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Codes & Codes of Practice as made
This instrument applies to all types of work and all workplaces covered by the WHS Act, including workplaces that are mobile, temporary and remote.
Administered by: Attorney-General's
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015 s12 item 68
Registered 30 Mar 2016
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR18-Apr-2016
Tabled Senate18-Apr-2016
Table of contents.

 

Work Health and Safety (Managing the Work Environment and Facilities) Code of Practice 2015

 

made under the

 

Work Health and Safety Act 2011, section 274 (Approved Codes of Practice)

 

 

 

 

 


1 Name of instrument

 

This instrument is the Work Health and Safety (Managing the Work Environment and Facilities) Code of Practice 2015.

 

2 Commencement

 

This instrument commences on the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

 

3 Code of Practice Approval

 

I approve the Managing the Work Environment and Facilities Code of Practice. I am satisfied that this code of practice was developed by a process described in section 274(2) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michaelia Cash

Minister for Employment

 

 

17 December 2015

                                                 

Date   


MANAGING THE

WORK ENVIRONMENT
AND FACILITIES

Code of Practice


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD...................................................................................................................................... 4

1. .... INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................... 6

1.1     Who has duties in relation to the work environment and facilities?............................................ 6

1.2     Identifying what facilities are needed......................................................................................... 6

1.3     Maintaining the work environment and facilities........................................................................ 8

2. .... THE WORK ENVIRONMENT............................................................................................... 9

2.1     Entry and exit.............................................................................................................................. 9

2.2     Housekeeping........................................................................................................................... 10

2.3     Work areas............................................................................................................................... 10

2.4     Floors and other surfaces......................................................................................................... 10

2.5     Workstations............................................................................................................................. 11

2.6     Lighting...................................................................................................................................... 11

2.7     Air quality.................................................................................................................................. 14

2.8     Heat and cold............................................................................................................................ 14

3. .... WELFARE FACILITIES....................................................................................................... 17

3.1     Access to facilities.................................................................................................................... 17

3.2     Drinking water........................................................................................................................... 17

3.3     Toilets........................................................................................................................................ 18

3.4     Hand washing........................................................................................................................... 19

3.5     Dining facilities.......................................................................................................................... 20

3.6     Personal storage....................................................................................................................... 21

3.7     Change rooms.......................................................................................................................... 21

3.8     Shower facilities........................................................................................................................ 22

4. .... GUIDANCE FOR SPECIFIC TYPES OF WORK............................................................ 23

4.1     Outdoor work............................................................................................................................ 23

4.2     Remote or isolated work........................................................................................................... 23

4.3     Accommodation....................................................................................................................... 25

5. .... EMERGENCY PLANS......................................................................................................... 27

5.1     Preparing emergency procedures............................................................................................ 28

APPENDIX A – WORK ENVIRONMENT AND FACILITIES CHECKLIST......................... 29

APPENDIX B – EXAMPLES OF FACILITIES FOR DIFFERENT WORKPLACES........... 35

 


This Code of Practice on managing the work environment and facilities is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).

An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations).

A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act, in relation to the subject matter of the code. Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks that may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.

Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the WHS Act and Regulations. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.

Compliance with the WHS Act and Regulations may be achieved by following another method, such as a technical or an industry standard, if it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the code.

An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.

This Code of Practice has been developed by Safe Work Australia as a model code of practice under the Council of Australian Governments’ Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety for adoption by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.

A draft of this Code of Practice was released for public consultation on 7 December 2010 and was endorsed by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council on 10 August 2011.

Scope and application

This Code applies to all types of work and all workplaces covered by the WHS Act, including workplaces that are mobile, temporary and remote.

It provides practical guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to provide and maintain a physical work environment that is without risks to health and safety. This Code covers:

·        the physical work environment, such as workspace, lighting and ventilation

·        facilities for workers, including toilets, drinking water, washing and dining areas, change rooms, personal storage and shelter

·        remote and isolated work

·        emergency plans.

This Code takes into account that new buildings and major renovations must also comply with the National Construction Code of Australia which specifies certain requirements, for example the number of toilets that need to be provided in buildings used as workplaces.

For more specific information about providing facilities at construction sites, refer to the Code of Practice: Managing Risks in Construction Work.

Guidance on the provision of first aid facilities can be found in the Code of Practice: First Aid in the Workplace.

How to use this Code of Practice

In providing guidance, the word ‘should’ is used in this Code to indicate a recommended course of action, while ‘may’ is used to indicate an optional course of action.

This Code also includes various references to sections of the WHS Act and the Regulations which set out the legal requirements. These references are not exhaustive. The words ‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ indicate that a legal requirement exists and must be complied with.


1.1  Who has duties in relation to the work environment and facilities?

A person conducting a business or undertaking has the primary duty under the WHS Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers and other persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.

The WHS Regulations place more specific obligations on a person conducting a business or undertaking in relation to the work environment and facilities for workers, including requirements to:

·        ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the layout of the workplace, lighting and ventilation enables workers to carry out work without risks to health and safety

·        ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of adequate facilities for workers, including toilets, drinking water, washing and eating facilities

·        manage risks associated with remote and isolated work

·        prepare emergency plans.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking who have management or control of a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and anything arising from the workplace is without health and safety risks to any person.

This means that the duty to provide and maintain a safe work environment and adequate facilities may be shared between duty holders, for example a business leasing premises will share the duty with the landlord or property manager of the premises. In these situations the duty holders must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with each other.

Persons who design and construct buildings and structures that are intended to be used as workplaces must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the building or structure is without risks to health and safety.

Officers, such as company directors, have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that the business or undertaking complies with the WHS Act and Regulations. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that the business or undertaking has and uses appropriate resources and processes to provide and maintain a safe work environment and adequate facilities for workers.

Workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that they do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. Workers must comply with any reasonable instruction and cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to health and safety at the workplace.

1.2  Identifying what facilities are needed

Decisions about workplace facilities and the work environment will depend on the industry the business is operating in, the nature of the work carried out as well as the size and location of the workplace and the number and composition of workers at the workplace.

The requirements in the National Construction Code of Australia will also determine what facilities are required for new buildings.


 

Consulting workers

Consultation involves sharing of information, giving workers a reasonable opportunity to express views and taking those views into account before making decisions on health and safety matters.

Section 47: The WHS Act requires that you consult, so far as is reasonably practicable, with workers who carry out work for you who are (or are likely to be) directly affected by a work health and safety matter.

Section 48: If the workers are represented by a health and safety representative, the consultation must involve that representative.

You must consult your workers when proposing any changes to the work environment that may affect their health and safety and when making decisions about what facilities are needed (for example, the number and location of toilets). The consultation should also cover things such as access, cleaning and maintenance of the facilities.

If the facilities are already provided at the workplace, you should consult your workers and their health and safety representatives when there are any changes that may affect the adequacy of the facilities. This will help you determine if you need to change or expand your facilities.

Consulting, co-operating and co-ordinating activities with other duty holders

Section 46: The WHS Act requires that you consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with all other persons who have a work health or safety duty in relation to the same matter, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Sometimes you may share responsibility for a health and safety matter with other business operators who are involved in the same activities or who share the same workplace. In these situations, you should exchange information to find out who is doing what and work together in a co-operative and co-ordinated way so that all risks are eliminated or minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.

For example, if you are a tenant in a building, you will share responsibility for providing a safe physical work environment and facilities with the property manager or building owner, and you should therefore discuss your requirements regarding these matters with them. This would include checking that they have arrangements in place for the proper maintenance of plant such as air-conditioning systems and facilities such as toilets.

