- Policy Statement
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Revisions made to this Policy
- Further Assistance
Australian Catholic University (ACU) operates under harmonised work health and safety laws in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Victoria.
Articulate ACU’s commitment to implementing, maintaining and continuously improving its Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS or framework), providing a safe working and learning environment, and enhancing the wellbeing of the University community.
This policy applies to all staff members, staff representatives, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors within the workplace or participating in University related activities within Australia and overseas, and applies to all activities managed or influenced by the University.
4. Policy Statement
The University is committed to:
- providing its people with a welcoming, safe and healthy working and learning environment;
- continuously improving its health and safety performance and WHSMS - with the aim of eliminating work related injury and illness;
- developing a minimum of three measurable WHS objectives and three targets, from 2019, which will be reviewed every two years, to facilitate continuous improvements in its WHSMS;
- supporting and promoting wellbeing;
- complying with Commonwealth and State/Territory work and health and safety legislation and regulations, National Codes of Practice, standards, guidelines, and ACU WHSMS policies and procedures;
- initiating two-way consultations and effectively engaging staff members, their representatives, ACU’s contractors, students and others, about its WHSMS and wellbeing issues to improve their understanding of their role and commitment to contributing to the framework and improvement opportunities;
- regularly reporting and applying learnings from workplace incidents, injuries, hazards and near misses;
- identifying and managing significant WHS risks, in collaboration with staff and contractors, and opportunities for improving the WHSMS;
- providing supportive return to work programs that are sustainable and timely for injured or ill staff members; and
- ensuring the WHSMS achieves its intended outcomes and the framework is integrated into University processes and frameworks, and the framework is reviewed at least every two years to ensure that it is suitable, adequate and effective; and
- allocating appropriate resources, including training and instruction, to facilitate continuous improvements in the WHSMS and a welcoming, safe and healthy working and learning environment where everyone knows how to confidently apply safe systems of work and contribute to the WHSMS.
5. Roles and Responsibilities
All Staff and Students
Staff and students are responsible for each other’s safety and wellbeing, including their own, and are able to do this by:
- Understanding how they contribute to the WHSMS;
- Actively participating in WHS&W consultations;
- Engaging with risk assessment and management processes;
- Confidently apply safe work instructions or procedures;
- Identifying and reporting hazards, incidents and ‘near misses’ within riskware; and
- Participating in WHSMS improvement opportunities, such as participating in WHS inspections and completing ergonomic checklists.
Senior Executive and Executive Staff
Members of the Senior Executive are classified as Officers under WHS legislation and the University has also assigned Officer responsibilities, associated with these legal obligations, to Executive Staff. Members of the Senior Executive and Executive Staff must ensure they maintain current WHS knowledge, that ACU manages its WHS risks and allocates sufficient resources to ensure the University’s Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS) is implemented, maintained and continuously improved and aligned with other business processes and University frameworks.
Senior Executive and Executive Staff also:
- Demonstrate leadership by ensuring the WHS&W Policy and WHS objectives and targets are established, aligned with the strategic direction of the University and are achievable;
- Are accountable for ensuring all significant WHS risks are identified and managed, and appropriate safe systems of work are regularly reviewed and maintained;
- Actively monitoring and evaluating health and safety management;
- Continuously learn about work health and safety (WHS) matters, including compliance obligations, and respond to information about incidents, hazards, WHS risks and opportunities, and implement processes to manage these risks and continuously improve the WHSMS;
- Engage in two-way consultations with staff and others, including contractors, about WHS risk and initiate reviews of the WHSMS, every two years, to ensure that it is suitable, adequate and effective.
Campus Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committees
WHS Committees represent staff and students and help to improve the University’s WHSMS and the management of WHS risks and opportunities. They review incidents, injuries, near misses and hazards, and make recommendations about corrective actions to apply learnings from these events. Committee Members review WHS risk registers, conduct WHS inspections and actively participate in WHS consultations. Members are updated about the work the WHS Management Committee is undertaking to improve health and safety outcomes.
WHS Management Committee
The WHS Management Committee ensures the WHSMS supports the University to continuously improve its health and safety performance. It also sets WHS direction, objectives and targets, and reviews the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the framework. The Committee ensures that other consultative forums support the University by engaging in two-way consultations about its WHSMS and risks. Members of the Committee facilitate a cooperative and collaborative approach to monitoring, reviewing and treating (controls) WHS risk, and continuously improving the WHSMS. Members also demonstrate leadership by ensuring that the framework is applied to those working and learning activities that they manage or influence.
Health and Safety Representatives (HSR)
HSRs represent staff members within work groups and monitor ACU’s WHSMS. They advocate for their workgroup and respond to WHS concerns and risks that may be faced by their work group.
Contractors engage in two-way consultations with ACU about hazards and associated risks and its WHSMS and apply safe systems of work. They familiarise themselves and comply with legislative requirements and formally assess and manage WHS risks.
Members of the Senior Executive, Executive and Senior Management
As defined by the University’s Delegations of Authority Policy and Register.
People who can make decisions or participate in making decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of a business or undertaking. It is a requirement of Health and Safety legislation that any officer of an organisation must exercise due diligence to ensure the organisation complies with its health and safety duties. This means they must ensure the organisation has appropriate systems of work in place and should actively monitor and evaluate health and safety management within the organisation.
A group of workers represented by HSRs, on each campus, who in many cases share similar work conditions (for example all the professional and academic staff members on the Strathfield Campus).
7. Revisions made to this Policy
Major, Minor or Editorial
12 December 2017
The policy has been significantly simplified and articulates ACU’s commitment to provide staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors with a welcoming, safe, healthy working and learning environment whenever they participate in University business within Australia or overseas.
20 January 2020
The policy has been aligned with International Standard ISO 45001. The scope of staff that are classified have also been reduced to reflect recent legal precedents.
The University may make changes to this procedure from time to time to improve its effectiveness. If any staff member wishes to make any comments about this procedure, they should forward their suggestions to Human Resources.
8. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this policy should first consult their nominated supervisor, who is responsible for the implementation and operation of the WHSMS within their work area. Should further information or advice be required staff should visit Service Central.
- Work Health Safety, and Wellbeing (WHS&W) Policy (Policy, PDF File, 293.0 KB)
|Policy applies to||
|Policy Status||Revision of Existing Policy|
|Approval Authority||Vice-Chancellor And President|
|Governing Authority||Chief Operating Officer|
|Responsible Officer||Director, Human Resources|
|Date of Last Revision||20/01/2020|
|Effective Date of Last Revision||20/01/2020|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
- Model Work Health and Safety Act 2010
- ACT Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Qld Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- SA Work Health and Safety Act 2012
- VIC Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- AS/NZ 4801: 2001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems - General guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques
- ACU Risk Management Policy
- ACU WHS Risk Management Program Guidelines
- ACU WHS Inspections Checklist
- ACU Risk Management Procedure
- ACU Emergency and Critical Incident Policy
- ACU Pandemic Diseases Policy
- ACU First Aid Policy
- Safety and Wellbeing
Page last updated: 2020-03-05
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/487382