OHS records should be kept and included in your organisation's record management system.
The following OHS records must be retained for five years in line with business record keeping practices except where noted.
Identify what records your organisation has kept in the past. Are there any gaps?
- OHS and Injury Management policies and procedures. It is important to archive old policies and procedures and not simply update the records. In a legal situation, you may be required to demonstrate your policies and procedures at the time an accident occurred.
- Training, formal qualification licences and certificates should be kept for the term of the employment of the staff member plus five years. Staff should also be encouraged to keep their own training records for their reference.
- Return-to-work files should be kept for the term of the employment of the staff member plus five years. Remember, that workers compensation files can be re-opened if the worker has an aggravation, deterioration or an exacerbation of a previous injury.
- Hazard report forms. It is important that these records have details as to how the hazards were remedied and when. These records provide important evidence that managers are addressing OHS issues in the workplace.
- Incident/injury reports. These reports provide evidence for any workers compensation or public liability claim. They also demonstrate that the employer is seeking to address OHS issues to prevent accidents from occurring.
- Workplace inspections, internal/external audits and meeting records. These records also demonstrate that the employer is taking an active approach to addressing OHS issues.
- Hazardous substances register. These records provide valuable information as to what workers may have been exposed to in the workplace. OHS Regulation 2001, Chapter 6, specifies the form this register must take.
- Subcontractor statements and agreements. These records identify the responsibility of contractors for maintaining safety in the workplace and provide important insurance information.
- Building maintenance plans and records. These records demonstrate that employers have actively addressed building issues which potentially are OHS issues.
- Electrical testing records. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that a record is made and kept of all inspections and tests made and maintenance carried out on electrical articles and electrical installations. OHS Regulation 2001, Chapter 4, details the requirements.
- Plant and equipment maintenance records should be kept for the life of the plant and equipment plus five years. They should include any tests, maintenance, inspections, commissioning or alteration of plant relevant to controlling risks arising from the plant. OHS Regulation 2001, Chapter 5, specifies the form these records must take.
Many organisations have limited records relating to their building, plant and equipment maintenance, though it is evident that these things have been done! Work with your maintenance staff to
develop practical methods of obtaining this information. Staff must understand the rationale for keeping records to be committed to the process.
Review the templates for examples of simple formats that can be adapted to your use. Remember, the aim is to demonstrate a planned maintenance strategy, not simply a reactive approach.
- Risk Assessment Tool for Aged Care
- Agency Nursing Personnel Orientation Checklist
- Aggression Incident Report
- Bus Checklist
- Clothes Dryer Maintenance & Calibration
- Contractor Agreement
- Incident / Injury Report
- Induction Checklist
- Purchase Request form
- Safe Work Procedure
- Sample Hazard Report Form
- Washing Machine Maintenance & Calibration
- Workplace Inspection Checklist
- Workplace Substances Survey form