Certificate IV OHS/WHS – How to Identify Workplace Hazards and Risks


When you enroll in the Certificate IV in OHS or WHS with LMIT, you’ll learn how to conduct a workplace hazards and risks assessment.

Process standards evolved in the 1980s and the ‘identify, assess, control’ requirements embedded in many current health and safety regulations are an obvious example of this form of standard. By the mid-1990s, there was a growing recognition of the need for greater internal control within organisations.

Workplace death, injury and disease began to be seen as the result of system failure within organisations and consequently, in an effort to regulate to achieve better internal control, process standards evolved into system-based standards and the now widespread expectation that organisations have a system for identifying and managing the risks they create and face as part of doing business.

The processes for IDENTIFYING HAZARDS AND ASSESSING OHS RISKS have now become central to how we now manage and regulate OHS in this country and throughout much of the world.

Underpinning OHS knowledge

Achieving this unit of competency requires underpinning knowledge of OHS legislation as it impacts on hazard identification* and risk assessment*. This required knowledge includes understanding the legal requirements regarding:

  • roles and responsibilities of employees, supervisors, contractors, designers, etc;
  • OHS information and consultation*; and
  • record-keeping.

Core OHS knowledge

This unit requires some core knowledge to enable you to apply the ‘science of safety’ to OHS risk management. This core knowledge addresses:

  • the difference between hazard* and risk*;
  • basic principles of incident causation and injury processes;
  • characteristics, mode of action and units of measurement for major hazard types; and
  • an understanding of the human body and the action of physical, biological and chemical agents on the body and how they produce discomfort or harm.

An approach that has assisted in applying a scientific approach to safety is the ‘energy damage’ concept. This concept enables us to conceptualise the complete process leading to injury or damage from physical and chemical hazards.

It requires some modification to use it to explain ergonomic hazards such as manual handling and problems associated with work posture, and it does not adequately explain psychosocial hazards. However, if the objective is to understand the nature of the hazard, then the discussion that the model generates is a vital tool in risk assessment and risk control.

As you work through the unit, you will develop your knowledge of workplace hazards. The hazard-specific codes of practice in each state are also good sources of information on hazards and the way they cause damage. Read More OHS Terms

LMIT delivers the Certificate IV in OHS and the Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Completely Online.  The Advanced Diploma in OHS is also available via RPL only.

Published by: LMIT

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