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How to Demonstrate SFARP

In this lesson, I will teach you how to demonstrate SFARP. The proper phrase, from the Australian WHS Act, is ‘how to eliminate or minimize risks so far as is reasonably practicable’. (The Act never uses the acronym SFARP or SFAIRP, but everyone else does.)

Learning Objectives | Topics | Transcript

Demo of How to Demonstrate SFARP.

This will build upon the post So Far As is Reasonably Practicable, where I shared the guidance from Safe Work Australia.

Learning Objectives: How to Demonstrate SFARP

You will be able to:

  • Understand the SFARP concept;
  • Understand the various SFARP techniques;
  • Apply those techniques, in the correct order, in practice.
  • These will allow you to perform most* SFARP demonstrations, confident that you know what you can and can’t do.

*A fully quantitative Cost-Benefit Analysis also requires you to understand and apply the concept of risk tolerability, which is another lesson.

Topics: How to Demonstrate SFARP

  • Introduction – Reasonably Practicable;
  • How to SFARP with:
    • Codes, Standards & Regulations; and
    • Controls, or groups of controls.
  • Some practical hints on good practice;
  • Examples; and
  • Source information.

Transcript: How to Demonstrate SFARP

Welcome to the safety artisan, I’m Simon and in this session, I’m going to be talking about SFARP – so far as is reasonably practicable.

This is a very misunderstood topic, but we’re going to be explaining how to demonstrate that risks have been eliminated or minimized so far as is reasonably practicable in accordance with Australian work, health, and safety law.


 So, we’re going to be talking about how to demonstrate SFARP, in accordance with Australian WHS. The observant among you will notice that I don’t have an Aussie accent.  I wasn’t born here, but I have worked in Australia on safety According to WHS for 10 years.  So I have learned how to do it, and I think importantly, I’ve learned the differences from the way it’s done in the UK.

Because SFARP or ALARP is done in the UK.  Although the legislation is different incidentally have a look at the lesson on Australian WHS for that. But that’s for another session.

Learning Objectives

So our learning objectives for this session at the end of this session, you should understand the SFARP concept and what it’s all about. You should understand the various techniques that are available to you and most importantly of all, you will be able to apply these techniques in the correct order because that’s important in the real world in practice. So those are the three general learning objectives.

Having learned these things, you will be able to perform most SFARP demonstrations confident that you know what you can do and what you can’t do. Perhaps more importantly, also what you should and shouldn’t do.

I say most SFARP demonstrations because to do a fully quantitative cost-benefit analysis, you will also need to understand the concept of risk tolerability and that’s another lesson.  I will go through that in a practical example, but I’m not going to explain risk tolerability today.

Australian WHS

I’m going to go through what ‘reasonably practicable’ means in Australian WHS because that’s the key to the whole thing.  Then we’re going to look at our various options for determining whether the risk is SFARP or not.

First, we’re going to look at codes of practice, standards, and regulations. In the second part, we’re going to look at how we assess controls or groups of controls to see whether we’ve done enough.

 All the way through, I’m going to be giving you some practical hints and tips on good practice to use and bad practice to avoid – as part of that will cover some examples.  I’ve got one particular example at the end, which you’ll see.  Finally, some brief notes on source information and where you can get more information.

 So that’s what we’re going to cover.


Australian WHS legislation requires us, as I think I’ve said before, to eliminate or minimize risks so far as is reasonably practicable.  That’s the origin of the acronym SFARP (you might see it written as SFAIRP), and the core concept of that is reasonably practicable.  And this concept is in the WHS Act, it’s in the Regulations and it’s in the Codes of Practice.

[That’s the first 4 mins 30 secs.]

How to Demonstrate SFARP: Any Questions?

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