Issued By: <Insert Council Name>

Issued By: <Insert Council Name>

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Issued by: <insert Council name>

Version 4

Centroc WHS Induction Program – updated February 2016Page 1 of 50

The Local Government Work Health & Safety (WHS) Induction Program has been designed to provide council, contractors, workers and volunteers with an understanding of the WHS hazards associated with the business of Local Government.

NB This program should fulfil the general induction requirements in conjunction with, but does not replace,General Induction for Construction Workers (white card).

This package is recognised as the Centroc Local Government Induction.

Please Note: Workers involved in construction site activities must have a General Induction for Construction Workers (White Card).

This handbook was originally purchased from the Hunter Regional Organisation of Councils (Hunter Councils) and amended to suit the Central Regional Organisation of Councils (Centroc). Centroc acknowledges Hunter Council’s initiative and the initial work involved in the development of the Local Government Work Health and Safety Handbook.

The following Councils were involved in the development of these resources:

Bathurst Regional Council
Blayney Shire Council
Boorowa Council
Cabonne Council
Central Tablelands County Council
Cowra Shire Council
Forbes Shire Council
Harden Shire Council
Lachlan Shire Council / Lithgow City Council
Mid-Western Regional Council
Oberon Council
Orange City Council
Parkes Shire Council
Upper Lachlan Council
Weddin Shire Council
Wellington Council
Young Shire Council

All council, labour hire, volunteer, contractor, workers and work experience students will be recognised by the above local government organisations in the Central West region following the issue of the Local Government Work Health & Safety Induction Card.

The objectives of the program are:

  • to address important requirements of the NSW Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (hereafter referred to as “the Act”) and its associated Regulation (hereafter referred to as “the Regulation”);
  • to promote a safe work environment for workers which are adapted to their psychological and physiological needs;
  • to ensure other persons not employed by council are not exposed to risks to their health or safety while they are at a council worksite;
  • to draw attention to appropriate resources such as the Act, WHS Regulation, relevant policies, Codes of Practice and Australian Standards;
  • to allow for labour hire and contract workers to move more freely in the region and into participating Councils, to undertake various types of work;
  • to act as a foundation for Council inductions to Local Government within the region.

It is the aim of the participating member Councils that all workers, volunteers and contractors accept these guidelines willingly and with enthusiasm as an essential aid to their own safety and for the safety of all other persons.

If another Contractor worker or Council worker acts in an unsafe manner, you should discuss this with them. If they persist and their action endangers you or other persons, immediately notify your Supervisor.

Adopted / Version / Review Dates
3 / 19/08/2003

Centroc WHS Induction Program – updated February 2016Page 1 of 50

Table of Contents

Health & Safety Overview

Policies and Procedures

WHS Responsibilities

Legal Obligations


Duty to Consult

Consultation at the Workplace

Health & Safety Committees

Risk Management

Step 1 - Identification

Step 2 – Risk Assessment of the Hazard

Step 3 – Control/Eliminate the Risk (Hazard)

Step 4 – Monitor and Review

Supporting Documentation

Health and Safety Information

Safe Statements/Procedures

Approved Industry Codes of Practice

Australian Standards (AS) /International Standards Organisation (ISO)


Incident Reporting to SafeWork NSW

Incident Investigation Procedure

Injury Management

Return to Work/Workers Compensation

First Aid/Medical Treatment

Notification of Injury

Manual Tasks

Body Stressing / Manual Handling

Correct Lifting Techniques


Work Environment and Facilities

In the Office

Rest Breaks & Exercise


Emergency Evacuation

Long Hair

Body Jewellery

Drugs and Alcohol

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Protective Clothing

Hearing Protection

Sun & Heat Protection

Safety Footwear


Safety Helmets

Eye Protection

Workplace Substances

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Hazardous Substances

Labelling – include in definitions

Hazardous Substance Disposal

Hazardous Materials Spills

Dangerous Goods

Workplace Behaviour

Bullying & Harassment

Dealing with Aggressive Behaviour

Recognising the signs

Verbal threats

Physical violence

Plant & Equipment

Operating Equipment

Mobile Equipment


Plant Inspections

Speed Limits

Machine Guards

Council Vehicles

Tags & Signs

Warning and Danger Signs

Defective Machinery and Tools: Danger and Out-of-Service Tags

Fire Protection Equipment

Management Plans

Traffic Control Plans (TCP)

Vehicle Movement Plan (VMP)

Site Safety Management Plans

Environmental Management Plans

Work Activities

Working Late/Alone

Confined Spaces

Compressed Air

Trenching and Evacuations


Suspended Loads

Managing the Risk from Falls


Working over Water

Electrical Equipment

Infection Control


Blood and Body Fluid Spills

Personal Exposure to Blood and Body Fluids

Infection Control

Hand washing


First Aid - Sharps



Centroc WHS Induction Program – updated February 2016Page 1 of 50

Health & Safety Overview

Safety is the responsibility of each and every one of us. It is not the sole responsibility of Council, the Supervisor, the WHS Coordinator or responsible officer and any one section alone. The combined effort of everyone prevents incidents.

