Work Health and Safety Policy
|Date Approved||30 March 2012|
|Date Last Amended||12 April 2013|
1.1 The University of Newcastle is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all workers, students and others within the University environment. The University is committed to working safely and expects all workers, students, visitors and others to also view this as a collective and individual responsibility.
2. Policy Scope
This policy applies to all faculties, divisions, and organisational units of the University of Newcastle.
3. Policy Intent
This policy is designed to ensure that the University’s duties are met with respect to the relevant legislative requirements referred to in this policy.
4. Relevant Definitions
In the context of this document:
The University is considered to be the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Members of University Council are those members of University Council as the governing body of the University, who by virtue of Section 16 of the University of Newcastle Act 1989, have responsibility for the management of the affairs and concerns of the University and may act in all matters concerning the University. Members of University Council have duties as Officers as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and outlined in the University of Newcastle Health and Safety Responsibility Matrix.
Senior management means the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Heads of Schools and other Academic Leaders, Directors, Associate Directors and Managers as defined in the University of Newcastle Health and Safety Responsibility Matrix, with duties as Officers as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011;
Supervisor means staff members with direct supervisory responsibility for other staff within the workplace (a Supervisor may also be member of Senior Management, with duties as an Officer as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011)
Workers are defined in the Work Health and Safety Act as including employees, students, contractors, sub contractors and their employees. Staff, students, and contractors may be referred to as workers within this policy, or separately as staff, students, or contractors.
5.1 The University recognises its duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and associated legislation, including the primary duty of care to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the University. Officers of the University including members of University Council, the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Heads of Schools and other Academic Leaders, Directors, Managers and Supervisors have a key responsibility with regard to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of staff and other workers, students, and visitors to the University environment or engaged in University activities in other locations. In fulfilling this responsibility, there is a duty for Officers to exercise due diligence in providing and maintaining so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.
5.2 The University has a duty to:
- Undertake risk management activities to identify, assess, and control risks to persons in the work environment, including regular review of changes to work methods and practices;
- Comply with all relevant legislation;
- Ensure that plant, equipment and substances are safe and without risk to health when used in accordance with standard operating procedures;
- Provide, monitor and maintain systems for the safe use, handling, storage and transportation of plant, equipment and substances;
- Maintain safe systems of work, the work premises and the work environment, including systems to adequately manage emergency response;
- Provide adequate facilities to protect the welfare of all workers, students, and visitors;
- Provide appropriate Health and Safety information, training, instruction, and supervision to all staff and other workers, students, and others including visitors to the University as required by legislation or on a case by case basis with reference to specific work areas and activities;
- Consult with all University workers to enhance the effectiveness of the University Health and Safety Management System, and on any other matter directly relating to health or safety which may directly affect them;
- Provide adequate resources, including finances, to ensure the fulfilment of the University’s Work Health and Safety (WH&S) duties;
- Regularly review and evaluate Health and Safety Management systems including audits and workplace inspections; and
- Establish measurable objectives and targets to ensure continued improvement aimed at elimination of work-related injury and illness, and ensure that adequate reporting mechanisms are maintained in order to facilitate this.
6. Responsibility and Accountability
6.1 The Vice Chancellor and members of University Council have ultimate responsibility for the implementation and review of the University Work Health and Safety (WH&S) policy, and the assignment of WH&S management responsibilities. In fulfilling the objectives of this policy, management will regularly consult with staff via the University Health and Safety Committee structure and any other means to ensure that the policy operates effectively and that health and safety issues are regularly reviewed, and will consult so far as is reasonably practicable, with workers who carry out work for the University and who are (or are likely to be) directly affected by a health and safety matter.
6.2 Deputy Vice Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Heads of Schools and other Academic Leaders, Directors, Managers, and Supervisors are responsible and accountable for day-to-day WH&S within their areas of responsibility, and have the authority to fulfil those responsibilities.
6.3 The Health and Safety Team is available to consult and advise regarding specific WH&S matters and to assist with the development and implementation of WH&S systems procedures and programs. The Health and Safety duties and / or responsibilities of management at all levels, workers, students and contractors, are detailed in the document ’University of Newcastle Health and Safety Responsibility Matrix’.
