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.

Workplace Safety Inspection Procedures

Establishment: Vice-Chancellor, 28 August 2008
Last Amended: Vice-President (Strategic Finance and Resources), 4 February 2014
Nature of Amendment: In accordance with new legislation and changes to clause 6.1
Date Last Reviewed: 4 February 2014
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources 

  

Table of Contents

1.  Purpose

2.  Scope

3.  Definitions

4.  Responsibilities

5.  Function of Inspections

6.  Frequency

7.  Inspection teams

8.  Consultation

9.  Checklists

10.  Inspection process

11.  Corrective action and reporting

12.  Review of Inspection Findings

13.  Legal & Policy Framework

14.  Review

 

1.   Purpose

These procedures outline the requirements for the conduct of regular safety inspections in University workplaces to identify hazards as required by work health and safety legislation.[1]

 

Regular workplace safety inspections are a way of identifying hazards in the workplace. Inspections also provide a system to monitor whether hazards have been fixed, and whether risk controls are working and remain effective.

 

2.  Scope

These procedures apply to all workplaces owned, managed or controlled by Flinders University.
 

3.  Definitions

For the purpose of these procedures the following definitions apply:

Hazard A situation or thing which has the potential to harm a person.
Workplace Safety inspection
A regularly scheduled inspection of workplaces using a checklist to assist with the identification and monitoring of hazards. 

 

4.  Responsibilities

Senior executives

(Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Senior Vice-President, Vice-President, Executive Deans)

Responsible for ensuring that

  • systems and procedures for workplace safety inspections and corrective actions are implemented, monitored and reviewed, in their Faculty/Portfolio; and
  • there are adequate resources for effective workplace safety inspections and corrective actions in their Faculty/Portfolio.
Managers/Supervisors of areas 

Responsible for

  • implementation of these procedures in their area of responsibility;
  • preparing a schedule of regular workplace safety inspections and ensuring that the inspections are carried out according to the schedule;
  • tailoring the Workplace Safety Inspection Checklist(s) for their area, as appropriate;
  • ensuring that a School/Division/Area Hazard Register including risk levels and control measures/corrective actions, is developed, implemented, maintained and monitored;
  • implementation of risk control measures identified during the workplace safety inspections; and
  • ensuring that staff undertaking the inspections are trained.
 Note: that Faculties/Portfolios may choose to undertake these responsibilities at the Faculty/Portfolio level (eg Faculty-wide) in which case the relevant senior executive has these responsibilities.
Supervisors 
  • ensuring that hazards in their work, study and/or research areas of responsibility are identified, risk assessed and controlled; and
  • assisting with workplace safety inspections when required .
Staff and Students 
  • participate in workplace safety inspections, as required; and
  • use risk control measures as required for any hazards in their area .

 

5.  Function of Inspections

Workplace safety inspections are designed to

  • identify hazards in the workplace and implement actions to eliminate or control hazards;
  • monitor whether hazards have been eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable, or if that is not possible that risks have been minimised and whether risk control measures are working;
  • improve health & safety practices; and
  • monitor that safety standards are being maintained. 

 

6.  Frequency

6.1  The frequency of workplace safety inspections is determined by the level of risk associated with the workplace, including the physical work environment, the type of activities performed and/or previous history of reported hazards and incidents.

  •  Medium/High risk areas – at least every 6 months
  •  Low risk areas – at least every 12 months
  •  Extremely low risk areas  – at least every 3 years or when occupancy changes

For this procedure

  •   High risk areas include laboratories, workshops, sheds, storage locations, maintenance yards, animal facilities, performance venues, outdoor areas [eg paths, courtyards, carparks, stairs], commercial kitchens and mechanical plant rooms.
  •   Low risk areas include tutorial and other teaching spaces (other than laboratories), computer training rooms, office spaces, corridors, common rooms, library areas and general administration areas.
  •   Extremely low risk areas are single occupancy staff offices only (as determined by undertaking a risk assessment).

6.2  Inspections must also be carried out if:

  • plant, equipment or layout of any work area is altered; or
  • new plant or work processes are introduced in a work area.

6.3    Faculties/Divisions or Schools/Units should develop a schedule of workplace safety inspections as part of the Faculty/Portfolio WHS Planned Actions.

