Work Health and Safety Act 2011
The Clean and Gone is a commercial organization in the construction industry with a set of diversified services to its clients. This owes to the reality that the organization offers services such as asbestos removal, commercial demolition, strip outs, grinding, and polishing services. It follows that the organization hires qualified construction practitioners because the organization requires such a staff for its daily activities. It is notable that a mission of providing excellent customer service and reliability guides the organization, which is located in Melbourne Australia. It is also vital that organization has no known owners on its website, but provides names of leaders within the organization. Specifically, the organization is led by Brett Bennet (the managing director), Peter Moore (Floor Works Manager) Mathew McDonald (an estimator), Tony Dutton (Class A Asbestos manager), and Mathew Little (the operations manager). The organization also relies on semiskilled and manual laborers to complete duties on the ground.
Evidence from the Safework Australia (2015b) reveals that sixty-nine percent of fatal injuries in the construction industry was recorded in the construction subdivision industry. The same author further highlights that nineteen percent of the fatalities were recorded in the heavy and civil engineering sector while twelve percent of the injuries were recorded in the building and construction industry. It is notable that Safework Australia provides a code of practice with directives to both employers and employees in the construction industry. For instance, the organization provides guidelines on Asbestos removal, demolition, noise management, and welding processes. This work audit intends to inspect workplace safety at Clear and Gone by examining whether organizational practices in the organization meet national regulations. Considering that the organization removes Asbestos, which is hazardous, a large section of the paper will focus on Asbestos removal at Clean and Gone. Critical to the discussion is the fact that Clean and Gone adheres to the Work Health and Safety Laws.
The construction industry mainly comprises eighty-eight percent of male workers and twelve percent of female workers. As of 2013, twenty-five percent of male workers were self-employed while seventy-five percent worked in organizations. Analogously, seventeen percent of female workers were self-employed while eighty-three percent worked in organizations. Critical to the discussion is the reality that all territories and states recorded an increase in the number of workers between 2003 and 2013. Additionally, the increase in the number of workers was recorded across all age groups. As evidenced, figure 1 below depicts a table that was retrieved from Safework Australia (2015b). From the figure, a highest percentage of increase was recorded in sixty-five and above year’s age group while the lowest increase was recorded in the 45-54 years age group. Evidently, the increase in the number of employees indicates that the construction industry should be monitored closely to protect the growing number of employees on the industry.
Figure 1: Retrieved from Safework Australia (2015b)
It is vital that four hundred and one workers in the construction industry died between 2003 and 2013 because of injuries they sustained while working. Simply put, at least thirty-six workers died every year, which represents fifteen percent of all worker fatalities in Australia (Safework Australia, 2015b). Critical to the debate is the reality that seventy-seven percent of the fatalities in the industry-involved employees while thirty-three percent of the fatalities involved self-employed workers. The difference in fatalities between self-employed workers and employees results from the fact that self-employed people work in the services sector. It is important that the highest rate of fatalities were recorded in the25-34 years age group and 35-44 years age group. Figure 2 below summarizes fatalities in the construction industry by age. The highest fatalities recorded (twenty-eight percent) were caused by falling from heights.
Figure 2: Retrieved from Safework Australia (2015b)
It is crucial to note that fatalities recorded in the construction industry were slightly above fatalities recorded in other industries. This indicates that special attention should be dedicated to the construction industry in order to protect Aussie citizens who work in the sector. However, it is notable that the statistics provided does not cover recent years including 2014 and 2015. As a result, it may be difficult to identify whether corrective measures were put in place. Further, it is difficult to deduce whether the last two years could have an effect on the trend present in the industry. It should also be noted that statistics provided by Safeworld Australia begins from 2003 and ends in 2013. As a result, the data is outdated because it begins almost sixteen years ago. Simply put, insightful inferences would be made if the data covered last five years. However, the data used must have been census data, which explains why the statistics used covered ten years.
As mentioned earlier, Clean and Gone’s website does not provide its owners on the organization website. However, it could be deduced that Daniel Mitchell is an owner of the organization because he is a director in the organization. Further, the organization is located in Melbourne Australia and faces little competition. This owes to the reality that the organization was began as the only one of its kind and expanded gradually to its current size. This indicates that similar companies (if they exist) come second to Clean and Gone because they are imitating the organization. It is also notable that Clean and Gone has a formal human resource department, because Carla Gallo is human resource manager at the organization. It also has a health and safety department because it has an employee in charge of the organization’s health and safety. Ultimately, the organization is not unionized implying employees at the organization are either satisfied with the organization, or are at the mercy of Clean and Gone.
