Volunteers and Health and Safety
The University has specific obligations under WHS legislation for the health and safety of volunteers whilst they are undertaking work at a University workplace.
Under South Australian and Northern Territory WHS legislation, a person is a worker if the person carries out work in any capacity for the University, including as a volunteer.
A volunteer is a person working without payment for the University, but who may receive out of pocket expenses.
A workplace is any place where a University volunteer may undertake voluntary work approved by the University.
In accordance with Section 28 of the SA Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and theNT Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011, while at work a volunteer as a worker must:
- take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety; and
- take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons; and
- comply, so far as the worker is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the University to allow the University to comply with the Act; and
- co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the University relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.
The University must ensure the health and safety of its volunteers, consult with them on WHS matters; and provide them with the necessary information, training and supervision.
The University must also ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and anything arising from the workplace are without risks to the health and safety of any person, including volunteers.
Where risk management strategies have been developed for University workers and documented in policies, procedures or work instructions, they are to be applied to volunteers as far as reasonably practicable and include:
- identifying and responding to health and safety hazards;
- reporting and recording of volunteer accidents/injuries;
- guidelines for the safe use of equipment;
- requirements for engaging in events and field activities.
Where not managed through existing health and safety controls, areas must develop and implement risk management strategies for specific volunteer risks, for example for fieldtrips or events; or security measures for volunteers involved in work activities outside normal working hours.
Each area must ensure that volunteers:
- are informed of their rights and responsibilities;
- undertake a health and safety induction
- receive any specialised induction and training in relation to risks associated with their volunteer duties;
- understand and are able to appropriately respond to matters concerning their health and safety.
Volunteers who are undertaking field work and associated activities must complete the Volunteer Engagement Form (PDF 303KB)
- The University will consult with its volunteers so far as is reasonably practicable.
- Schools/Portfolio areas engaging volunteers are responsible for developing and implementing processes for consulting with their volunteer workers.
- Consultation may include the involvement of an elected Health Safety Representative where appropriate.
- Volunteers are not covered by Workers Compensation insurance in activities associated with their voluntary position.
Personal Accident Insurance:
- Volunteers are covered by the University’s Volunteer Personal Accident Insurance
The Essential Guide to Work Health and Safety for Volunteers (SafeWork Australia)