As a worker, it is your responsibility to ensure your safety and the safety of others while at work.

Under The Act, Council expects that every worker and contractor complies with the safety policies,procedures and reasonable instructions willingly and with enthusiasm as an essential aid to their own safety and for the safety of fellow workers.

The following safety breaches will be regarded as serious misconduct and may result in the application of disciplinary action from the relevant Council in which the worker or contract worker is working:

  • Failure to comply with Council’s policies, procedures and instructions,
  • Smoking or use of naked flames in prohibited areas,
  • Fighting or attempting bodily injury to another person,
  • Wilful neglect in the care and use of the property of the Council in which you are working and consumption/possession/being under the effects of drugs or alcohol

Your co-operation in accident prevention is required by law. Only with this involvement, from you and all other workers and contract workers, can we hope to prevent accidents.

Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures differ from Council to Council. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the policies and procedures of the Council you are undertaking work for.

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WHS Responsibilities

Legal Obligations

Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

Under The Act, the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU - the new term that includes employers) has a primary duty of care to ensure workers and others are not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.

A primary duty of care is owed by a PCBU when it:

  • directs or influences work carried out by a worker
  • engages or causes to engage a worker to carry out work (including through subcontracting)
  • has management or control of a workplace.

The PCBU must meet its obligations, so far as is reasonably practicable, to provide a safe and healthy workplace for workers or other persons by ensuring:

  • safe systems of work
  • a safe work environment
  • accommodation for workers, if provided, is appropriate
  • safe use of plant, structures and substances
  • facilities for the welfare of workers are adequate
  • notification and recording of workplace incidents
  • adequate information, training, instruction and supervision is given
  • compliance with the requirements under the work health and safety regulation
  • effective systems are in place for monitoring the health of workers and workplace conditions.

PCBUs must also have meaningful and open consultation about work health and safety with its workers, health and safety representatives and health and safety committees.

PCBU must consult, cooperate and coordinate with other PCBUs with whom they share duties.

Officer Responsibility

An Officer is a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business or undertaking of a public authority is taken to be an officer of the public authority for the purposes of this Act.

It is the general responsibility of Officers to promote and maintain the Work Health and Safety of Council’s workers. Consult the relevant Council to identify who are responsible Officers.


The definition of a ‘worker’ includes any person who carries out work for a PCBU.
This term 'worker' includes any person who works as an:

  • employee
  • trainee
  • volunteer
  • outworker
  • apprentice
  • work experience student
  • contractor or sub-contractor
  • employees of a contractor or sub-contractor
  • employees of a labour hire company assigned to work for a PCBU
  • Councillors

Under The Act, while at work, a worker must:

  1. take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety, and
  2. take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons, and
  3. comply, so far as the worker is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the person conducting the business or undertaking to allow the person to comply with this Act, and
  4. co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the person conducting the business or undertaking relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.

(Part 2, Division 4, Section 28 of the WHS Act 2011).

Contractors and Volunteers (also classified as workers and possible PCBU)

All contractors, sub-contractors and volunteers engaged to perform on Council’s premises or locations are required, as part of their contract or service, to comply with the Work Health and Safety Bill, Regulations, Council policy, programs and procedures and to observe directions on health and safety from designated staff of the organisation. Failure to comply or observe directions will be considered a breach of the contract and may result in termination of the service.

Shared PCBU

Shared PCBUs must establish an effective system of management and agree on a compliant system of health and safety management be operated during the task or activity. An individual must be appointed as the main point of contact for the contributing PCBUs. The person best placed for this role is normally the Supervisor at the workplace.


Under The ActSection 31, breaches of WHS legislation may result in the following maximum penalties:

Type of offence / Maximum penalty for PCBU / Maximum penalty for individual as PCBU or officer of a PCBU / Maximum penalty for individual as worker or other
Category 1 / $3,000,000 / $600,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment (or both) / $300,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment or both
Category 2 / $1,500,000 / $300,000 / $150,000
Category 3 / $500,000 / $100,000 / $50,000

Category 1 - Reckless conduct

  1. A person commits a Category 1 offence if:
  2. the person has a health and safety duty, and
  3. the person, without reasonable excuse, engages in conduct that exposes an individual to whom that duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury or illness, and
  4. the person is reckless as to the risk to an individual of death or serious injury or illness.
  5. The prosecution bears the burden of proving that the conduct was engaged in without reasonable excuse.

Category 2 - Failure to comply with health and safety duty

A person commits a Category 2 offence if:

  1. the person has a health and safety duty, and
  2. the person fails to comply with that duty, and
  3. the failure exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness.

Category 3 - Failure to comply with health and safety duty

A person commits a Category 3 offence if:

  1. the person has a health and safety duty, and
  2. the person fails to comply with that duty.


  1. A volunteer does not commit an offence for a failure to comply with a health and safety duty, except a duty under Section 28 or 29 of the Act.
  2. An unincorporated association does not commit an offence under this Act, and is not liable for a civil penalty under this Act, for a failure to comply with a duty or obligation imposed on the unincorporated association under this Act.
  3. However:
  4. an officer of an unincorporated association (other than a volunteer) may be liable for a failure to comply with a duty under section 27, and
  5. a member of an unincorporated association may be liable for failure to comply with a duty under section 28 or 29.