Clean and Gone relies on skills from both casual and skilled employees. It follows that the organization relies on both full time and casual employees because full-time employees handle daily activities in the organization while causal employees handle responsibilities that may not be available every day. It is notable that the organization majorly deals with corporate clients because of the nature of services provided by the organization. However, there are instances when the organization deals with individual clients with residential homes. Considering the type of services provided by the organization, work completed by the organization is slow. This owes to the reality that the organization uses heavy machinery that could cause fatal injuries when hurried. Further, the organization offers support to its employees by providing them with the machinery to handle their daily activities. For instance, the organization provides its employees with protective clothing and training, which in turn ensures that their employees complete their duties with minimal risks.
Owners at Clean and Gone have the primary duty of care at the work place. This owes to the fact that section 20 of the WHS Act 2011 indicates that a person conducting a business or undertakings (PCBU) must ensure that the workplace is without risks. The same Act (section 19) further reveals that a PCBU must provide a safe working environment and training for all employees. Critical to the discussion is the fact that employees at clean and gone must conduct due diligence on their employer and maintain their safety and safety of their workmates (WHS Act 2011, section 28). Therefore, both the employer and employees at Clean and Gone have a duty of care at the work place. It is important that employees at Clean and Gone experience hazards such as exposure to accidents, asbestos, silicon dust, and loud noise. However, the organization has a good compliance with national regulations in all the hazards.
Compliance and Consultative Arrangements
The Australian government provides guidelines and an Occupational Health System that could be used to identify hazards, assess risks, and provide control measures (Australian Capital Territory, 2011).This owes to the fact that WHS Reg. 435indicates that Asbestos removers must frequently visit medical practitioners for checkups. Additionally, WHS Reg. 35 reveals that an organization should identify all hazards after consulting work place managers (Australian Capital Territory, 2016), which is done at Clean and Gone. It is also notable that organizations that perform risky tasks must have an emergency plan in place, which is present at clean and Gone (Safe Work Australia2013 WHS Reg. 43).The same regulation also directs employers to provide protective clothing to employees that require such clothing. Critical to the discussion is the fact that employees at Clean and Gone have access to essential protective clothing.
The Health and Safety Rep regularly inspects health and safety measures at Clean and Gone as directed in WHS Act s.68. Further, WHS Act s. 41 directs that asbestos assessors should always examine projects that remove asbestos upon project completion. Critical to the discussion is the fact that Clean and Gone always ensures that an independent asbestos assessor examines all projects completed by the organization. Further, the Building Act S. 10 reveals that and independent building surveyor must examine buildings before and after demolition (Safe Work Australia, 2015a). Vital to the debate is the reality that Clean and Gone always consult with building surveyors on all their demolition projects.
Noise from the noisy machines is a hazard and the associated work activity is operating the noisy machine when demolishing buildings, polishing floors, and grinding. The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 56 + Prevention of Noise Code of Practice, regulates legal exposure to Noise. Another hazard facing Clean and Gone is Asbestos floating in the air, which is associated with removing asbestos in the project sites. The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 458Asbestos Removal Code of Practice, regulates legal exposure to asbestos. Workers at Clean and Gone are exposed to accidents when demolishing buildings. The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 142 Demolition Work Code of Practice, regulates legal exposure to accidents when demolishing buildings. Ultimately, employees at the organization are also exposed to silicon dust when grinding and polishing floors. The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 300Construction Work Code of Practice, regulates legal exposure to silicon.
Employees at Clean and Gone are likely to suffer from cancer, because of long-term exposure to silicon dust and asbestos. Critical to the discussion is the fact that the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 458Asbestos Removal Code of Practice and the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 132Construction Work Code of Practice regulate exposure to silicon dust and asbestos (Queensland, 2015). Additionally, they are likely to acquire injuries at the work place due to accidents. The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 142 Demolition Work Code of Practice, regulates legal exposure to accidents when demolishing buildings. Ultimately, workers at Clean and Gone are likely to suffer from a noise induced hearing loss, which is regulated by the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation, 2011 s. 56 + Prevention of Noise Code of Practice.
Legislative control Measures
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – REG 458, controls risks associated with asbestos removal. The regulation requires that licensed asbestos removers complete asbestos removal work. Similarly, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – REG 142, controls risks associated with demolition work. The regulation requires that demolition work be done after a permit is awarded to the demolishing organization. It is also notable that the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – REG 300controls risks associated with accidents at the work place (Government of Australia, 2012).This owes that the regulations direct organizations dealing with construction work to put in place arrangements for ensuring that high-risk construction work is carried out in accordance with the SWMS framework for the work. Ultimately, Work Health and Safety Regulation 56 and 57 (Safe Work Australia, 2012) requires that Clean and Gone Manages the amount produced at a project site to less than 85 decibels.
