
- When the control measure is not effective in controlling the risk;
- Before a change at the workplace that is likely to give rise to a new or different health and safety risk that the control measure may not effectively control;
- If a new hazard or risk is identified;
- If the results of consultation indicate that a review is necessary;
- If a Health and Safety Representative requests a review.
In addition, the WHS Unit will periodically monitor and review the effectiveness of applied risk control strategies through a range of scheduled and unscheduled activities, including but not limited to:
- Audits and inspections;
- Workplace monitoring where necessary (hazardous noise or chemicals);
- Review of incidents and hazards.
10 Change Management
The risk management process must be undertaken when a change is introduced to JCU that affects the health and safety of Workers or Others.
This is to identify the hazards brought about by the change, assess the risk and either eliminate or control the risk associated with the hazards.
Examples of change that require a risk management approach include, but are not limited to:
- Changes to systems of work;
- Use of plant or equipment (both temporary use and permanent installation);
- Planning to improve productivity or reduce costs;
- Introduction of new or different material or chemicals;
- Responding to workplace incidents.
11 Training Requirements
The WHS Unit provides training and information to assist to employees to identify, treat and manage WHS risk at JCU.
11.1 Mandatory Training
All new JCU employees, including volunteers and students undertaking work experience, must complete the WHS Staff Induction within 48 hours of commencing work. The induction includes a risk management component.
WHS Risk Management and RiskWare training is available online via the JCU Safety Website. All JCU employees and students are required to be trained in the use of RiskWare.
11.2 Risk Management Training
JCU Officers and Risk Owners must complete the following training in order to fully understand their responsibilities under this Procedure:
- Online WHS Risk Management Training;
- Face to face delivery of the RiskWare training - contact firstname.lastname@example.org;
- WHS Duties and Responsibilities online training.
11.3 Role Specific Training
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that Workers under their supervision are provided with suitable work health and safety training to establish and maintain the competencies necessary to perform their work safely.
Supervisors should refer to theWHS-PRO-004 Training and Competency Procedure and contact the WHS Unit if they require more information about how to create a work health and safety skills profile of all staff under their supervision by conducting a Training Needs Analysis.
12 Risk Register
All risk assessments must be recorded in RiskWare. RiskWare is the approved Risk Register of JCU.
All work health and safety records must be retained in accordance with JCU’s Records Management Policy.
Related policy instruments
WHS-POL-MAN-001 Health and Safety Management System Framework Guideline
Other related documents and legislation
NOTE: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Services and Resources
Date for next Major Review
Nomenclature changes due to unit name change, renumbering of Procedure from HSE-PRO-011 to WHS-PRO-002
WHS Administrative Officer
HSE Project Officer