Further guidance on consultation is available in the Code of Practice: Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co-ordination and Co-operation.

The nature of the work

·        To understand the nature of the work activities and the type of hazards involved, the following questions should be considered:

·        Does the work involve exposure to infectious material or contaminants? If so, workers may need access to shower facilities before they leave the workplace.

·        Do workers need to change out of their clothes? If so, they may need change rooms and appropriate personal storage.

·        Is the work mostly conducted standing or seated? If so, floor coverings and seats should be considered.

·        Is the work sedentary or physically active? If so, this may affect the ideal comfortable air temperature.

·        Is the work done in shifts? If so, cleaning and maintenance schedules may need to take into account the times when the facilities are used.

·        Workers undertaking different work within the same workplace may also have different requirements for facilities depending on the work they do and the equipment they use.

Size, location and nature of the workplace

The type of facilities needed also depends on the size, location and nature of the workplace. For example, whether the work is carried out in a building or structure, or whether work is performed outdoors or in a workplace belonging to another business should be taken into consideration. Some workers may be mobile, for example sales representatives, tradespeople or visiting health care workers. The following questions should be considered:

·        Does the workplace cover an extensive area, or is work undertaken in a single location?

·        Do the workers travel between workplaces, to numerous work sites or to other locations?

·        Is the workplace permanent or temporary?

·        Is the workplace close to appropriate welfare facilities?

·        Will the facilities be available at the times workers need to use them, for example during a night shift?

·        Is the means of access safe?

Number and composition of the workforce

The number of workers at the workplace will determine the size and type of facilities required. For example, calculating the number of toilets and hand washing facilities should take account of the number of workers who usually use them at the same time.

Facilities should provide privacy and security for men and women. The requirements of workers with any particular needs (for example, pregnant or lactating women) or disabilities should also be addressed in the design of the workplace.

1.3  Maintaining the work environment and facilities

The work environment should be maintained so that it remains in a clean and safe condition. Broken or damaged furniture, fixtures and fittings, including chairs, plumbing, air-conditioning and lighting should be repaired promptly.

Facilities should be clean, safe, accessible and in good working order. Consumable items, including soap and toilet paper, should be replenished regularly. Equipment and furniture such as toasters, fridges, lockers or seating should be maintained in good working order.

Workplaces and facilities should be cleaned regularly, usually on a daily or weekly basis. The cleaning schedule of facilities such as dining areas, toilets, hand basins and showers should take into account shift work, the type of work performed, the likelihood of contamination and the number of workers using them.

Appendix A may be used as a checklist to help you review the work environment and the adequacy of facilities provided to workers.


Regulation 40: A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that:

·        the layout of the workplace allows, and is maintained to allow, persons to enter and exit the workplace and move within it safely, both under normal working conditions and in an emergency

·        work areas have space for work to be carried out safely

·        floors and other surfaces are designed, installed and maintained to allow work to be carried out safely

·        lighting enables each worker to carry out work safely, persons to move around safely and safe evacuation in an emergency

·        ventilation enables workers to carry out their work without risk to their health and safety

·        workers exposed to extremes of heat or cold are able to carry out work without risk to their health and safety

·        work in relation to or near essential services (such as gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telecommunications) do not affect the health and safety of persons at the workplace.

2.1  Entry and exit

The means of entry and exit to and from the workplace must be safe. This may include ensuring that workers with special needs or disabilities can safely enter and leave the workplace.

Entries and exits should be slip-resistant under wet and dry conditions.

Aisles and walkways should be at least 600 mm wide and kept free of furniture or other obstructions at all times. Where it is necessary to clearly define entry and exit routes, the boundaries of the route should be marked by a permanent line of white, yellow or other contrasting colour at least 50 mm wide or by glowing markers. Entry and exit routes, stairs and walkways should be adequately lit.

Open sides of staircases should be guarded with an upper rail at 900 mm or higher and a lower rail. A handrail should be provided on at least one side of every staircase. Additional handrails may be needed down the centre of wide staircases. Further information is available in AS 1657 – Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders - Design, construction and installation.

Separate entries and exits for mobile equipment (for example, forklifts or trucks) and pedestrians should be provided to minimise the risk of persons being hit by moving vehicles. If people and vehicles have to share a traffic route, use kerbs, barriers or clear markings to designate a safe walkway. Doors and gates should be fitted with safety devices if necessary. Doors on main traffic routes should have a transparent viewing panel (unless they are fire-rated doors).

Power-operated doors and gates should have safety features to prevent people being struck or trapped. Upward-opening doors or gates should be fitted with an effective device (such as counterbalance springs or ratchet devices) to prevent them falling back.

The location of exits should be clearly marked and signs should be posted to show the direction to exit doors to aid emergency evacuation. 


2.2  Housekeeping

An untidy workplace can cause injuries in particular, injuries resulting from slips and trips, therefore good housekeeping practices are essential for all workplaces. For example:

·        spills on floors should be cleaned up immediately

·        walkways should be kept clear of obstructions

·        work materials should be neatly stored

·        any waste should be regularly removed.

It will be much easier to keep the workplace clean and tidy if it is well laid out with sufficient space for storage and for the movement of people. Space close to workstations should be allocated to allow for the storage of tools and materials that are used frequently, for example providing racks for hand tools above workbenches.

Tidiness throughout the working day can be difficult to maintain in industries where there is rapid production of finished goods and/or waste. In these situations, training all workers in good housekeeping procedures and their co-operation with these procedures is necessary to keep the workplace tidy.

Suitable containers for waste should be conveniently located and regularly emptied.

While it may be reasonable to expect workers to leave their immediate work area in a clean and tidy condition at the end of the working day, other options for carrying out the general cleaning of the workplace should be considered, for example engaging cleaners.

2.3  Work areas

The layout of work areas should be designed to provide sufficient clear space between furniture, fixtures and fittings so that workers can move about freely without strain or injury and also evacuate quickly in case of an emergency. Space for aisles, passages and access to other areas is needed in addition to the space around workstations.

In determining how much space is needed, the following should be considered:

·        the physical actions needed to perform the task

·        the need to move around while working

·        whether the task is to be performed from a sitting or standing position

·        access to workstations

·        the equipment to be handled and the personal protective equipment that may be worn to perform the work.

Environmental factors including heat or noise may require an increase to the space, as will work activities that involve manual tasks or the use of tools such as knives where the risk of injury is increased due to close working conditions.

Further guidance in relation to manual tasks and the layout of work areas is available in the Code of Practice: Hazardous Manual Tasks.

2.4  Floors and other surfaces

Floor surfaces should be suitable for the work area. The choice of floor surfaces or coverings will depend on the type of work carried out at the workplace, as well as the materials used during the work process, the likelihood of spills and other contaminants, including dust, and the need for cleaning.

Floors should be inspected regularly and maintained to eliminate slip and trip hazards. Common examples of hazards include trailing cables, uneven edges or broken surfaces, gratings or covers, loose mats or carpet tiles. Floor surfaces require sufficient grip to prevent slipping, especially in areas that may become wet or contaminated. Cleaning methods should also take account of the potential for slips, which may be increased by the use of some cleaning agents.

Workers who undertake static standing work should be protected from discomfort and the jarring effects of direct contact with concrete, masonry or steel floors, for example, by providing carpet, cushion-backed vinyl, shock-absorbent underlay, anti-fatigue matting, grates or duckboards.