 

7.  Inspection teams

Workplace safety inspections should be carried by teams of at least two staff one of whom should have the experience, training, technical skills or qualifications appropriate to the area being inspected. Inspection teams may include the relevant health and safety representative(s).

 

8.  Consultation

Staff carrying out workplace safety inspections must seek input from those who undertake the tasks or work in the areas being inspected. Their comments or concerns should be included on the inspection checklists. 


9.  Checklists

Staff undertaking workplace safety inspections should use checklists as a guide to assist them in identifying hazards. The checklists available for use in the University are available on the University WHS website .

 

10.  Inspection process

10.1  The inspection process involves three main steps:

  • Identifying the hazards;
  • Assessing the risks; and
  • Controlling the risks (using the hierarchy of controls)

10.2  Prior to inspection the team should review the previous inspection report and Hazard Register to see whether any outstanding actions have been completed.

10.3  Inspections should be done in a systematic way so that all areas are inspected. A floor plan can be a useful way of doing this.

 

11.  Corrective action and reporting

11.1  Where a hazard is identified the inspection team should arrange for immediate rectification of the issue if possible. Any action taken should be noted on the Faculty/Portfolio Work Health and Safety Risk Register (for general hazards), Plant Register (for all plant) or Hazardous Chemicals Register (for hazardous chemicals, dangerous goods and/or controlled substances).

11.2   If immediate rectification is not possible the hazard should be risk assessed (see the WHS Risk Management Policy for further information) and actions, including timeframes and person(s) responsible for action, recorded on the relevant Register.

11.3   Where immediate rectification is not possible, short term measures to eliminate or minimize the risk must be put in place, as follows:

 

Risk Level

Priority

Action

Timeframe for implementation of corrective action

Extreme

1

The activity should cease immediately and short term safety controls implemented.

Notify manager and assess activity.

A hazardous activity rated as extreme must not be undertaken until safety controls have been implemented, and reviewed and approved by the relevant Executive Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor,  Vice-President or the Vice-Chancellor.

Immediate

High

2

Implement short term safety measures.

Notify manager and assess activity.

A hazardous activity rated as high must not be undertaken until safety controls have been implemented, and reviewed and approved by the relevant Dean of School/Divisional Head.

Within 24 hours

Medium

3

Implement short term safety controls.

Notify manager and assess activity.

Within 14 days

Low

4

Implement long term safety controls.

Notify manager and assess activity.

Within 28 days (if possible) or demonstrate that it is not reasonably practicable to achieve further minimization of the risk

11.4  Any hazards identified through workplace safety inspections, including corrective actions required must be entered on the Faculty/Portfolio Work Health and Safety Risk Register (for general hazards), Plant Register (for all plant) or Hazardous Chemicals Register (for hazardous chemicals, dangerous goods and/or controlled substances).

11.5  The inspection team should follow-up to verify that the corrective action has commenced or is completed and review the risk to ensure that is has been eliminated or controlled.

11.6  The inspection team must refer any health and safety issues identified which are beyond their authority, experience and/or resources to the relevant Senior Executive for resolution.

 

12.  Review of Inspection Findings

12.1   The inspection team must follow-up to see whether corrective action has commenced or is completed and must review the risk to ensure that it has been eliminated or controlled.

12.2   Faculty/Portfolios WHS Committees and Managers must monitor issues identified in the Hazard Register and where possible, assist in the resolution of these issues.          

12.3   School/Division Heads (and as appropriate Senior Executives) and Faculty/Portfolios WHS Committees must review the information obtained from regular workplace inspections to:

  • identify trends;
  • determine the need for training in certain areas;
  • make available resources to implement corrective actions;
  • identify any recurring issues;
  • establish priorities for corrective action;
  • assist in establishing or improving safe work practices; and
  • identify areas, plant, equipment etc that may require further in-depth hazard analysis.

 

13.  Legal & Policy Framework

South Australian legislation:

Work Health and Safety Act 2012
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012
How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice December 2011

Victoria

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007

Northern Territory

Workplace Health & Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011
Workplace Health & Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations
How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice December 2011


Flinders University policies which apply at all University workplaces regardless of location:

Work Health and Safety Policy
WHS Risk Management Policy


14. Review

These procedures are reviewed at least every 4 years to ensure they remain effective, relevant and appropriate to the University, and reflect current legislative requirements.