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Health and Safety Responsibilities Vice-Chancellor's Directive

Abstract

This Directive details the responsibilities of discrete groups within the University community for the implementation of the University's health and safety management system, as set out in the Health and Safety Policy.

The Health and Safety Responsibilities Vice-Chancellor's Directive is also available as a PDF document.

Dates
  • Directive approved 04/03/2013
  • Directive takes effect 20/03/2013
  • Directive is due for review (up to five years) 12/2016
Directive amendment approved 27/05/2015
Directive amendment takes effect 13/08/2015
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Latest amendment: Director, Governance Support Unit (see change history for details)
Implementation Officers Director, Human Resources
Relevant to All workers (including staff, contractors and affiliates), students and visitors
Related documents
Legislation
File number UR13/543
Superseded documents Environment, Health and Safety Responsibilities Vice-Chancellor's Operational Directive (UR07/644)

Contents

1. Purpose

Established case law and legislation, such as the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), define the health and safety responsibilities of the University, its staff, students, contractors, visitors and others.

This Directive details the responsibilities of discrete groups within the University community for the implementation of the University's health and safety management system, as set out in the Health and Safety Policy.

2. Scope

This Directive applies to all workers (including staff, contractors and affiliates), students and visitors.

The health and safety responsibilities incumbent upon members of Council, members of the Senior Executive and the University Secretary are detailed in the Health and Safety Policy (see section 6).

3. Definitions

For the purposes of this Directive, the following words shall have the meanings as given below.

Affiliates
includes honorary appointees, emeritus professors and members of University/faculty committees.
Faculty/unit health and safety plan
refers to the documented plan developed, implemented and monitored by each faculty/unit. This is done in consultation with faculty/unit staff to determine procedures to manage risk that best suit the circumstances of each faculty/unit. During the planning process, hazards (including, but not limited to, physical hazards, chemical, noise, psychosocial, heights) and control measures (including, but not limited to, information and training, workload allocation, supervision and provision of safety equipment) are identified and responsibilities and timeframes allocated. Mechanisms for consultation with staff in relation to health and safety matters within the faculty/unit are agreed during the development of the plan. Options for consultation, as provided by the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), are the establishment of a health and safety committee, election of a health and safety representative, or other agreed arrangements.
Other workers
includes contractors, affiliates and employees of labour hire companies who have been assigned to work at the University, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, work experience students at the University, and volunteers (including members of the UTS Peer Network).
Reasonably practicable
is as defined in Section 18 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) as ' … that which is or was at a particular time, reasonably able to be done in relation to ensuring health and safety, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters including:
  • the likelihood of the hazard or risk concerned occurring, and
  • the degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk, and
  • what the person concerned knows or ought reasonably know about the hazards and risks and ways of eliminating or minimising those risks, and
  • the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate those risks, and
  • after assessing the extent of the risks and the availability of ways of eliminating or minimising those risks, the costs associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising those risks, including whether the costs are grossly disproportionate to the risk'.
Risk management
is as defined in the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009: Risk management — Principles and guidelines as 'coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to risk'.
Risk management program
is as defined in the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009: Risk management — Principles and guidelines as the 'systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the activities of communicating, consulting, establishing the context, and identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating, monitoring and reviewing risk'.
Students
includes:
  • all award and non-award students of the University
  • cross-institutional students — students of other Australian universities undertaking cross-institutional study at the University or using University facilities available under reciprocal arrangements with their home institutions
  • international students undertaking studies at the University as part of the Study Abroad or Exchange programs, and
  • visiting international graduate-level research students undertaking supervised research at the University.
Supervisors
means those staff members provided authority by their manager to supervise staff or other workers, students or visitors in activities related to University business.
Visitor
means any member of the public visiting or transiting the campus.

4. Directive principles

This Directive details the responsibilities of members of the University community to implement the University's health and safety management system; the aims of which are to:

  • comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), and
  • ensure the health, safety and welfare of its staff and other workers, students and visitors.

5. Directive statements — health and safety responsibilities

The responsibilities of those listed below for implementing the University's health and safety management system are as follows.

5.1 Members of Council

Refer to the Health and Safety Policy.

5.2 Vice-Chancellor

Refer to the Health and Safety Policy.

5.3 Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellors

Refer to the Health and Safety Policy.

5.4 Deans and directors

Deans and directors must:

  • ensure that the Health and Safety Policy and related health and safety risk management programs are effectively implemented in their areas of control
  • integrate health and safety risk management into their operations, teaching, research and consulting functions and work environments
  • support supervisors and managers in providing appropriate resources for the effective implementation of their faculty/unit health and safety plan
  • ensure that managers, supervisors and staff are aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety Policy and faculty/unit health and safety plan through effective delegation, training and promotion of the Policy and health and safety procedures
  • hold supervisors and managers accountable for their specific responsibilities
  • authorise appropriate action to remedy non-compliance with the Health and Safety Policy or health and safety procedures
  • ensure that a faculty/unit health and safety plan is developed, implemented and monitored in consultation with staff
  • conduct a self-assessment of their faculty or unit's compliance against their faculty/unit health and safety plan at regular intervals and report on progress to the Human Resources Unit.

5.4.1 Deans and directors of academic units must also:

  • ensure all staff undertake appropriate health and safety risk assessments for curriculum, research and consulting activities
  • encourage the incorporation of health and safety risk management into curriculum and research.