Generally carpet is preferred in office areas to provide a comfortable walking surface and to reduce noise, reflected light from polished floor surfaces and the risk of slips and falls. Selection of wool mix carpets reduces the build-up of static electricity which can give a mild electric shock. Carpets should be properly laid without loose edges or ripples and should be well maintained.

If tasks require the use of wheeled equipment (for example, trolleys) the floor covering should be selected to minimise friction and resistance.

Some floor surfaces can become hazardous in certain work situations. For example, machining of metals can produce hot scrap and requires a surface safe from fire risk.

Floors and any other surfaces, such as mezzanines or platforms that people may walk on, must be strong enough to support loads placed on them.

2.5  Workstations

It may be necessary to determine whether the work is best carried out in a seated or standing position (or a combination of the two). Ideally, there should be a mix of seated and standing tasks – neither prolonged sitting nor standing is desirable. Workers should be consulted when carrying out this assessment.

Workstations should be designed so that workers can carry out their work in a comfortable, upright position with shoulders relaxed and upper arms close to the body. Different workers require different working heights so it is best to provide adjustable workstations to make the work height suitable for the person and the task.

Many tasks are best done in a seated position, for example screen-based work, fine component assembly or tasks involving the frequent use of foot controls. For tasks undertaken in a seated position, workers should be provided with seating that:

·        provides good body support, especially for the lower back

·        provides foot support, preferably with both feet flat on the floor, otherwise a footrest should be provided

·        allows adequate space for leg clearance and freedom of movement.

Chairs should be fully adjustable to accommodate different sized workers (with seat height, back rest height and back rest tilt adjustments) and should not tip or slip – a five-point base is the most stable. Castors should be used on carpet and glides or braked castors on hard surfaces.

Some standing tasks may be carried out using a sit/stand chair, for example some process or inspection work. This means that workers can support themselves on the chair while still carrying out the standing task. If the job is primarily carried out while standing, but the nature of the work allows workers to sit from time to time, appropriate seating should be provided. This allows workers to vary their position between sitting and standing.

2.6  Lighting

Sufficient lighting must be provided, whether it is from a natural or artificial source, to allow safe movement around the workplace and to allow workers to perform their job without having to adopt awkward postures or strain their eyes to see.

The following factors should be taken into account:

·        the nature of the work activity

·        the nature of hazards and risks in the workplace

·        the work environment

·        illumination levels, including both natural and artificial light

·        the transition of natural light over the day

·        glare

·        contrast

·        reflections.

Additional lighting may be needed for some types of work or at places of particular risk (such as crossing points on traffic routes). Table 1 provides guidance on the recommended illumination levels for various types of tasks, activities or interiors.

Different lighting levels may be needed for different times of the day. Too much lighting can result in glare. Measures to prevent low or excessive levels of lighting, glare or reflection include:

·        providing additional lighting, such as a lamp on a movable arm

·        changing the position of existing lights

·        changing the location of the workstation

·        increasing or decreasing the number of lights

·        changing the type of lighting used e.g. from white light to blue light

·        changing the diffusers or reflectors on existing lights

·        using screens, visors, shields, hoods, curtains, blinds or external louvers to reduce reflections, shadows and glare.

Emergency lighting must be provided for the safe evacuation of people in the event of an emergency.


Table 1 Recommended illumination levels[1]

Class of task

Recommended illuminance (lux)

Characteristics of the activity/interior

Examples of types of activities/interiors

Movement and orientation

 

40

For little-used interiors with visual tasks limited to moving around.

Corridors; cable tunnels; indoor storage tanks; walkways.

Rough intermittent

 

80

For interiors used intermittently, with visual tasks limited to movement, orientation and coarse detail.

Workers change and locker rooms; live storage of bulky materials; dead storage of materials needing care; loading bays.

Normal range of tasks and workplaces

Simple

160

Continuously occupied interior with visual tasks (coarse detail only.) Occasional reading of clearly printed documents for short periods.

Waiting rooms; entrance halls; canteens; rough checking of stock; rough bench and machine work; general fabrication of structural steel; casting concrete; automated process monitoring; turbine halls.

Ordinary or moderately easy

240

Continuously occupied interiors with moderately easy visual tasks with high contrasts or large detail.

School boards and charts; medium woodworking; food preparation; counters for transactions; computer use.

Moderately difficult

320

 

Areas where visual tasks are moderately difficult with moderate detail or with low contrasts.

Routine office tasks (e.g. reading, writing, typing, enquiry desks.)

400

 

Inspection of medium work; fine woodwork; enquiry points; car assembly.

Difficult

600

Areas where visual tasks are difficult with small detail or with low contrast.

Drawing boards; most inspection tasks; proofreading; fine machine work; fine painting and finishing; colour matching.

Very difficult

800

Areas where visual tasks are very difficult with very small detail or with very low contrast.

Fine inspection; plant retouching; fine manufacture; grading of dark materials; colour matching of dyes.

2.7  Air quality

Workplaces should be adequately ventilated. Fresh, clean air should be drawn from outside the workplace, uncontaminated by discharge from flues or other outlets, and be circulated through the workplace.

Workplaces inside buildings may have natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation (fans or extraction units) or air-conditioning. An air-conditioning system should:

·        provide a comfortable environment in relation to air temperature, humidity and air movement

·        prevent the excessive accumulation of odours

·        reduce the levels of respiratory by-products, especially carbon dioxide, and other indoor contaminants that may arise from work activities

·        supply an amount of fresh air to the workplace, exhaust some of the stale air as well as filter and recirculate some of the indoor air.

Natural ventilation should consist of permanent openings, including windows and doors, that:

·        in total are the size of at least five per cent of the floor area of the room

·        are open to the sky, an open covered area or an appropriately ventilated adjoining room.

Natural ventilation may be assisted by mechanical ventilation.

Enclosed workplaces should be supplied with comfortable rates of air movement (usually between 0.1 m and 0.2 m per second).

Air-conditioning and other ventilation systems should be regularly serviced and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Cooling towers that form part of many air-conditioning systems may be a favourable environment for Legionella bacteria if they are not properly designed and maintained. Exposure to these bacteria can cause the potentially fatal Legionnaire’s disease. Cooling towers should be designed, installed and maintained in accordance with AS/NZS 3666 – Air handling and water systems of buildings.

Further information regarding air quality is available in AS 1668.2 – The use of ventilation and air-conditioning in buildings.

Work processes that release harmful levels of airborne contaminants (e.g. lead fumes, acid mist, solvent vapour) will require specific control measures to remove them at the source, such as local exhaust ventilation.

Regulation 49-50: A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that no-one at the workplace is exposed to a substance or mixture in an airborne concentration that exceeds the exposure standard for the substance or mixture. This may require air monitoring to be carried out.

2.8  Heat and cold

Workers carrying out work in extreme heat or cold must be able to carry out work without a risk to their health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable.

It is important to distinguish between a condition that threatens health and safety, and a feeling of discomfort.

The risk to the health of workers increases as conditions move further away from those generally accepted as comfortable. Heat strain can arise from working in high air temperatures, exposure to high thermal radiation or high levels of humidity, such as those in foundries, commercial kitchens and laundries. Hypothermia arises when a person gets an abnormally low body temperature as a result of exposure to cold environments. Both these conditions are potentially fatal.


