Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Work Health and Safety Policy

Establishment: Council, 27 August 2013
Last Amended: Council, 9 March and 25 May 2017
Nature of Amendment: Consequential to the repeal of statutes
Date Last Reviewed: May 2017
Responsible Officer: Director, People and Culture

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Legislative Framework
3. Health and Safety Governance and Management

3.1 University Council
3.2 Vice-Chancellor

4. Objectives
5. Definitions
6. Scope
7. Strategies
8. Responsibilities and Accountabilities

8.1 Officers
8.1.1 Overview
8.1.2 Vice-Chancellor
8.1.3 Senior Executives
8.2 Manager, Work Health and Safety
8.3 Managers and Supervisors
8.4 Workers and Students

9. University Health and Safety Committee
10. Faculty/Portfolio Health and Safety Committees
11. Health and Safety Representatives
12. Review
APPENDIX A: Work health and safety legislation
APPENDIX B: Health and Safety Governance and Management
APPENDIX C: Operational Management

 

1. Introduction

1.1. The University is committed to the proper management of work health and safety and injury management, which rank equally with all other operational considerations.

1.2. The University recognises its duty of care to all persons in its workplaces including staff, students, labour hire, contractors, their sub-contractors and their workers, volunteers and other visitors.

1.3. The University will provide a safe and healthy workplace through a planned and systematic approach to the management of work health and safety, which is integrated into the core business of the University, and the provision of resources for its successful implementation.

1.4. The University's Work Health and Safety management system is consistent with and supports the University's vision, values, and strategic goals, is appropriate to the University's services, activities and people and ensures a culture of continual improvement.

1.5. The planned and systematic approach of the Work Health and Safety management system includes injury management and claims management.

 

2. Legislative Framework

2.1  The University recognises its responsibilities under Work Health and Safety, Return to Work and Compensation and other relevant safety legislation in Australian jurisdictions. Appendix A sets out the relevant legislation.

 

3. Health and Safety Governance and Management

3.1 University Council

  • oversees and reviews the health and safety management and performance of the University;
  • approves the Work Health and Safety Plan and the Work Health and Safety Audit Plan; and
  • oversees and monitors systems of control and accountability and the assessment and management of work health and safety risk across the University.

3.2 Vice-Chancellor

3.2.1  The Vice-Chancellor has overall management responsibility for health and safety in the University including the implementation of an effective work health and safety risk management system.

The governance and management structure is shown in Appendices B and C.

 

4. Objectives

The objectives of this policy are to ensure that:

4.1. responsibilities and accountabilities of officers and workers are identified and complied with;

4.2. there is a planned and systematic risk management approach to identifying hazards, assessing the risk and eliminating or minimising the risk;

4.3. measures to control risks to health and safety are monitored and evaluated based on their risk rating;

4.4. there is a continuous improvement approach in University-wide Work Health and Safety planning, systems, procedures and injury management;

4.5. there is communication and consultation with staff, students, health and safety representatives, contractors and sub-contractors and their workers, labour hire employees, trainees, volunteers and other persons conducting a business or undertaking on work health and safety;

4.6. where appropriate, the University consults, cooperates and communicates with other persons conducting a business or undertaking to ensure a safe workplace for workers and students.

4.7. managers, supervisors, staff, students, health and safety representatives, contractors, their subcontractors and workers, labour hire employees, trainees, volunteers and visitors receive appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision that they need to understand and carry out safely their responsibilities;

4.8. internal and external expertise is utilized to improve workplace safety and injury management standards;

4.9. workers, prospective workers and others who perform legitimate safety-related functions or activities and/or raise health and safety issues or concerns under Work Health and Safety legislation can do so without fear of reprisal;

4.10. effective support and rehabilitation is provided to staff in the event of a work related injury; and

4.11. workers compensation claims are managed promptly, fairly and equitably.