5.5 Associate deans and heads of school

Associate deans, heads of school and equivalent faculty-based academic managers must:

  • ensure that the Health and Safety Policy and related health and safety risk management programs are effectively implemented in their areas of control
  • integrate health and safety risk management into their operations, teaching, research and consulting functions and work environments
  • support supervisors and managers in providing appropriate resources for the effective implementation of their faculty/unit health and safety plan
  • ensure that managers, supervisors and staff are aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety Policy and faculty/unit health and safety plan through effective delegation, training and promotion of the Policy and health and safety procedures
  • hold supervisors and managers accountable for their specific responsibilities
  • authorise appropriate action to remedy non-compliance with the Health and Safety Policy or health and safety procedures.

5.6 Supervisors and managers

Supervisors and managers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to ensure that both the workplace and the work itself are safe. This includes:

  • ensuring that staff are appropriately trained and supervised
  • identifying, assessing and managing health and safety risks
  • consulting with workers (including staff, affiliates and contractors):
    • about issues or changes that affect their health or safety
    • during health and safety risk assessments
    • when decisions are made about the measures to be taken to eliminate or control these risks
    • when reviewing health and safety risk assessments
  • implementing health and safety risk management programs relevant to their operations, teaching, research and consulting functions and work environment
  • reporting (to the Human Resources Unit), investigating and responding to all hazards, accidents, incidents and taking action to control the risk
  • assisting with the development, implementation and maintenance of a return to work program for injured staff.

5.7 Staff

Staff must:

  • take reasonable care of, and cooperate with actions taken to protect, the health and safety of both themselves and others
  • follow safe work practices as provided by their supervisor, including the proper use of any personal protective equipment supplied
  • seek information or advice from a supervisor before performing new or unfamiliar tasks
  • report all health and safety accidents, incidents and hazards to their supervisor as soon as is practicable
  • follow the emergency evacuation procedures
  • support workplace injury management and return to work programs in their work areas.

5.7.1 Academic staff

In addition, academic staff will:

  • provide relevant and practical health and safety information to students (through inclusion in curricula and course notes)
  • take steps to ensure students adopt safe work practices
  • conduct and document risk assessments on research and consulting programs/projects, and ensuring that risks are eliminated or controlled
  • consult with staff who may be affected by health and safety risks during risk assessments, when decisions are made about the measures to be taken to eliminate or control these risks, and when these risk assessments are reviewed.

5.8 Other workers

Other workers must:

  • take reasonable care of, and cooperate with actions taken to protect, the health and safety of both themselves and others
  • follow safe work practices as provided by their supervisor, including the proper use of any personal protective equipment supplied
  • seek information or advice from a supervisor before performing new or unfamiliar tasks
  • report all health and safety accidents, incidents and hazards to their supervisor as soon as is practicable
  • follow the emergency evacuation procedures.

5.9 Students

Students must:

  • take reasonable care of, and cooperate with actions taken to protect, the health and safety of both themselves and others
  • follow safe work practices, including the proper use of any personal protective equipment supplied
  • seek information or advice from a staff member before performing new or unfamiliar tasks
  • report all health and safety accidents, incidents and hazards to a staff member as soon as is practicable
  • follow the emergency evacuation procedures.

5.10 Visitors

Visitors to UTS must:

  • take reasonable care of, and cooperate with actions taken to protect, the health and safety of both themselves and others
  • report all health and safety accidents, incidents and hazards to a staff member as soon as is practicable
  • follow the emergency evacuation procedures.

5.11 UTS Health and Safety Advisory Committee

In accordance with its terms of reference, the Committee will:

  • establish, monitor and provide advice on strategies to improve a health and safety management system appropriate to the structure, values, culture and practices of the University
  • develop, monitor and report on the UTS Health and Safety Plan which responds to the legislative requirements and legal precedent, current and emerging risks, workers' compensation data, staff survey results and other relevant measures
  • identify strategies to integrate health and safety risk management into the core functions of the University ie research, teaching and learning, operational practices and feed these strategies into the UTS Health and Safety Plan and other relevant University plans
  • establish, monitor and improve mechanisms to consult with staff and students on health and safety issues
  • identify strategies to drive the implementation of the health and safety management system at faculty and unit level through faculty/unit health and safety plans and other strategies
  • coordinate the development of strategies for the practical management of hazards which potentially present a risk to health or safety
  • support the promotion of health, safety and wellbeing at the University
  • review progress against the UTS Health and Safety Plan annually and recommend any pan-University actions to ensure the University has an appropriate and practical health and safety management system.

5.12 Human Resources Unit

The Human Resources Unit takes the primary role in facilitating and coordinating the University's health and safety management system, which includes:

  • leadership of the UTS Health and Safety Plan and health and safety risk management programs
  • establishing, monitoring, auditing and improving the health and safety management system
  • supporting faculties and units in delivering their faculty/unit health and safety plans through service agreements
  • providing advice and guidance to staff and students on the University's risk management and prevention programs
  • maintaining relationships with internal committees (such as the UTS Biosafety Committee) and external organisations (such as the WorkCover Authority of NSW and NSW Health) in the fields of work health and safety, and risk management
  • providing a workplace injury management and return to work program that assists staff to promptly return to safe and durable work following injury or illness
  • managing the University's workers' compensation insurance function
  • monitoring compliance through the regular auditing of faculties and units
  • providing information and training resources to assist managers and supervisors.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Accountable Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)

Implementation Officer: Director, Human Resources

Other positions and committees: Health and Safety Advisory Committee

8. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by (date) Amendment
20/03/2013 1 Vice-Chancellor (04/03/2013) New Directive.
13/08/2015 1.1 Council, COU/14-5/106 (15/10/2014) Consequential changes to align with changes to the Student Rules.
Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (11/12/2014) Changes (approved under Delegation 3.17) to implement 2014 Senior Executive restructure.
Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (27/05/2015) Changes (approved under Delegation 3.17) to update references to the role of Registrar (part of the 2014 restructure).