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Health and Safety Policy

Abstract

UTS and its senior management are committed to complying with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) and ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its workers (including staff, contractors and affiliates), students and visitors.

This Policy describes the commitment of the University to fulfil its health and safety obligations and the management system employed to this end. It also sets out the responsibilities of members of Council and the Senior Executive for the leadership, strategy, implementation, monitoring and improvement of the University's health and safety management system.

The Health and Safety Policy is also available as a PDF document.

Dates
  • Policy approved 17/10/2012
  • Policy takes effect 20/11/2012
  • Policy is due for review (up to five years) 11/2017
Policy amendment approved 27/05/2015
Policy amendment takes effect 13/08/2015
Approved by Council
Meeting 12/5, 17 October 2012
Resolution COU/12-5/85.2
Latest amendment: Director, Governance Support Unit (see change history for details)
Implementation Officers Safety & Wellbeing Manager, Human Resources Unit
Director, Human Resources Unit
Relevant to Council members, all workers (including staff, contractors and affiliates), students and visitors
Related documents
Legislation
File number UR07/646
Superseded documents None

Contents

1. Purpose

UTS acknowledges that effective health and safety practices are integral to achieving its vision to be a world-leading university of technology. UTS and its senior management are therefore committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its workers (including staff, affiliates and contractors), students and visitors. All members of the UTS community have a collective and individual responsibility to adopt safe work and study practices to prevent injuries and illnesses.

This Policy provides the framework and accountabilities for the implementation of a health and safety management system at UTS, to ensure compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

2. Scope

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

3. Definitions

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

Affiliates
includes honorary appointees, emeritus professors and members of University/faculty committees.
As far as 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.'
Officers
are as defined by Section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwlth) as persons who make or participate in making, decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of the business.
PCBU
is defined as 'persons conducting a business or undertaking' as defined in Section 5 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW). In this Policy, the University of Technology Sydney is the PCBU.
Risk management
is the 'coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to risk' (Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009: Risk management — Principles and guidelines).
Risk management process
is 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' (Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009: Risk management — Principles and guidelines).
Student
includes:
  • all award and non-award students of the University
  • cross-institutional students — that is, students of other Australian universities undertaking cross-institutional study at UTS or using UTS facilities under reciprocal arrangements with their home institutions
  • international students undertaking studies at UTS as part of the Study Abroad or Exchange programs, and
  • visiting international graduate-level research students undertaking supervised research UTS.
Visitor
means any member of the public visiting or transiting the campus.
WHS Act
is the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).
Worker
is as defined in Section 7 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), and includes people carrying out work in any capacity for UTS, including UTS staff, contractors/subcontractors and their employees, employees of labour hire companies who have been assigned to work at UTS, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, work experience students at UTS and volunteers (including members of the UTS Peer Network).

4. Policy principles

The University of Technology Sydney (the PCBU as defined by the WHS Act) recognises its responsibilities to comply with the requirements of work health and safety legislation.

The University aims to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers it has engaged and workers whose activities in carrying out their work are influenced or directed by the University. In order to achieve this, the University aims to ensure:

  • compliance with all applicable legislation
  • integration of health and safety risk management processes into its operations, teaching, research and consulting functions so that the health and safety of workers (including staff, affiliates and contractors), students and visitors is not put at risk while on campus or engaged in UTS work or study related activity
  • that effective consultation and communication mechanisms are implemented, monitored and improved so that workers (including staff, affiliates and contractors), students and visitors understand their responsibilities and are actively involved in improving the health and safety management system
  • the provision of a safe environment for work and study, safe plant and structures and safe systems of work and study
  • that equipment and substances are safe and without risk when used properly
  • the safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances
  • the provision of adequate facilities for the health and safety at work of workers (including staff, affiliates and contractors), students and visitors to the University
  • that the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace are monitored for the purpose of preventing illness or injury arising from University related work or study
  • to make available appropriate information, training, instruction or supervision to workers (including staff and contractors) and where appropriate, students, affiliates and visitors
  • to manage any accidents and incidents that occur, in order to minimise harm to people and prevent recurrences
  • to allocate appropriate resources, including financial, to facilitate the fulfilment of the University's health and safety responsibilities.

5. Policy statements

5.1 The University has established a health and safety management system in consultation with the UTS community. This system operates at both the pan-University level and at the faculty/unit level and includes:

  • planning (the UTS Health and Safety Plan, and faculty/unit health and safety plans)
  • information, procedures and guidelines
  • training, and
  • monitoring, reporting and auditing.

