In Brief: Keeping a record of the risk management process can assist an employer in demonstrating the steps it has taken to comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation). 

Recording the risk management process for psychosocial hazards

Once a psychosocial hazard has been identified, and an employer has undertaken steps to assess the level of risk and consider reasonably practicable control measures, an employer should take steps to record the risk management process. 

The purpose of recording the risk management process, as outlined on page 34 of the Managing the Risk of Psychosocial Hazards at Work Code of Practice (Code of Practice), is to:

  1. demonstrate what steps have been taken to comply with the WHS Act and WHS Regulation;

  2. ​assist in reviewing control measures in subsequent risk management activities.

​The Code of Practice identifies useful information to keep, including:

  1. identified hazards and assessed risks;

  2. chosen control measures and how decisions about those control measures were made; 

  3. how and when the control measures were implemented, monitored or reviewed;

  4. who was consulted (e.g. workers, concurrent duty holders, health and safety representatives);

  5. relevant training records. 

A Workplace Health and Safety Inspector may ask to see a copy of any records relating to the risk management processes if they visit a workplace.

Risk register 

At appendix 6 of the Code of Practice, an example of a risk register is provided. The risk register records:

  1. the date of issue raised;

  2. the hazard;

  3. the information/reporting source;

  4. harm consequences and harm likelihood;

  5. the level of risk;

  6. what controls are currently in place;

  7. how adequate the current controls are;

  8. what further controls are required;

  9. details of who actioned the risk;

  10. details of how the risk will be monitored and reviewed;

  11. a review date. 

If you have any questions about what you might reasonably be doing to control hazards in your workplace, please contact us. 

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2024.

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