 

5 Definitions

Officers Members of University Council, Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Executive Deans of Faculty, Division Directors, Faculty General Managers, Deans of School and staff appointed at Director level.
Senior Executives Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Executive Deans of Faculty.
Managers and Supervisors Academic and professional staff with responsibility for the management or supervision of workers, students or facilities.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) Work Health and Safety includes injury management (claims management, recovery and return to work.
WHS Programme A planned component of the University's business management system for health, safety, recovery, return to work and claims management.(ReturntoWorkSA definition)
WHS Management System That part of the overall management system which includes organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the WHS Policy, and so managing the risks associated with the business of the University. (Definition from Australian Standard AS 4801:2001)
Worker A person who carries out work in any capacity for the University including academic and professional staff, contractors and sub-contractors and their employees, labour hire company employees, trainees, persons gaining work experience and volunteers.
Student A person who has an active enrolment status in a course of study at the University in accordance with the University’s policies on enrolment.
Contractor A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) engaged under a contract for service to carry out work for the University, including all contractor workers and sub-contractors and their workers.
Workplace A place where work, study or research is carried out for the University and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while working, teaching, studying or undertaking research.
Controlled entity An entity that is controlled by the University, either directly or indirectly, in accordance with section 50AA of the Corporations Act 2001.
Reasonably practicable That which is reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety of workers and others, taking into account:
  • the likelihood of the hazard or risk occurring;
  • the degree of harm that might occur;
  • the knowledge of the hazard or risk and the ways of eliminating or minimising the risk;
  • the availability and suitability of controls to eliminate or minimise the risk; and
  • the cost associated with controls including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk

 

6 Scope

6.1  This policy applies to all workers and students at all Flinders University workplaces, including University controlled entities. This policy does not apply to off-shore based students who are outside Australian jurisdiction.

 

7 Strategies

The University will achieve its work health and safety objectives by developing and implementing a Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management System, the core elements of which include the following interdependent policy and procedure documents:

  • this overarching WHS Policy
  • WHS Management System Planning
  • WHS Management System Consultation and Communication
  • WHS Risk Management Policy
  • WHS Auditing Procedures
  • WHS Management System Review
  • WHS Performance Measurement and Reporting

In addition, there is a range of subordinate policies and procedures specific to particular hazards or risks. Collectively, the policies and procedures which make up the WHS Management System document standards and assist managers, supervisors, workers and students in carrying out their responsibilities in:

7.1. identifying hazards and risks to health and safety associated with tasks and activities carried out in the University;

7.2. assessing the degree and level of risks arising from hazardous tasks or activities;

7.3. selecting, implementing and maintaining appropriate measures to control risks to health and safety;

7.4. consulting with workers on matters which may affect their health and safety;

7.5. consulting, cooperating and coordinating, so far as is reasonably practicable, with other duty holders with whom the University shares a work health and safety duty;

7.6. preventing discriminatory, coercive or misleading conduct in relation to work health and safety;

7.7. identifying, developing and providing appropriate information, instruction and training to equip managers, supervisors, workers, health and safety representatives and students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet their responsibilities; and

7.8. developing, implementing and monitoring plans to put the University's work health and safety policies, procedures, guidelines and WHS Management System into effect.

 

8 Responsibilities and Accountabilities


The University requires those responsible for, and involved in, all University activities and operations to comply with relevant work health and safety and return to work legislation, codes of practice, established good practice, including Australian Standards, and University policies and procedures.

8.1 Officers

8.1.1 Overview

Officers, including University Council members, are required to take reasonable steps to:

  • acquire and keep up-to-date, knowledge of work health and safety matters;
  • gain an understanding of the nature of the University's operations and generally of the hazards and risks associated with those operations;
  • exercise due diligence to ensure that the University complies with its work health and safety obligations, including ensuring that
    • the University has in place appropriate systems of work; 
    • adequate resources are provided and used to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety;
    • appropriate work health and safety policies and procedures, which support this Policy, are developed, implemented and reviewed in accordance with the University's Policy Development, Approval and Review Policy; and
  • actively monitor, review and evaluate the University's Work Health and Safety Management System.

In addition to these overall due diligence requirements, the Vice-Chancellor and Senior Executives have additional operational responsibilities as shown below.

8.1.2 Vice-Chancellor

8.1.2.1 The Vice-Chancellor has overall responsibility

  • to ensure the provision of a healthy and safe workplace for workers and students; and
  • for the implementation of an effective work health and safety risk management system and for reporting to Council on the University's health and safety performance.

