WH&S Compliance

Confused how the Harmonized WH&S laws affect you and your workplace? Well don’t worry, the Mayo Hardware team can assist you to understand their impact upon isolating energy sources in the workplace.

What Does It Mean For Me?

Any person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has an obligation to eliminate or minimise risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

What Does Reasonably Practicable Mean?

What is, or was, at a particular time reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety. Take into account relevant matters, including:

  • the likelihood of the risk occurring.
  • the degree of harm that might result.
  • what should reasonably be known about the risk and measures to control the risk.
  • the availability and suitability of measures to eliminate or minimise the risk.
  • the costs of measures to manage the risk including whether costs are grossly disproportionate to the risk.

When do these new laws come into effect?

The Harmonized WHS laws are currently effective in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia,Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

Victoria and Western Australia are yet to announce introduction dates.

What is a Code of Practice?

To support the WH&S laws, Safe Work Australia released a series of Codes of Practice. Codes of Practice are practical guides to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and the WHS Regulations in a jurisdiction.

 Code of Practice: Managing Electrical Risks at the Workplace

  • “The person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that electrical equipment that has been de-energised to allow electrical work to be carried out on it is not inadvertently re-energised while the work is being carried out.”
  • “Only devices with an in-built lock or that have one or more padlocks fitted are suitable lockout devices.”


Code of Practice: Confined Spaces

  • “You must ensure all potentially hazardous services are isolated prior to any person entering the confined space.
  • “When a lock is used, the key should be kept in the possession of the person placing the lock”


 Code of Practice: Managing Risks of Plant in the Workplace

  • “In order to isolate plant you should use a device that effectively locks out the isolation points. These devices include switches with built-in locks and lock-out circuit breakers, fuses and valves. Other devices include chains, safety lock-out jaws (also known as hasps) and safety padlocks.”
  • “When isolating an energy source you should use a lock that allows one or more padlocks to be fitted. “
  • “Another way to allow multiple locks to be used is to have one padlock on the isolation point,with the keys locked in a box that has been locked separately by each worker. Each worker involved in the maintenance, cleaning or repair of the plant should have a lock, tag and key for each isolation point. There should be no duplicate key for any lock”
  • “Tags should only be used as a means of providing information to others at the workplace. A tag should not be used on its own as an isolation device; only a lock is effective at isolating the energy source.”