Archives For WHS Act 2011

Here’s a short presentation  I gave on the ramifications of the Australian model WHS Act (2011) for engineers when they engage in, or oversee design. The act is a complex beast, and the ramifications of it have not yet fully sunk into the engineering community.

One particularly contentious area is the application of the act to plant and materials that are imported. While the guidance material for the act gives the example of a supplier performing additional testing of the goods to demonstrate it meets Australian Standards, the reality is well, a little different.

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A very late draft

I originally gave a presentation at the 2015 ASSC Conference, but never got around to finishing the companion paper. Not my most stellar title either. The paper is basically how to leverage off the very close similarities between the objectives of the WHS Act (2011) and those of MIL-STD882C, yes that standard. You might almost think the drafters of the legislation had a system safety specialist advising them… Recently I’ve had the necessity to apply this approach on another project (a ground system this time) so I took the opportunity to update the draft paper as an aide memoire, and here it is!

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SFAIRP

The current Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation of Australia formalises the common law principle of reasonable practicability in regard to the elimination or minimisation of risks associated with industrial hazards. Having had the advantage of going through this with a couple of clients the above flowchart is my interpretation of what reasonable practicability looks like as a process, annotated with cross references to the legislation and guidance material. What’s most interesting is that the process is determinedly not about tolerance of risk but instead firmly focused on what can reasonably and practicably be done. Continue Reading…