8.1.2.2 In particular, the Vice-Chancellor will ensure that:

  • the University and its controlled entities comply with all relevant work health and safety, return to work and other relevant safety legislation;
  • work health and safety is an integral part of the University's business and financial plans;
  • adequate resources are provided to meet the University's work health and safety objectives and to implement strategies;
  • appropriate work health and safety policies and procedures are developed, implemented and reviewed to enable the effective management of work health and safety and control of risks to health and safety;
  • mechanisms are established and maintained to enable workers and their representatives, other duty holders and where appropriate, students, to be consulted on proposals for, or changes to, the workplace, work practices, policies or procedures which may affect their work health and safety;
  • Officers, managers, supervisors, workers and students are provided with the necessary information and training to enable them to carry out their work health and safety responsibilities effectively;
  • safety considerations are built into University projects and course development from their inception;
  • managers' and supervisors' work health and safety performance is reviewed against this policy and supporting policies and procedures;
  • mechanisms are established and maintained to monitor and report regularly on the University's work health and safety performance against legislative requirements and planned activities;
  • work health and safety plans are developed, implemented, monitored and reviewed to meet the University's work health and safety objectives and continuous improvement approach; and
  • mechanisms are established to manage workers compensation claims and recovery and return to work of injured staff;
  • risks associated with international activities, including overseas travel, are managed effectively.
8.1.2.3 The Vice-Chancellor will submit a self assessment to ReturntoWorkSA as required by the ReturntoWorkSA Code of Conduct for Self-Insured Employers.
 
8.1.2.4 The Vice-Chancellor has the authority to approve WHS policies (other than this Policy) and procedures, to make decisions and act on any WHS matter for the entire University, and to do all things required to ensure that the University's work health and safety standards are met.
 
8.1.2.5 The Vice-Chancellor will report to each meeting of University Council on WHS matters.
 

8.1.3 Senior Executives

8.1.3.1 Senior Executives

  • must exercise due diligence within their areas of responsibility;
  • are responsible and accountable for the work health and safety within their areas of responsibility; and
  • have the authority to fulfil those responsibilities.
8.1.3.2 In particular, Senior Executives must ensure that:
  • they understand and carry out their University and Officer responsibilities under WHS and other relevant legislation;
  • they provide leadership and set a good example for workers and students in work health and safety matters;
  • there are adequate human, physical and financial resources to implement and monitor relevant work health and safety programmes, policies and procedures;
  • relevant work health and safety policies, procedures, guidelines and programmes are implemented effectively;
  • hazards in work/study/research in their areas of responsibility are identified, risk assessed and controlled and that these risk control measures are monitored regularly, reviewed and maintained;
  • communication/consultative mechanisms are established and used;
  • before undertaking work or research, workers and/or students under their management or supervision are provided with the necessary information, instruction and training to carry out their work and research safely and effectively;
  • appropriate work health and safety training is identified and provided;
  • appropriate contingency arrangements are in place in the event of the absence of key staff;
  • safety programmes are implemented, monitored and reviewed to address legislative compliance;
  • risks associated with international activities, including overseas travel, are managed effectively;
  • they hold managers and supervisors accountable for work health and safety in areas under their control; and
  • injured staff are provided with appropriate duties which comply with medical guidelines.

8.1.3.3 Senior Executives will report quarterly to the Vice-Chancellor and to the relevant Faculty/Portfolios Health and Safety Committee on WHS initiatives they have taken to meet this Policy and to improve WHS performance.

8.2 Associate Director, Work Health and Safety

8.2.1  The Associate Director, WHS is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, monitoring and review of this policy and the WHS Management System, including injury management.

8.2.2  In particular, the Associate Director, WHS must

  • provide leadership that encourages Faculties/Portfolios to achieve their responsibilities for work health and safety, accident prevention and injury management, and to implement the University’s WHS Management System in an environment of continuous improvement and best practice;
  • provide strategic advice and reports to the University’s senior executives;
  • provide guidance to workers and students on the University’s WHS risk management and prevention programmes;
  • manage the University’s recovery and return to work programme and workers’ compensation insurance function.

8.3 Managers and Supervisors

8.3.1 Managers and Supervisors are responsible and accountable for the day-to-day health and safety within the work/research/study areas under their control and have the authority to fulfil those responsibilities.