Both personal and environmental factors should be considered when assessing the risk to workers’ health from working in a very hot or cold environment. Personal factors include the level of physical activity, the amount and type of clothing worn, and duration of exposure. Environmental factors include air temperature, the level of humidity, air movement and radiant heat.

Thermal comfort

Work should be carried out in an environment where a temperature range is comfortable for workers and suits the work they carry out. Air temperatures that are too high or too low can contribute to fatigue and heat or cold related illnesses. Thermal comfort is affected by many factors, including air temperature, air movement, floor temperature, humidity, clothing, the amount of physical exertion, average temperature of the surroundings and sun penetration.

Optimum comfort for sedentary work is between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius, depending on the time of year and clothing worn. Workers involved in physical exertion usually prefer a lower temperature range. The means of maintaining a comfortable temperature will depend on the working environment and the weather, and could include any of the following:

·        air-conditioning

·        fans

·        electric heating

·        open windows

·        building insulation

·        the layout of workstations

·        direct sunlight control

·        controlling air flow and the source of drafts.

Hot environments

If it is not possible to eliminate exposure to extreme heat, the risk of heat strain and heat exhaustion must be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable. For example:

·        increase air movement using fans

·        install air-conditioners or evaporative coolers to lower air temperature

·        isolate workers from indoor heat sources, for example by insulating plant, pipes and walls

·        remove heated air or steam from hot processes using local exhaust ventilation

·        use mechanical aids to assist in carrying out manual tasks

·        alter work schedules so that work is done at cooler times.

The following control measures should also be considered but are least effective if used on their own:

·        slow down the pace of work if possible

·        provide a supply of cool drinking water

·        provide a cool, well-ventilated area where workers can take rest breaks

·        provide opportunities for workers who are not used to working in hot conditions to acclimatise, for example job rotation and regular rest breaks

·        ensure light clothing is worn to allow free movement of air and sweat evaporation.

Immediate assistance should be provided if any worker experiences any of the following symptoms of heat strain: dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, breathlessness, clammy skin or difficulty remaining alert.

Cold environments

If it is not possible to eliminate exposure to extreme cold, the risks must be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable. For example:

·        provide localised heating, for example cab heaters for fork-lift trucks used in cold stores

·        provide protection from wind and rain, such as a hut or the cabin of a vehicle.

The following control measures should also be considered but are least effective if used on their own:

·        provide protection through warm (and if necessary, waterproof) clothing

·        provide opportunities for workers who are not used to working in cold conditions to acclimatise, for example, job rotation and regular rest breaks.

Immediate assistance should be provided if any worker shows any of the following warning signs of hypothermia:

·        numbness in hands or fingers

·        uncontrolled shivering

·        loss of fine motor skills (particularly in hands – workers may have trouble with buttons, laces, zips)

·        slurred speech and difficulty thinking clearly

·        irrational behaviour – sometimes a person will even begin to discard clothing.

The environmental conditions and physical well being of workers should be monitored when work involves prolonged or repeated exposure to heat or cold.

You should train workers to recognise the early symptoms of heat strain or hypothermia, how to follow safe work procedures and to report problems immediately.


All workers require access to adequate facilities. However, it may not always be reasonably practicable to provide the same types of facilities for a temporary, mobile or remote workplace that are normally provided for a fixed workplace.

Appendix B provides examples of facilities for two types of workplaces.

Regulation 41: A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of adequate facilities for workers, including toilets, drinking water, washing and eating facilities. These facilities must be in good working order, clean, safe
and accessible.

When considering how to provide and maintain facilities that are adequate and accessible, a person conducting a business or undertaking must consider all relevant matters including:

·        the nature of the work being carried out at the workplace

·        the nature of the hazards at the workplace

·        the size, location and nature of the workplace

·        the number and composition of the workers at the workplace.

3.1  Access to facilities

Workers, including those who have particular needs or disabilities, must have access to the facilities. Facilities may not need to be provided if they are already available close to the workplace, are suitable for workers to use and the workers have appropriate opportunities to use them. This would mean that:

·        workers are provided with breaks to use facilities

·        the facilities are within a reasonable distance from the work area

·        night shift workers have similar access as those working in the day

·        the means of access is safe at all times.

3.2  Drinking water

An adequate supply of clean drinking water must be provided free of charge for workers at all times. The supply of the drinking water should be:

·        positioned where it can be easily accessed by workers

·        close to where hot or strenuous work is being undertaken to reduce the likelihood of dehydration or heat stress

·        separate from toilet or washing facilities to avoid contamination of the drinking water.

The temperature of the drinking water should be at or below 24 degrees Celsius. This may be achieved by:

·        refrigerating the water or providing non-contaminated ice

·        shading water pipes and storage containers from the sun. 

Water should be supplied in a hygienic manner, so that workers do not drink directly from a shared container. This may involve:

·        a drinking fountain, where the water is delivered in an upward jet

·        a supply of disposable or washable drinking containers.

Water supplied for certain industrial processes or for fire protection may not be suitable for drinking. These water supply points should be marked with signs warning that the water is unfit for drinking.

Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

Sometimes direct connection to a water supply is not possible. In these cases, alternatives –  including access to public drinking water facilities, bottled water or containers – should be provided for workers.

3.3  Toilets

Access to clean toilets must be provided for all workers while they are at work. Where reasonably practicable, toilet facilities should be provided for workers, rather than relying on access to external public toilets.

Number of toilets

For workplaces within buildings, the National Construction Code of Australia sets out the ratio of toilets to the number of workers, and the specifications for toilets. Generally, separate toilets should be provided in workplaces where there are both male and female workers. However, one unisex toilet may be provided in workplaces with both male and female workers where:

·        the total number of people who normally work at the workplace is 10 or less

·        there are two or less workers of one gender.

For example, a workplace with two male and eight female workers or with one female and three male workers could have a unisex toilet because there are 10 or fewer workers in total and two or fewer workers of one gender.

A unisex toilet should include one closet pan, one washbasin and means for disposing of sanitary items.

For all other workplaces, separate toilets should be provided in the following ratios:

Workers

Closet Pan(s)

Urinals

Males

1 per 20 males

1 per 25 males

Females

1 per 15 females

N/A

These ratios are the minimum standard that should be provided. However, in some workplaces, the scheduling of workers’ breaks will affect the number of toilets required. There should be enough toilets available for the number of workers who may need to use them at the same time.

Design of toilets

Toilets should be:

·        fitted with a hinged seat and lid

·        provided with adequate lighting and ventilation

·        clearly signposted

·        fitted with a hinged door capable of locking from the inside on each cubicle

·        designed to allow emergency access

·        positioned to ensure privacy for users

·        separated from any other room by an airlock, a sound-proof wall and a separate entrance that is clearly marked.

Toilets should be supplied with:

·        an adequate supply of toilet paper for each toilet

·        hand washing facilities

·        rubbish bins

·        for female workers, hygienic means to dispose of sanitary items.

Access to toilets

Toilets must be accessible, preferably located inside a building or as close as possible to the workplace. In multi-storey buildings, toilets should be located on at least every second floor.

Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

If work is undertaken away from base locations or at outdoor sites (for example, gardeners, bus drivers, couriers), workers must have access to other toilets, for example public toilets or toilets at clients' premises. In such cases, information should be provided to workers on where the toilets are located.

Where it is not reasonably practicable to provide access to permanent toilets (for example, short-term temporary workplaces and workplaces in remote areas), portable toilets should be provided. Portable toilets should be located in a secure place with safe access. They should be installed so they do not fall over or become unstable and should be serviced regularly to keep them clean.

