Work Health and Safety Policy

version Sep 2013; revised June 2016

Work Health and Safety Policy Statement

All staff, contractors, volunteers, customers, visitors and other users of the Australian College have the right to work and study in an environment that is safe.

The College recognises its responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 as "a person conducting a business or undertaking" and as a "supplier of services"; and is committed to safety in the workplace.

Meeting our WHS obligations means that our staff and students need to be aware of and implement the safety procedures in place at their workplace, and any other workplaces that they visit.

The College is committed to a consultative process to ensure that workplace health and safety management is of the highest standard, and that staff and students take a pro-active role in risk minimization.

Where a workplace injury does occur, the College will implement a pro-active return to work rehabilitation program in accordance with its legislative obligations.

The College implements a range of strategies and programs to support this policy such as:

  • Emergency plans
  • First aid facilities
  • Hazard identification and risk assessment procedures
  • Training and instruction provided to staff commensurate with their roles and responsibilities to enable them to comply with this policy
  • Records management system to meet required safety reporting

Students are encouraged to raise concerns about safety with the College so that the areas of concern can be actioned.

Work Health and Safety Policy Details

  • Safety Concerns of Students

    1. Students should advise the College if they have any safety concerns related to how their course is delivered. This can be done by phone, email or in writing. They are encouraged to contact their Student Adviser as their main College contact.

    2. Students with safety concerns about their workplace should advise their employer. Where their concerns affect their safe course completion they should also advise the College. For students registered as trainees, they can get assistance on these employment related issues from their Apprenticeship Centre Officer.

    3. Where students under the age of 18 are raise issues related to, or identified as at risk of neglect or abuse (regardless the source of neglect or abuse) the Children at Risk Policy will be implemented.

  • Safety Procedures of Work Sites We Visit

    1. As new clients are contracted, any unusual aspects about their workplaces that may impact the safety of staff will be recorded in the Organisational Database.

    2. Before staff attend a site for the first time they are to check the Organisational database for any safety information. This will be recorded under the Authorisations Required tab.

    3. When staff attend a client work site for the first time they are to identify the evacuation procedures and assembly points. For large buildings these will be signed. For smaller clients it is appropriate to ask staff what are the procedures.

  • Staff Driving Safety Requirements

    1. Staff required to drive distances to client locations are to ensure they take a rest period of at least 15 minutes every 2 hours. If at all in doubt about their safety to drive, staff are to take as many rest breaks as necessary or find suitable accommodation for the evening.

    2. Use of mobile phones other than hands free is banned when driving.

    3. Use of mobile phone seven in hands free mode is discouraged where this may distract the drivers attention and especially in busy traffic or when travelling at speed.

  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management Procedures

    1. The Managing Director will conduct quarterly formal reviews of our work environment and practices, or delegate this activity, to ensure that any risks are identified.

    2. The hazards identified will be risk assessed using WorkCovers Hazpak Risk assessment sheets.

    3. The Managing Director will be provided with the safety audit report and the associated risk assessments within 3 days of the audit, where this function has been delegated.

    4. Where immediate high level risks are identified the Managing Director or Board of Directors in the unavailability of the Managing Director, must be advised to enable immediate action to address the risk.

    5. The Managing Director must immediately rectify any immediate high level risks. The Managing Director must review all safety audits and implement action to address other risks identified. The Managing Director will review the safety files to ensure there is evidence of safety inspections and follow up action.

  • Fire and Emergency Evacuation Procedures

    1. Staff identifying a fire or smoke hazard are to report the issue to reception who will request an evacuation over the phone PA system.

    2. In the event of fire bells sounding or a request from the Fire Brigade to evacuate all staff will immediately evacuate their work area.

    3. All visitors on the premises will be asked to accompany the employee they are visiting.

    4. The fire exits are to be used unless they are unsafe. Staff or visitors upstairs who are unable to use the stairs must wait for Fire Brigade staff to assist their safe exit.

    The muster points are:

    Wollongong: next the Garbage Storage area at the opposite side of the carpark.

    Sydney: immediately across the road in Cooper street

    The Managing Director or Director will be responsible for confirming that all staff in the office that day are at the muster point, or advising the Emergency Services staff in attendance when someone is not accounted for.

    5. The Managing Director is to co-ordinate fire drills annually, or more regularly where necessary. Staff are to treat Fire Drills as if they were real life evacuations. Records of drills and evacuations must be kept on the Safety File.

    6. Staff should only attempt to fight a fire when they are very confident that they will not be at risk to do so.

  • Consultation on Safety Matters

    1. The College will consult with staff throughout all stages of workplace health and safety management to enable them to contribute to decisions that affect their health and safety. This will be particularly so when there are changes to the workplace or processes that may impact staff safety.

    Consultation will occur when:

    • Identifying hazards and assessing risks arising from work;
    • When making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks;
    • When making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of staff;
    • When proposing changes that may affect staff health and safety;
    • When making decisions about procedures for resolving health and safety issues and other matters; and
    • When carrying out any other activity that has special WHS rules or regulations

    2. College work teams are to specifically address WHS as an agenda item at each bi-monthly meeting, with the view to providing input into how WHS can be improved.

    3. A Workplace Health and Safety Representative will be appointed in accordance with legislation if requested by 5 staff or more. The role of the WHS Representative would be to:

    • Facilitate cooperation between the Directors and staff in instigating, developing and carrying out measures designed to ensure health and safety at work, and
    • Assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the workplace

    In the absence of a WHS Committee being formed the management team will be pro-active in staff consultation about WHS.

  • First Aid Facilities

    1. The First Aid Officer at Wollongong is the Receptionist: Suzie

    2. First Aid Kits of the required size and contents are in place as shown by the signage in each site - in the kitchens. The First Aid Officer is responsible for ensuring they are up to date.

  • Fire Equipment

    1. Wollongong site is equipped with smoke detectors that trigger an audial alarm. The firefighting equipment includes a fire hose, fire extinguishers and a fire blanket. These are maintained by the landlord on six monthly testing.

    2. Sydney is equipped with a fire extinguisher and fire blanket.

    3. Fire equipment testing and adequacy should be considered during safety inspections.

  • Staff WHS Training

    1. All staff must undertake the College Induction Program within one week of commencement that includes a comprehensive safety aspect

    2. All staff are to undertake a formal unit of study in safety. Administrative staff are to do a minimum of a certificate 3 level unit; and student advisers a minimum of a certificate 4 level unit. Managers must complete diploma level studies.

    3. All staff are to complete an annual safety CPD program to maintain

  • Safety Records and Reporting

    1. The College will ensure all required posters, publications and staff information are implemented in accordance with relevant safety and workers compensation requirements.

    2. Statistics will be maintained on all incidents to enable analysis of safety issues, with a view of informing management about possible risks.

    3. All required reporting of incidents and other requirements to meet statutory reporting obligations will be implemented.

  • Staff Safety Obligations

    1. Staff must ensure that they are pro-active in managing their own personal safety at work, as well as ensuring their actions or in actions do not harm others.

    2. Staff must review, adopt and implement our safety policy and procedures.

    3. Staff must advise their manager if they believe that the College may not be fully compliant with safety requirements.

    4. Staff in Student Adviser roles must actively ensure they support the awareness of students of work safety issues.

    5. Staff in the company of students (either at their work site or at College sites) must act to ensure as far as they can ensure the safety of those students and should act to prevent any harm.