Managing risks

You have specific duties if you are: 

  • a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) 

  • a designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier and installer of plant, substances or structures 

  • an officer. 

The model WHS Regulations have duties that apply to working in heat.  

As a PCBU, you must, so far as is reasonably practicable:  

  • ensure the health and safety of workers and others at your workplace  

  • consult with workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking and who are (or are likely to be) directly affected by a health and safety matter, and 

  • consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with all other relevant duty holders. 

Workers and other people at the workplace also have duties, including taking reasonable care for their own health and safety.   

A person can have more than one duty and more than one person can have the same duty at the same time. 

Managing risks 

As a PCBU, you should manage risks by following a systematic process of: 

  • identifying hazards—find out what could go wrong and what could cause harm. 

  • assessing risks if necessary—understand the harm each hazard could cause, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening. 

  • controlling risks—implement the most effective control measures that are reasonably practicable in the circumstances. 

  • reviewing control measures to ensure they are working as planned. 

You must first aim to eliminate hazards in the workplace. For example, through cancelling outdoor work when temperatures are high.  

Substitution, isolation and engineering controls should then be considered.  

  • Substitute the hazard for something safer. For example, swap physical work for work that can be done by a machine. 
  • Isolate the risk from workers. For example, separate workers from hot machinery, and  
  • Engineering controls, such as setting up shade tents and using air conditioners.  

If a risk still remains, implement administrative control measures.  

Administrative control measures include processes such as training, instruction and supervision. For example, schedule physically demanding activities during cooler parts of the day.  

Personal protective equipment should be used to control any remaining risks. For example, provide breathable and light clothing.  

Review and monitor control measures to make sure they are working as planned.  

For more information see the model Code of Practice: How to manage work health and safety risks.