3.4  Hand washing

Hand washing facilities must be provided to enable workers to maintain good standards of personal hygiene. Workers may need to wash their hands at different times (for example, after visiting the toilet, before and after eating meals, after handling chemicals or handling greasy machinery).

Number of hand washing basins

In most cases, for both males and females, hand washing basins should be provided in at least the ratio of one wash basin for every 30 males and one for every 30 female workers, or part thereof.

The number of hand washing basins may need to be increased depending on the nature of the work carried out at the workplace. For example, where the work involves exposure to infectious substances or other contaminants, separate hand washing basins should be provided in addition to those provided with toilets.

Design of hand washing facilities

Hand washing facilities should:

·        be accessible at all times to work areas, eating areas and the toilets

·        be separate from troughs or sinks used in connection with the work process

·        contain both hot and cold water taps or temperature mixers

·        be protected from the weather

·        be supplied with non-irritating soap (preferably from a soap dispenser)

·        contain hygienic hand drying facilities, for example automatic air dryers or paper towels.

Where a business engages in activities such as food preparation or health care, there are also duties under health legislation in relation to hand washing facilities.


Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

If work is carried out in locations where there are no hand washing facilities, workers should have access to alternative hand hygiene facilities, for example a water container with soap and paper towels, hand wipes or alcohol-based hand wash.

3.5  Dining facilities

Workers should be provided with access to hygienic dining facilities for eating their meals and for preparing and storing food. Depending on the type of workplace, a range of facilities may be appropriate, which could include a shared facility such as a canteen or cafeteria, a dedicated meals area or allowing time for mobile workers to access meal facilities.

A separate dining room should be provided if:

·        10 or more workers usually eat at the workplace at the same time

·        there is a risk of substances or processes contaminating food.

Facilities for large static workplaces

A dedicated dining room should be provided that is protected from the weather and is separated from work processes, toilet facilities and any hazards (including noise, heat and atmospheric contaminants). It should be supplied with:

·        adequate numbers of tables and seats to accommodate each worker likely to use the dining room at one time

·        a sink with hot and cold water, washing utensils and detergent

·        an appliance for boiling water

·        crockery and cutlery

·        food warming appliances, such as a microwave oven

·        clean storage, including a refrigerator for storing perishable food

·        vermin-proof rubbish bins, which should be emptied at least daily.

Dining rooms should have 1 m² of clear space for each person likely to use the dining room at any one time. The clear space is calculated free of any furniture, fittings or obstructions such as pillars. This means that the size of a dining room for 10 workers should be 10 m² plus additional space for dining furniture, appliances and fittings such as sinks.

Facilities for small static workplaces

For some small workplaces, an area within the workplace for making tea and coffee and preparing and storing food might be all that is needed. The facility should be protected from the weather, be free of tools and work materials and be separated from toilet facilities and any hazards (including noise, heat and atmospheric contaminants). It should be supplied with:

·        seating

·        a sink with hot and cold water, washing utensils and detergent

·        an appliance for boiling water

·        clean storage, including a refrigerator for storing perishable food

·        vermin-proof rubbish bins, which should be emptied at least daily.

 

 

Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

Where the work involves travelling between different workplaces, or is remote or seasonal, workers need reasonable access to dining facilities. This may involve organising rosters for mobile workers to ensure that they are back at their base location for meal breaks or allowing workers to take their meal breaks at a public cafeteria.

It may be appropriate for some temporary workplaces to provide portable dining facilities such as mobile caravans or transportable lunchrooms.

Access to dining facilities for workers in remote areas, such as loggers or mining exploration workers, may be limited. At times the only enclosed facility available to them may be their vehicle. In this instance portable food storage facilities may be required, such as a car fridge or insulated lunch box.

3.6  Personal storage

Accessible and secure storage should be provided at the workplace for personal items belonging to workers (for example, handbags, jewellery, medication or hygiene supplies). This storage should be separate from that provided for personal protective clothing and equipment in cases where contamination is possible.

Where any work involves the use of tools provided by a worker, provision should be made for secure and weatherproof storage of those tools during non-working hours.

Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

Where the workplace is temporary or mobile, lockable containers that can be held in a safe place should be provided. Where lockers are provided, they may also serve as secure storage for other personal items.

3.7  Change rooms

If workers have to change in and out of clothing due to the nature of their work, access to private changing areas with secure storage for personal belongings should be provided. This includes workers who need to:

·        wear personal protective clothing or uniforms while they are working

·        leave their work clothing at the workplace.

If male and female workers need to change at the same time, separate male and female changing rooms should be provided. The changing room should allow a clear space of at least 0.5 m² for each worker. 

The temperature in the changing room should be maintained so that it is comfortable for workers when changing. Additional heating or cooling may be needed.

Change rooms should be conveniently located and equipped with: 

·        seating to enable the numbers of workers changing at one time to sit when dressing or undressing

·        mirrors, either within the changing room or directly outside it

·        an adequate number of hooks and/or shelves.

Where change rooms are provided, it may be reasonably practicable to provide lockers for storing clothing and personal belongings. Lockers should be:

·        well ventilated, accessible and secure

·        a sufficient size to accommodate clothing and personal belongings.

There should also be a clear space of at least 1800 mm between rows of lockers facing each other and at least 900 mm between lockers and a seat or wall.

Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

Where the workplace is located away from buildings or other fixed accommodation, portable private facilities containing secure storage and seating should be provided.

3.8  Shower facilities

Certain jobs may involve dirty, hot or hazardous work and may require the provision of showering facilities. For example, jobs including mining, fire fighting, work in abattoirs, foundry work, welding, and police search and rescue.

At least one shower cubicle for every 10 workers who may need to shower should be provided. Usually separate facilities should be provided for male and female workers. However, in small or temporary workplaces where privacy can be assured, it may be acceptable to provide one unisex shower.

Showers should have:

·        a floor area of not less than 1.8 m²

·        a slip-resistant surface that is capable of being sanitised

·        partitions between each shower that are at least 1650 mm high and no more than 300 mm above the floor

·        an adjacent dressing area for each shower containing a seat and hooks

·        a lockable door enclosing the shower and dressing cubicle.

Each shower should be supplied with clean hot and cold water and individual non-irritating soap or another cleaning product. If grime or other by-products of the work process cannot be removed just by washing, individual nail or scrubbing brushes should be provided. Also provide drying facilities such as towels if the work the workers carry out means they need to shower before leaving the workplace.

Mobile, temporary or remote workplaces

If workers work in remote or temporary locations, they should have access to shower facilities. This may involve providing portable shower units of the same standard.


4.1  Outdoor work

Outdoor workers should have access to shelter for eating meals and taking breaks, and to protect them in adverse weather conditions.

Access to shelter should be provided, for example, using sheds, caravans, tents, windbreaks or portable shade canopies. In some situations, vehicles or public facilities may provide appropriate short-term shelter.

Protection against solar ultraviolet (UV) exposure should also be provided for outdoor workers, for example:

·        reorganising outdoor work if possible so that workers carry out alternative tasks, or work in shade, when the sun is most intense, that is, between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm (11.00 am and 3.00 pm when there is daylight saving)

·        providing personal protective clothing (wide brim hat, long-sleeved collared shirt, long pants, sunglasses) and sunscreen.

4.2  Remote or isolated work

Regulation 48: A person conducting a business or undertaking must manage the risks associated with remote or isolated work, including ensuring effective communication with the worker carrying out remote or isolated work.