(Part 2, Division 5, Sections 31, 32, 33, 34 of the WHS Act 2011).

Duty to Consult

It is Council’s duty to consult with its own workers, as well as labour hire and contractor workers to ensure that there is meaningful and effective consultation about matters that may affect the worker’s health, safety and welfare while at their place of work.

Duty to consult with other duty holders - Section 46

If more than one person has a duty in relation to the same matter under the Act, each person with the duty must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with all other persons who have a duty in relation to the same matter.

Duty to consult workers - Section 47

  1. The person conducting a business or undertaking must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, in accordance with the regulations, with workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a matter relating to work health or safety.
  2. If the person conducting the business or undertaking and the workers have agreed to procedures for consultation, the consultation must be in accordance with those procedures.
  3. The agreed procedures must be consistent with Code of Practice for Consultation in the Workplace.

Nature of consultation- Section 48

  1. Consultation requires:
  2. that relevant information about the matter is shared with workers, and
  3. that workers be given a reasonable opportunity:
  4. to express their views and to raise work health or safety issues in relation to the matter, and
  5. to contribute to the decision-making process relating to the matter, and
  6. that the views of workers are taken into account by the person conducting the business or undertaking, and
  7. that the workers consulted are advised of the outcome of the consultation in a timely manner.
  8. If the workers are represented by a health and safety representative, the consultation must involve that representative.

When consultation is required- Section 49

Consultation is required in relation to the following health and safety matters:

  1. when identifying hazards and assessing risks to health and safety arising from the work carried out or to be carried out by the business or undertaking,
  2. when making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks,
  3. when making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers,
  4. when proposing changes that may affect the health or safety of workers,
  5. when making decisions about the procedures for:
  1. consulting with workers, or
  2. resolving work health or safety issues at the workplace, or
  3. monitoring the health of workers, or
  4. monitoring the conditions at any workplace under the management or control of the person conducting the business or undertaking, or
  5. providing information and training for workers, or
  1. when carrying out any other activity prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.

Consultation at the Workplace

If you are in doubt regarding any policy, procedure, instruction or safe work practice, either on the job or contained within this Handbook you should discuss the matter with your Supervisor or refer to the relevant designated person in each Council. Every worker is responsible to ensure that these policies and procedures are properly observed and applied.

Health & Safety Committees- Section 75

The Work Health & Safety Committee is a representative group in the workplace who come together in a cooperative way to improve systems for managing health and safety. The Committee endeavours to facilitate this cooperation between the Council and identified workgroups for its workers in developing and implementing the means to protect the health and safety of all present on our work sites.

By drawing together management and worker representatives in a planned, structured and focused way to specifically address measures for controlling risks in the workplace, the WHS Committee provides an excellent mechanism for developing recommendations to continually improve the way WHS is managed in Council.

The functions of the health and safety committee are

  • to facilitate co-operation between the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU - the new term that includes employers) and workers in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure the health and safety of workers
  • to assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relative to health and safety
  • such other functions prescribed by the regulations or agreed between the PCBU (includes employers)and the committee

All workers, labour hire and contractor workers are encouraged to co-operate and communicate with any member of the Committee on its policies and to contribute any information, which will lead to a safer place of work and prevent accidents recurring.

NB. Some workplaces have HSRepresentatives or “Other Agreed Arrangements” as their means of consultation. All these forms are approved by the legislation. It is not important which method is used, but there must be a method of consultation in place at every workplace.

Procedure for the Resolution of WHS Issues

All organisations must have a procedure for the resolution of WHS issues.

An example may be the following, however refer to individual Council for specific Resolution of WHS issues.

Step 1 / Worker / Identification of Hazard- If possible worker makes the hazard safe, without risk of injury. If not possible, worker reports hazard to Supervisor
Step 2 / Supervisor / Supervisor investigates and, where possible, resolves issue. If unable to resolve to the satisfaction of those concerned
Step 3 / Director or Manager / The matter is raised with the Manager or Director for possible resolution
Step 4 / HS Committee Representative / Worker and/or Supervisor inform Committee representative and they carry out an appropriate investigation and consult with workers affected by issue. If not resolved
Step 5 / Further
Consultation / Manager responsible for that work area and Council’s WHS Coordinator or responsible officer are informed and involved in the investigation and discussions with all parties concerned. If not resolved
Step 6 / HS Committee / Special Committee meeting may be convened. Information from other councils, consultants and other relevant people may be collected for the purposes of resolving the issue. If not resolved.
Step 7 / General Manager / Advise your General Manager of the issue and discuss with him/her. Tell him/her if you intend to take up the matter with SafeWork NSW.
Step 8 / SafeWork NSW Inspector Resolved. / Any worker can notify SafeWork NSW for advice on resolving the matter, however the preferred Council’s process is to go through the WHSC Officer.
/ Advise Committee of resolution, record for future references and inform affected workers of the resolution. Supervisors are to provide the initiative and follow up action to maintain the agreed resolution within their own section.

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