8.3.2 In particular, Supervisors and Managers must

  • provide leadership and set a good example for workers and students in work health and safety matters;
  • carry out their roles and responsibilities as specified in relevant University work health and safety policies, procedures and programmes;
  • ensure that hazards in work/research/study in their areas of responsibility are identified, risk assessed, risks are controlled and that risk control measures are monitored regularly, reviewed and maintained;
  • ensure that risks associated with international activities, including overseas travel, are managed effectively;
  • ensure that workers and students under their management or supervision are provided with the necessary information, instruction and/or training to carry out their jobs, study or research safely and effectively, before undertaking the work or research;
  • ensure that visitors to University workplaces are provided with relevant information to enable them to protect their own health and safety and to avoid affecting adversely the health and safety of others in the workplace; and
  • where required, facilitate and support recovery and return to work of injured staff.

8.3.3 Managers and Supervisors will report at least quarterly to the relevant Senior Executive on WHS activities and any WHS initiatives undertaken in their area.

8.3.4 Managers of controlled entities will report quarterly to the Vice-Chancellor on WHS matters and initiatives taken to improve WHS performance.

8.4 Workers and students

8.4.1 Workers and students are responsible for taking care to protect their own health and safety and to avoid affecting adversely the health and safety of any other person in the workplace.

8.4.2 In particular, workers and students must:

  • comply with relevant University work health and safety policies, procedures and programmes, including those applying to overseas travel;
  • carry out their roles and responsibilities as specified in relevant work health and safety policies, procedures, guidelines and programmes;
  • obey any reasonable instruction aimed at protecting their health and safety in the workplace;
  • use any equipment provided to protect their health and safety in the workplace;
  • assist in the identification of hazards, the assessment of risks and implementation of risk control measures;
  • report any incident or hazard in the workplace to their manager or supervisor;
  • consider and provide feedback on any matters which may affect their health and safety; and
  • not be so affected by alcohol or another drug that they endanger their own or any other person's health and safety.

9 University Health and Safety Committee

9.1 The University will establish a University Health and Safety Committee consisting of management and staff representatives, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and reporting to the Vice-Chancellor. The Health and Safety Committee is an advisory committee to the Vice-Chancellor and is the principle forum for consultation on the management of health and safety across the whole University.

9.2 The Committee is responsible for:

9.2.1 assisting in the development, monitoring and review of work health and safety policies and procedures;

9.2.2 considering proposals for, or changes to, the workplace, policies, work practices or procedures which may affect the health and safety of workers;

9.2.3 monitoring the University's work health and safety performance, including the development and implementation of WHS strategic and operational plans;

9.2.4 reviewing and monitoring any issues associated with injury management of injured staff;

9.2.5 assisting in the resolution of health and safety issues, and

9.2.6 providing advice to the Vice-Chancellor on health and safety matters including performance standards.

 

10 Faculty/Portfolio Health and Safety Committees

10.1  Each Faculty and the Portfolios will establish a Faculty/Portfolios Health and Safety Committee consisting of management and staff representatives to monitor and provide advice to relevant Faculty/Portfolio Head on all matters relating to the work health and safety of workers and students in the Faculty/Portfolios.

 

11 Health and Safety Representatives

11.1 The University will encourage and facilitate the formation of work groups and the election of health and safety representatives.

11.2 The primary function of a health and safety representative is to represent their work group in relation to work health and safety matters, and other functions as specified by legislation.

11.3 The University will encourage health and safety representatives and deputy health and safety representatives to undertake the training to which they are entitled under legislation.

11.4 The University will consult, so far as is reasonably practicable, with health and safety representatives on work health and safety matters at the workplace.

 

12 Review

12.1  The policy is reviewed regularly in the light of legislative and organizational changes, and in any case, at least every 4 years to ensure it remains effective, relevant and appropriate to the University, and reflects current legislative requirements.

 

APPENDIX A

Work health and safety legislation

South Australia

Where University workers are based in University premises in other States or Territories, the following legislation applies:

Victoria

Northern Territory

 

APPENDIX B

Health and Safety Governance and Management (PDF 98KB)

 

APPENDIX C

Operational Management Flowchart (PDF 113KB)