Remote or isolated work is work that is isolated from the assistance of other people because of the location, time or nature of the work being done. Assistance from other people includes rescue, medical assistance and emergency services.

A worker may be isolated even if other people may be close by, for example, a cleaner working by themselves at night in a city office building. In other cases, a worker may be far away from populated areas, for example, on a farm.

Remote and isolated work includes:

·        all-night convenience store and service station attendants

·        sales representatives, including real estate agents

·        long distance freight transport drivers

·        scientists, park rangers and others carrying out field work alone

·        health and community workers working in isolation with members of the public.

In some situations, a worker may be alone for a short time. In other situations, the worker may be on their own for days or weeks in remote locations, for example, on sheep and cattle stations.

Assessing the risks

Working alone or remotely increases the risk of any job. Exposure to violence and poor access to emergency assistance are the main hazards that increase the risk of remote or isolated work. The following factors should be considered when assessing the risks:

The length of time the person may be working alone

·        How long would the person need to be alone to finish the job?


 

The time of day when a person may be working alone

·        Is there increased risk at certain times of day? For example, a service station attendant working alone late at night may be at greater risk of exposure to violence.

Communication

·        What forms of communication does the worker have access to?

·        Are there procedures for regular contact with the worker?

·        Will the emergency communication system work properly in all situations?

·        If communication systems are vehicle-based, what arrangements are there to cover the worker when he or she is away from the vehicle?

The location of the work

·        Is the work in a remote location that makes immediate rescue or attendance of emergency services difficult?

·        What is likely to happen if there is a vehicle breakdown?

The nature of the work

·        What machinery, tools and equipment may be used?

·        Are high risk activities involved? For example work at heights, work with electricity, hazardous substances or hazardous plant.

·        Is fatigue likely to increase risk (for example, with long hours driving a vehicle or operating machinery)?

·        Is there an increased risk of violence or aggression when workers have to deal with clients or customers by themselves?

·        Can environmental factors affect the safety of the worker? For example, exposure to extreme hot or cold environments?

·        Is there risk of attack by an animal, including reptiles, insects and sea creatures?

The skills and capabilities of the worker

·        What is the worker’s level of work experience and training? Is the worker able to make sound judgements about his or her own safety?

·        Are you aware of a pre-existing medical condition that may increase risk?

Controlling the risks

Buddy system – some jobs present such a high level of risk that workers should not work alone, for example jobs where there is a risk of violence or where work is carried out in confined spaces.

Workplace layout and design – workplaces and their surrounds can be designed to reduce the likelihood of violence, for example by installing physical barriers, monitored CCTV and enhancing visibility.

Communication systems – the type of system chosen will depend on the distance from the base and the environment in which the worker will be located or through which he or she will be travelling. Expert advice and local knowledge may be needed to assist with the selection of an effective communication system.


If a worker is working alone in a workplace that has a telephone, communication via the telephone is adequate, provided the worker is able to reach the telephone in an emergency. In situations where a telephone is not available, a method of communication that will allow a worker to call for help in the event of an emergency at any time should be chosen, for example:

·        Personal security systems, being wireless and portable, are suitable for people moving around or checking otherwise deserted workplaces. Some personal security systems include a non-movement sensor that will automatically activate an alarm transmission if the transmitter or transceiver has not moved within a certain time.

·        Radio communication systems enable communication between two mobile users in different vehicles or from a mobile vehicle and a fixed station. These systems are dependent upon a number of factors such as frequency, power and distance from or between broadcasters.

·        Satellite communication systems enable communication with workers in geographically remote locations. Satellite phones allow voice transmission during transit, but their operation can be affected by damage to aerials, failure of vehicle power supplies, or vehicle damage.

·        Distress beacons should be provided where life-threatening emergencies may occur, to pinpoint location and to indicate by activation of the beacon that an emergency exists. Distress beacons include Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacons (EPIRB) used in ships and boats, Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT) used in aircraft and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) for personal use.

·        Mobile phones cannot be relied upon as an effective means of communication in many locations. Coverage in the area where the worker will work should be confirmed before work commences. Geographical features may impede the use of mobile phones, especially at the edge of the coverage area, and different models have different capabilities in terms of effective range from the base station. Consult the provider if there is any doubt about the capability of a particular phone to sustain a signal for the entire period the worker is alone. If any gaps in coverage are likely, other methods of communication should be considered. It is important that batteries are kept charged and a spare is available.

Movement records – knowing where workers are expected to be can assist in controlling the risks, for example call-in systems with supervisors or colleagues. Satellite tracking systems or devices may also have the capability of sending messages as part of a scheduled call in system, and have distress or alert functions.

Training, information and instruction – workers need training to prepare them for working alone and, where relevant, in remote locations. For example, training in dealing with potentially aggressive clients, using communications systems, administering first aid, obtaining emergency assistance driving off-road vehicles or bush survival.

4.3  Accommodation

If a business has workers working in regional and remote areas, accommodation may need to be provided while the work is being carried out. An example of such arrangements would be where accommodation is provided to fruit pickers during the harvesting season, shearers on a sheep station or workers engaged in construction work at a remote location.

Section 19: A person conducting a business or undertaking who provides accommodation for workers and owns or manages the accommodation must, so far as is reasonably practicable, maintain the premises so that the worker occupying it is not exposed to health and safety risks.


Where reasonably practicable, the accommodation should be separated from any hazards at the workplace likely to adversely affect the health and safety of a worker using the accommodation. The accommodation facilities should also:

·        be lockable, with safe entry and exit

·        meet all relevant structural and stability requirements

·        meet electrical and fire safety standards

·        have a supply of drinking water

·        have appropriate toilets, washing and laundry facilities

·        be regularly cleaned and have rubbish collected

·        be provided with suitable sleeping quarters shielded from noise and vibration

·        have crockery, utensils and dining facilities

·        have adequate lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation

·        have storage cupboards and other suitable furniture

·        be provided with a refrigerator or cool room

·        have all fittings, appliances and equipment in good condition.


Regulation 43: A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that an emergency plan is prepared for the workplace that provides for:

a)   emergency procedures, including:

·        an effective response to an emergency

·        evacuation procedures

·        notification of emergency services at the earliest opportunity

·        medical treatment and assistance; and

·        effective communication between the person authorised by the person conducting the business or undertaking to coordinate the emergency response and all persons at the workplace.

b)   testing of the emergency procedures, including how often they should be tested

c)   information, training and instruction to relevant workers in relation to implementing the emergency procedures.

There are different types of emergency situations, including fire or explosion, dangerous chemical release, medical emergency, natural disaster, bomb threats, violence or robbery.

In preparing and maintaining an emergency plan, the following must be taken into account:

·        the particular work being carried out at the workplace

·        the specific hazards at a workplace

·        the size and location of a workplace

·        the number and composition of the workers and other people at a workplace.

The plan must be based on an assessment of the hazards at the workplace, including the possible consequences of an incident occurring as a result of those hazards. For example, a cleaner working by themselves in a city office building will be subject to different hazards to a worker in a chemical plant. The varying nature of the hazards requires the risks of the particular job to be assessed, and an appropriate emergency procedure put in place.

The impact of external hazards that may affect the health and safety of workers should also be taken into account (for example, a chemical storage facility across the road). 