Australian Capital Territory. (2016). Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Retrieved from
Government of Western Australia. (2011). Building Act 2011. Retrieved from
Queensland. (2015). Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Retrieved from
Safe Work Australia. (2015). Demolition WorkCode of Practice. Retrieved from
Safe Work Australia. (2015). Work-Related Injuries and Fatalities in Construction, Australia,
2003 to 2013. Retrieved fromhttp://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/926/fatalities-in-construction.pdf
Safe Work Australia. (2013). Construction Work Code of Practice. Retrieved from
Safe Work Australia. (2012). Guide to the Model Work Health and Safety Act. Retrieved from
Table 1: Duties
|Person with duties||Legislative sections||Evidence of compliance / Non-compliance|
|Clean and Gone (PCBU)||WHS Act. S. 20||Good: Fittings without risks|
|Clean and Gone (PCBU)||WHS Act. S. 19||Good: Provision of an adequate environment|
|Employees at Clean and Gone||WHS Act. S. 28||Good: Take care of other employees|
|Clean and Gone (PCBU)||WHS Act. S. 22||Good: Workplace with minimal risks|
|Employees at Clean and Gone||WHS Act. S. 28||Good: Officers conduct due diligence|
Table 2: System of Risk Management
|WHS Regulation||Criteria Set||Finding|
|WHS Reg. 435||Health monitoring by a registered medical practitioner||Clean and Gone adheres to this requirement|
|WHS Reg. 35||Identify all hazards in consultation with workplace managers (officers) and workers||The organization identifies risks present in the work place and minimizes the risks|
|WHS Reg. 43||Prepare maintain an emergency plan||The organization has emergency plans both in the field and in the office.|
|WHS Reg. 43||Provision of protective equipment||The organization provides protective equipment to its employees|
Table 3: Consultation
|Consultative role / body||Legislative sections||Evidence meeting consultative Provisions|
|Health and Safety Rep (HSR) – carrying out functions||WHS Act s.68||HSR regularly undertakes Inspections|
|Independent licensed asbestos assessor||WHS Act. s. 41||Asbestos assessors always examined their projects after completion|
|Building Surveyors||Building Act S. 10||The organization seeks permits from building surveyors before demolishing.|
Table 4: Hazard Identification Register
|Identify the task or activity||What is a hazard associated with the task or activity||Legislative section relevant to Hazard||Hazard Ref. No.|
|Asbestos removal||Exposure to Asbestos||Regulation 458- Asbestos removal||H1|
|Demolition Work||Exposure to accidents.||Regulation 142-Demolition work||H2|
|Grinding, strip outs and Polishing Floors||Exposure to silicon dust||Regulation 300-Construction work||H3|
|Working near heavy machinery||Exposure to loud noise||Reg. S.56; Prevention of Noise Cop||H4|
Table 5: Risk Identification Register
|Hazard Ref. No.||Risk Factors||Outcome of Exposure||Who may be affected||Who is responsible||Risk Ref. No.|
|H1||Inhaling asbestos||Increased risk of cancer||Asbestos removers||PCBU||R1|
|H2||Unplanned demolitions||Physical Injury||Casual workers||PCBU||R2|
|H3||Inhaling Silicon dust||Increased risk of cancer||Casual workers||PCBU||R3|
|H6||Uncontrolled noise||Noise-induced hearing loss||Workers working close enough to be affected||PCBU||4R5|
Table 6: Risk Assessment
|Risk Ref. No.||Estimated Likelihood||Estimated Consequences||Risk rating|
|R1||Likely||Major injury||Very high|
|R2||Likely||Major injury||Very high|
|R3||Likely||Major injury||Very high|
|R4||Likely||Major Injury||Very High|
Table 7: Controlling Risk – Legislative requirements
|Risk Ref. No.||Legislative Requirements|
|R1||A person conducting a business or undertaking that commissions the removal of asbestos must ensure that the asbestos removal work is carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist who is licensed to carry out the work. (Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – REG 458)|
|R2||A person conducting a business or undertaking who proposes to carry out the following demolition work must give written notice to the regulator at least 5 days before any of the following work commences (Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – REG 142)|
|R3||A person conducting a business or undertaking that includes the carrying out of high risk construction work must put in place arrangements for ensuring that high risk construction work is carried out in accordance with the SWMS for the work (Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – REG 300)|
|R4||WH&S Regulation 56 & 57 require the PCBU to manage noise in the workplace and to ensure that a daily noise dose of 85 decibels is not exceeded and the Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work Code of practice provides information and advice on how to reduce noise in the workplace.|