Staff members should raise any issues about safe working procedures or a safe working environment with their immediate supervisor. Any identified hazards should be reported on FlinSafe. The hazard process followed in FlinSafe is shown in this flow chart - Hazard Reporting Flow Chart (PDF 127KB)
Any person may draw a safety matter to the attention of the area supervisor or the elected health and safety representative.
If a supervisor is unable to resolve a WHS problem, then he/she should refer it to his/her supervisor for assistance. Advice may also be sought from the WHS Unit.
Resolving health and safety issues - flowchart
Immediate safety risk
Using the steps outlined in the flowchart above, the majority of safety issues should be capable of immediate and preferably local resolution using line management.
However, there may be circumstances where an immediate safety risk is perceived, and the issue is considered urgent and serious. In this case, the health and safety representatives will inform the supervisor of the area who should call an immediate halt to the work whilst the issue is investigated.
If the supervisor does not agree about the degree of risk present or the supervisor is not available, the health and safety representative can direct affected workers to withdraw from the alleged hazard having regard to the health and safety of others and must then inform the appropriate manager of the actions that have been taken pending a full investigation.
The health and safety representative will immediately inform the Associate Director, WHS of the action taken. The Associate Director, WHS will inform the Director, People and Culture.
Work will not resume until it has been agreed that the hazard has been controlled and no longer presents an unacceptable risk to the safety and health of workers. Alternative duties may be found for those workers affected, but no pay will be lost in the event of a demonstrated safety hazard having been detected.
The area supervisor and where appropriate by the health and safety representative should prepare a written report of the situation and the actions taken for the relevant College/Portfolio Health and Safety Committee and the Associate Director, WHS.
Resolving health and safety issues where there is no immediate risk to the safety of workers or students
The focus is on a cooperative approach to resolution of WHS issues.
- If the health and safety representative identifies or is informed of a safety issue or problem in his/her designated work group then the representative must refer the matter to the supervisor of the area concerned. The health and safety representative may seek advice from the WHS Unit before contacting the supervisor.
- If, within 5 working days or less, the supervisor and representative can reach agreement on the means to deal with the concerns raised, the matter is then regarded as satisfactorily resolved at the local level. Satisfactory resolution could be immediate settlement of this and any related concerns or an agreed plan and timetable for future action if immediate action is not possible.
- If, however, the representative and the supervisor cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue at the local level and the representative believes that the issue should be pursued, the representative should refer the issue involved to the senior manager responsible for the workplace in question. At this stage, the health and safety representative should also formally advise the WHS Unit.
- The senior manager, health and safety representative and the supervisor then attempt to reach agreement about resolving the issue within 5 working days. If the senior manager is not able to take part, for some reason, (and this would be seen as an exceptional instance) a person may be nominated with the delegated authority to commit the department to an appropriate response. Again, satisfactory resolution includes immediate settlement or an agreed plan of future action.
- If no satisfactory resolution can be reached then the health and safety representative should take the issue up with the relevant College/Portfolios Health and Safety Committee.
- If no satisfactory resolution can be reached at that point then the health and safety representative has the option of issuing a provisional improvement notice and requesting further investigation by SafeWork SA, WorkSafe NT or WorkSafe (Victoria) as appropriate.
- These procedures comply with the requirements of the WHS legislation but in no way override the rights and obligations of elected health and safety representatives under the relevant legislation.