The preparation of an emergency plan for a workplace shared by a number of businesses (for example, a shopping centre, construction site or multi-tenanted office building) should be co-ordinated by the person with management or control of the workplace (who may be the property manager, principal contractor or landlord) in consultation with all tenants or businesses at the workplace.

If the business is conducted at such a workplace and an emergency plan has already been prepared, the types of emergency situations that may arise from the business must be taken into account in the emergency plan. Workers and their health and safety representatives must be consulted when reviewing, and if necessary revising, the emergency plan by the person responsible for preparing it.

A plan must be developed if there is no emergency plan at the workplace. If the workplace presents a significant hazard in an emergency, consultation with the local emergency services when developing the plan should occur.

5.1  Preparing emergency procedures

The emergency procedures in the emergency plan must clearly explain how to respond in various types of emergency, including how to evacuate people from the workplace in a controlled manner.

The procedures should be written clearly and simple to understand. Where relevant, the emergency procedures should address:

·        allocation of roles and responsibilities for specific actions in an emergency to persons with appropriate skills, for example appointment of area wardens

·        clear lines of communication between the person authorised to co-ordinate the emergency response and all persons at the workplace

·        the activation of alarms and alerting staff and other people at the workplace

·        the safety of all the people who may be at the workplace in an emergency, including visitors, shift workers and tradespeople

·        workers or other persons who will require special assistance to evacuate

·        specific procedures for critical functions such as a power shut-off

·        identification of safe places

·        potential traffic restrictions

·        distribution and display of a site plan that illustrates the location of fire protection equipment, emergency exits and assembly points

·        the distribution of emergency phone numbers, including out-of-hours contact numbers

·        access for emergency services (such as ambulances) and their ability to get close to the work area

·        regular evacuation practice drills (at least every twelve months)

·        the use and maintenance of equipment required to deal with specific types of emergencies
(for example, spill kits, fire extinguishers, early warning systems such as fixed gas monitors
or smoke detectors and automatic response systems such as sprinklers)

·        regular review of procedures and training.

Emergency procedures must be tested in accordance with the emergency plan in which they are contained.

Evacuation procedures should be displayed in a prominent place, for example, on a noticeboard. Workers must be instructed and trained in the procedures.

A more comprehensive plan may be needed to address high risk situations such as:

·        people sleeping on site (for example, hotels)

·        large numbers of people at the site at the same time (for example, stadiums)

·        high risk chemical processes and major hazard facilities

·        significant cash handling, particularly outside normal business hours.

Further guidance on emergency plans and procedures is available in AS 3745: 2010 – Planning
for Emergencies in Facilities.


Consultation (page 7)

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Action to be taken

Have workers and their health and safety representatives been consulted on any decisions about the adequacy of the facilities? 

 

 

Location and nature of the workplace (page xx)

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Action to be taken

Is the workplace near appropriate facilities?

 

 

Is the means of access safe?

 

 

Do all workers on all shifts have access to the facilities?

 

 

Managing facilities (page 8)

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Action to be taken

Are consumable items, such as soap and toilet paper, replaced regularly?

 

 

Is broken or damaged infrastructure, such as plumbing, air-conditioning or lighting, repaired promptly?

 

 

Is equipment and furniture, like fridges, lockers and seating, maintained in good condition?

 

 

Are facilities cleaned regularly, at least daily?

 

 

Workspace (page 9-10)

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Action to be taken

Is there safe entry to and exit from the workstation?

 

 

Is there enough clear space, taking into account the physical actions needed to perform the task, and any plant and personal protective equipment that is needed?

 

 

Is there enough space in walkways and around cupboards, storage or doors, in addition to the clear workstation space?

 

 

Floors (page 10-11)

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Action to be taken

Is adequate floor covering provided for workers who need to stand for long periods?

 

 

Are the floors maintained to be free of slip and trip hazards?

 

 

Are factors such as the work materials used, the likelihood of spills and the need for washing considered when choosing floor coverings?

 

 

Seating (page 11-12)

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Action to be taken

Can the work be done from a seated position?

 

 

Can the chair be adjusted for individual needs and is it appropriate to the type of work being carried out?

 

 

Is there additional seating for workers who work standing and need to sit from time to time?

 

 

Lighting (page 12)

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Action to be taken

Does the lighting allow workers to move about easily and to carry out their work effectively without adopting awkward postures or straining their eyes to see?

 

 

Does the working environment minimise the amount of glare, contrast or reflection?

 

 

Air quality (page 13-14)

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Action to be taken

Is the temperature between 20°C and 26°C (or less if the work is physically active)?

 

 

Are ventilation and air-conditioning systems serviced regularly and maintained in a safe condition?

 

 

Are rates of air movement in enclosed workplaces between 0.1 m and 0.2 m per second?

 

 

Is local exhaust ventilation used to control airborne contaminants released during a work process?

 

 

Exposure to heat or cold (page 14-16)

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Action to be taken

Have all reasonably practicable control measures been implemented to minimise the risks of working in extreme hot or cold conditions?

 

 

Have workers been trained to recognise unsafe conditions arising from exposure to hot or cold conditions, to follow safe work procedures and to report problems immediately?

 

 

Drinking water (page 17-18)

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Action to be taken

Are the drinking water outlets accessible to workers?

 

 

Are the drinking water outlets separate from toilet and washing facilities?

 

 

Is the water clean, cool and hygienically provided?

 

 

Toilets (page 18-19)

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Action to be taken

If the workplace has 10 or fewer workers (and two or fewer of one gender), has at least one unisex toilet been provided?

 

 

If the workplace has more than 10 workers, is there at least one male toilet for every 20 men and one female toilet for every 15 women?

 

 

Are there adequate toilet facilities for workers with disabilities?

 

 

Are toilets clearly marked, and do they have lockable doors, adequate lighting and ventilation?

 

 

Are toilets cleaned regularly?

 

 

Is there adequate toilet paper, hand washing facilities and soap, rubbish bins and sanitary disposal?

 

 

 

Hand washing (page 19-20)

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Action to be taken

Are there enough hand washing basins for men and women? 

 

 

Does the nature of the work require additional hand washing facilities (taking into account exposure to dirty conditions, infectious agents, contaminants and health regulations)?

 

 

Are the hand washing facilities separate from work-related troughs or sinks, protected from weather and accessible from work areas, dining facilities and toilets?

 

 

Is hot and cold water, soap or other cleaning product provided?

 

 

Is hygienic hand drying provided that does not involve workers sharing towels?

 

 

 

Dining facilities (page 20-21)

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Action to be taken

Does the nature of the work cause a health and safety risk to workers from preparing food or eating in the workplace?

 

 

Is a dining room or dining area required, taking into account the guidance on page xx of this Code?

 

 

Is there adequate protection from the elements, the work area, contaminants and hazards?

 

 

For workplaces needing a dining room, is there 1 m2 of clear floor space for each person likely to use the dining room at one time?

 

 

If a shared dining facility is used, can it accommodate all workers likely to be eating at one time?

 

 

 

Personal storage (page 21)

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Action to be taken

Is there accessible, secure storage at the workplace for workers’ personal property, including any tools provided by a worker?

 

 

Is it separate from any storage facilities provided for personal protective clothing and equipment?

 

 

 


 

 

Change rooms (page 21-22)

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Action to be taken

Are change rooms provided for workers who are required to change in and out of clothing?

 

 

Are there arrangements in place for the privacy of male and female workers?

 

 

Do change rooms allow a clear space of at least 0.5 m2 for each worker?

 

 

Is the change room temperature comfortable for changing clothing?