7. Supervisors (including academic supervisors)
7.1 Supervisors (including academic supervisors):
- Are responsible for the effective implementation and regular reference to this Work Health and Safety policy;
- Must observe, implement and fulfil responsibilities under the Acts and Regulations which apply to WH&S within the University environment, and will endeavour to comply with Australian Standards and approved NSW Codes of Practice;
- Must ensure that the agreed procedures for consultation as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and related Code of Practice are followed within their area of responsibility;
- Are responsible for ensuring that the University Health and Safety Management System is implemented, effective and consistent with the University's objectives, within their area of responsibility;
- Must ensure that all significant risks associated with hazards in their workplace are identified, controlled, registered and reviewed in consultation with employees;
- Must ensure all incidents within their area of control are reported and investigated, basic causes identified, and control strategies implemented.
- Must ensure that all hazards and risks that are identified but not within their scope to eliminate or control, are raised to the appropriate level for consideration and management.
- Must ensure that where safety information, instructions or a WHS induction is required, that it is provided. This will include, but not be limited to:
- general inductions for all staff and students;
- specific inductions into areas with elevated risk such as laboratories, workshops, and field trips; or
- inductions for any other activities where health and safety concerns are identified.
8. Staff and Students
8.1 Staff and students:
- Are required to take reasonable care of themselves and others in the workplace and ensure that their actions or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons;
- Have a responsibility to comply with relevant University Health and Safety Management System policies, procedures and programs, as appropriate;
- Must not bypass or misuse systems or equipment provided for WH&S purposes; and
- Must report any unsafe incidents or conditions that come to their attention via use of the online Hazard and Incident Notification Form (staff) or Paper based Incident Report Form (Students) and / or notification to a Supervisor.
9. University Health and Safety Committee
9.1 The University Health and Safety Committee (UHSC) must be consulted regarding the University Health and Safety Management system, including policy, procedure, and program review and implementation.
9.2 The UHSC provides a consultative mechanism for Faculty and Divisional Health and Safety Committees and the workgroups and Health and Safety representatives which comprise them.
9.3 The UHSC will discuss and make recommendations to the University regarding occupational health and safety best practice to ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff and other workers, students and visitors to the University or engaged in University activities in other locations. This includes the resolution of WHS issues, including those matters which have University wide implications or are not able to be resolved following discussion at Faculty/ Divisional level.
10. Contractors and Sub-Contractors
10.1 Contractors and Subcontractors:
- Are considered to be workers within the University environment, as defined within the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Are required to comply with the WH&S policies, procedures, programs, and the Health and Safety Management System of the University, and take reasonable care of themselves and others in the workplace;
- Must observe directions on health and safety from designated officers of the university;
- Must not bypass or misuse systems or equipment provided for WH&S purposes, and ensure that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others in the workplace; and
- Must report any unsafe incidents or conditions that come to their attention to their University contact person.
11.1 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be identified and targets set to monitor and improve overall WH&S performance.
11.2 This policy will be regularly reviewed as required by legislation and organisational changes or, as a minimum, every two (2) years.
12. Essential Supporting Documents
The list of essential supporting documents provide the University with practical guidance and detail on how to comply with the requirements of this policy in its application, are essential to understanding and implementing the policy, and must be referred to in conjunction with the policy:
WorkCover NSW Fact Sheet - Officers (external)
The University of Newcastle Promoting a Respectful and Collaborative University: Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy 000941 also relates to this policy and contains reference to a range of other related legislation.
|Approval Authority||Vice- Chancellor|
|Date Approved||30 March 2012|
|Date Last Amended||12 April 2013|
|Date for Review||30 March 2015|
|Policy Sponsor||Vice Chancellor|
|Policy Owner||Director, Human Resource Services|
|Policy Contact||Associate DIrector, Health and Safety|
Amendment to title of Policy 000941 replacing 'Workplace' with 'University' in the Promoting a Respectful and Collaborative Workplace: Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy. Approved Vice-Chancellor 12 April 2013.
Minor amendments to text and links, Secretariat, 20 February 2013.
Amendments approved by Vice-Chancellor - 5 October 2012
New Work Health and Safety Policy to replace the Occupational Health and Safety Policy 000241, Approved by Vice-Chancellor 30 March 2012.