5.2 The success of the health and safety management system depends on the commitment, cooperation and input of all members of the University community.

5.3 The UTS Health and Safety Plan is produced and monitored by the UTS Health and Safety Advisory Committee. The Plan outlines the projects, accountabilities and timeframes to address pan-University high-risk health and safety issues and any deficiencies in the University's health and safety management system. Through the UTS Health and Safety Plan, the University will develop programs and procedures to continuously improve safety in work and study practices and environments.

5.4 Each dean and director will develop, implement and monitor a faculty/unit health and safety plan in consultation with their staff to best suit their specific local area circumstances, work environment, operations, programs, curricula and research.

5.5 The Safety & Wellbeing branch of the Human Resources Unit will work with faculties and units to develop, implement, monitor and audit the health and safety management system.

6. Roles and responsibilities

6.1 The WHS Act sets out the broad responsibilities for persons conducting a business or undertaking (ie the University), Officers, workers and others. Whilst tasks related to fulfilling these responsibilities may be performed by others, the responsibilities themselves cannot be delegated, transferred or contracted out.

6.2 The Officers of the University for the purpose of this Policy are members of Council, members of the Senior Executive and the University Secretary. In certain instances, other senior managers may be found to be an Officer and this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Officers of the University must exercise due diligence — as defined in section 27(5) of the WHS Act and expanded upon in section 6.3 below — to ensure the University, as the PCBU, complies with its duties or obligations.

6.3 Members of Council have the responsibility to:

  • acquire and keep up-to-date general knowledge of the University's health and safety management system and issues
  • gain an understanding of the nature of the University's operations and generally of the hazards and risks associated with those operations
  • assure themselves that the University's health and safety management system is integrated into all University operations, teaching, research and consulting functions
  • ensure that the University has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety from work carried out as part of its operations
  • ensure that the University has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information
  • ensure that the University has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation under the WHS Act such as:
    • reporting notifiable incidents
    • consulting with workers and affiliates
    • ensuring compliance with notices issued under the WHS Act
    • ensuring the provision of training and instruction to workers about work health and safety
    • ensuring that health and safety representatives receive appropriate training.

6.4 Vice-Chancellor

In addition to the responsibilities for Members of Council listed above, the Vice-Chancellor is responsible to Council for the overall implementation of this Policy. This includes the allocation of resources for effective implementation, and ensuring workers (including staff, affiliates and contractors), students and visitors are aware of their responsibilities through appropriate delegation.

6.5 Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellors

In addition to the responsibilities for Members of Council listed above, the Provost and the Deputy Vice-Chancellors will:

  • implement this Policy and advise the Vice-Chancellor on health and safety issues within their areas of control
  • encourage the integration of health and safety risk management into operations, programs, curricula and research as appropriate
  • take action to ensure compliance with relevant policy, legislation and standards
  • ensure that faculties and units under their control develop, implement and monitor a faculty/unit health and safety plan.

6.6 In addition, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) will also:

  • report annually to the Vice-Chancellor on the implementation of the University's Health and Safety Plan
  • monitor and report to the Vice-Chancellor on health and safety performance
  • authorise appropriate action to ensure compliance with this Policy.

6.7 Responsibilities of others

Further health and safety responsibilities are as defined in the University's Health and Safety Responsibilities Vice-Chancellor's Directive.

Accountable Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services)

Implementation Officer: Director, Human Resources Unit

7. Acknowledgements

There are no acknowledgements relevant to this Policy.

8. Version control and change history

Date Version Approved by, resolution no. (date) Amendment
15/08/2007 1 COU/07-4/80 Risk management and sustainability approach to EHS embedded.
01/05/2012 1.1 GSU Administrative only — updated references to legislation, Australian standards, and name of Safety & Wellbeing branch.
20/11/2012 (effective date) 2 COU12-5/85.2 (17/10/2012) Environment Health and Safety Policy renamed to Health and Safety Policy and amended due to legislative amendment; updated responsibilities for workers into Health and Safety Responsibilities Matrix; clarified responsibilities for Council and Senior Executive as per the WHS Act; and clarified limitations of the Safety & Wellbeing role regarding environmental compliance to only those hazards that also present health and safety risks.
13/08/2015 (effective date) 2.1 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).