 

 

Is there enough seating, accessible mirrors, an adequate number of hooks for the numbers of workers changing at one time?

 

 

Are there well-ventilated, accessible and secure lockers for each worker for storing clothing and personal belongings?

 

 

Is there clear space of at least 1800 mm between rows of lockers facing each other and at least 900 mm between lockers and a seat or a wall?

 

 

 

Showers (page 22)

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Action to be taken

Are showers provided for workers where the work:

·         requires strenuous effort

·         leaves them dirty or smelly

·         exposes them to chemicals or bio-hazards

 

 

Is there one shower cubicle for every 10 workers who may need to shower?

 

 

Are there separate facilities for male and female workers, or other appropriate forms of security to ensure privacy?

 

 

Is there a slip-resistant floor area of not less than 1.8 m2, which is capable of being sanitised?

 

 

Are partitions between each shower at least 1650 mm high and no more than 300 mm above the floor?

 

 

Is there an adjacent dressing area for each shower, containing a seat and hooks, with a curtain or lockable door enclosing the shower and dressing cubicle?

 

 

Is there clean hot and cold water and soap or other cleaning product?

 

 

If workers need to shower before they can leave the workplace, are towels provided?

 

 


 

Outdoor work (page 23)

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Action to be taken

Are there appropriate procedures to ensure outdoor workers have access to clean drinking water, toilets, dining facilities, hygienic storage of food and water, and emergency and first aid assistance? 

 

 

Is there access to shelter for eating meals and taking breaks and for protection when weather conditions become unsafe?

 

 

Mobile or remote work (page 23-25)

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Action to be taken

Are there appropriate procedures to ensure that mobile or remote workers have access to clean drinking water, toilets, dining facilities, hygienic storage of food and water, and emergency and first aid assistance? 

 

 

Can mobile or remote workers access emergency communications that are reliable in their location, such as a satellite or mobile phone?

 

 

Accommodation (page 25-26)

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Action to be taken

Is the person conducting a business or undertaking accommodation separate from any hazards at the workplace likely to present a risk to the health or safety of a worker using the accommodation?

 

 

Is it appropriately equipped, including:

·         safe access and egress

·         security of personal possessions

·         fire safety arrangements

·         electrical safety standards

·         drinking water

·         toilets, washing, bathing and laundry facilities

·         procedures to ensure cleanliness

·         suitable, quiet sleeping accommodation

·         crockery, utensils and dining facilities

·         rubbish collection

·         heating, cooling and ventilation

 

 

Does the accommodation meet all relevant structural and stability requirements?

 

 

Are the fittings, appliances and any other equipment maintained in good working condition?

 

 

 


 

Emergency plans (page 27-28)

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Action to be taken

Is there a written emergency plan covering relevant emergency situations, with clear emergency procedures?

 

 

Is the plan accessible to all workers?

 

 

Are workers, managers and supervisors instructed and trained in the procedures?

 

 

Has someone with appropriate skills been made responsible for specific actions in an emergency (e.g. appointment of an area warden)?

 

 

Is someone responsible for ensuring workers and others in the workplace are accounted for in the event of an evacuation?

 

 

Are emergency contact details relevant to the types of possible threats (e.g. fire, police, poison information centre) displayed at the workplace in an easily accessible location?

 

 

Are contact details updated regularly?

 

 

Is there a mechanism, such as a siren or bell alarm, for alerting everyone in the workplace of an emergency?

 

 

Is there a documented site plan that illustrates the location of fire protection equipment, emergency exits and assembly points?

 

 

If there is a site plan and is it displayed in key locations throughout the workplace?

 

 

Are procedures in place for assisting mobility-impaired people?

 

 

Does the workplace have first aid facilities and emergency equipment to deal with the types of emergencies that may arise?

 

 

Is the fire protection equipment suitable for the types of risks at the workplace (e.g. foam or dry powder type extinguishers for fires that involve flammable liquids)?

 

 

Is equipment easily accessible in an emergency?

 

 

Are workers trained to use emergency equipment (e.g. fire extinguishers, chemical spill kits, breathing apparatus, lifelines)?

 

 

Have you considered neighbouring businesses and how you will let them know about an emergency situation should one arise?

 

 

Have you considered the risks from neighbouring businesses (e.g. fire from restaurant/takeaway food outlets, Q fever from cattle yards)?

 

 

Are emergency practice runs (e.g. evacuation drills) regularly undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the emergency plan?

 

 

Is someone responsible for reviewing the emergency plan and informing staff of any revisions?

 

 


Temporary workplace - Gardening

Assessment of facilities needed

Facilities plan

Nature of work being carried out

·         Garden maintenance. Workers gather tools from depot at the start of the shift, and work outdoors in pairs most of the day, returning to the depot at the end of the day

Size and location of the place of work

·         Depot located in township - gardens within 8 km of depot

Composition of the workforce

·         Ten men and three women.

Type of workplace

·         Depot is a permanent building, garden maintenance done at temporary sites

Need for maintenance

·         Cleaning

·         Replenishing consumable items

 

Toilets

·         Separate male and female toilets available at the depot. Workers can use public toilets in gardens.

Shelter sheds

·         Some of the gardens have public shelter accessible to workers. Can also seek temporary shelter in vehicle or return to depot.

Seating

·         Sit/stand chair provided in potting room, and comfortable seating in lunchroom. Most other tasks done when standing or kneeling.

Dining rooms

·         Workers have the option of returning to base for lunch where a lunchroom is provided, or taking lunch on site. Vehicles equipped with folding stools if latter is chosen.

Change room

·         Separate male and female change rooms provided at the depot.

Drinking water

·         Cool drinking water provided at depot, plus refrigerator for other types of drinks.

·         Workers take insulated individual flasks when off site.

Lockers

·         Lockable locker provided for each worker, located in change room.

Washing facilities

·         Hand basins located adjacent to male and female toilets; workers can use garden taps and paper towels if off site.

·         One shower located adjacent to change rooms with room to change clothes and lockable door.


Permanent workplace - Office

Assessment of facilities needed

Facilities plan

Nature of work being carried out

·         Workers undertaking general office work

Size and location of the place of work

·         Three-storey building located in the central business district. All floors in use.

Composition of the workforce

·         50 females and 20 males

·         Some staff have disabilities

Type of workplace

·         Permanent building

Need for maintenance

·         Cleaning

·         Replenishing consumable items

Toilets

·         Toilet block located on the 2nd floor

·         Lift provides access for disabled

·         Male: one toilet and urinal provided

·         Female: four toilets provided

·         Facilities for workers with disabilities - one unisex toilet provided.

Shelter sheds

·         Not applicable, as all work is indoors.

Seating

·         All workers provided with fully adjustable office chair.

·         Kitchen area provided with comfortable, non-adjustable dining chairs.

Dining rooms

·         Dining room on ground floor has tables and seating to accommodate up to 20 persons at any one time – it also has a kitchen.

·         2nd and 3rd floors have kitchenettes for boiling water and washing utensils.

Change room

·         Change rooms not required.

Drinking water

·         Drinking water and refrigerators provided in kitchen and kitchenettes

·         Cool water dispenser in ground floor kitchen.

Lockers

·         Each worker has a lockable drawer for personal belongings at their workstation, or a locker or cabinet to store valuables on the same level as their workstation.

Washing facilities

·         Hand basins located adjacent to male and female toilets.

·         Facilities for workers with disabilities - one hand basin provided.