Policy

Health, Safety and Wellness - Policy

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Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this policy is to establish the University’s overall health, safety and wellness objectives and demonstrate the Senate’s and the Vice-Chancellor and President’s commitment to continual improvement of UQs health and safety performance. This policy applies to all staff, students, visitors, controlled entities, contractors and volunteers across all University operations and sites.

Occupational health and safety management at UQ is an enabling management function overseen by the Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee and the Chief Operating Officer, and is undertaken by managers and staff at all levels of the University and in all aspects of its operations.

1.1       Context

The University of Queensland is committed to building an agile, responsive and efficient university operation. We regard the health, safety and wellness of our people as integral to this commitment and an ethical, moral and legal responsibility. It is unacceptable for people to be harmed in the course of their endeavours at UQ – effective management of safety and compliance risks is a non-negotiable under the Senate approved Risk Appetite Statement.

UQ encourages innovation and prudent investment in strategies to protect the health, safety and wellness of our people with a focus on the prevention of high risk. We are dedicated to continuous improvement in the prevention of injuries, illness and incidents through an effective health and safety management system and a proactive health, safety and wellness culture.

Our health, safety and wellness principles are:

  • Health, safety and wellness is a moral and ethical responsibility.
  • Management is accountable for driving health, safety and wellness in the workplace.
  • It is unacceptable for people to be harmed in the course of their endeavours at UQ.
  • Leadership commitment on the health, safety and wellness of our people is expected and essential.

1.2    UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness Obligations

The University is obligated to comply with relevant health and safety legislation, self-insurance licence conditions for workers’ compensation and University policies and procedures.

The occupational health and safety management functions are shaped by the Australian Standards, AS/NZS 4801: Occupational health and safety management system – Specification with guidance for use and AS/NZS 4804: Occupational health and safety management system – General guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques.

This policy also enables other obligations and requirements to be met, including supporting the achievement of the University’s approved objectives and strategic priorities and the UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Strategy 2017-2021.

1.3    UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness Objectives

The overall objective is to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our people, while facilitating the achievement of UQ’s strategic and operational objectives.

Through its teaching and research, UQ is a prominent contributor to the development of practices and policies that enhance the global environment. It is the intent of UQ to conduct its internal operations in the spirit of this leadership role and we aim to be recognised as a health, safety and wellness leader in the sector.

The University has established HSW Goals for the University, which demonstrate its commitment to establishing measurable objectives and targets. The goals align the UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Strategy 2017-2021, to ensure continual improvement and the prevention of work-related injury and illness.

1.4    UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Policy Statement

The UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Policy Statement is an appendix to this policy which succinctly presents the policy in a one-page format for public distribution.

2.0    Key Requirements

To demonstrate a commitment to improving health, safety and wellness, UQ will:

  1. Establish and implement the UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Strategy 2017-2021.
  2. Establish the HSW Goals of the University to ensure continual improvement aimed at the prevention of injury and illness.
  3. Maintain an occupational health and safety management system in accordance with relevant legislative and self-insurance licence conditions, and provide adequate resources as determined by the nature and scale of the University’s activities.
  4. Ensure occupational health and safety risk management processes are proportionate and evidence informed and aligned with the risk appetite statement (RAS) approved by the Senate.
  5. Emphasise leaders at all levels will demonstrate, through their actions, their accountability and commitment to the health, safety and wellness of our people.
  6. Ensure people are trained and competent, and empower them to take personal responsibility for their own wellbeing and the safety of others.
  7. Encourage and support people to continually challenge the environment in which they work, and participate in the safe planning of their workplace activities.
  8. Encourage open consultation, collaboration and dissemination of safety information including the communication of this policy to all staff and students.
  9. Engage with those suppliers, contractors and industry partners who support and accept our health, safety and wellness principles and goals.
  10. Effectively communicate our health, safety and wellness standards and expectations to all visitors, partners, contractors, volunteers and interested parties.
  11. Recognise positive outcomes and innovation as strong indicators of proactive performance.
  12. Provide meaningful and useful information and assurance to senior management on health, safety and wellness performance.
  13. Periodically review this policy and the occupational health and safety management system to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate to the organisation.

3.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

3.1    Senate and Vice-Chancellor

The Senate is the University’s governing body and accountable for the effective and efficient governance of the University. The Senate approves the University’s Health, Safety and Wellness Policy. The Vice-Chancellor is the chief executive officer and an Officer under the Work Health and Safety Act. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible to the Senate for the leadership, management and development of the University, the implementation of the University's policies and the achievement of its strategic goals.

3.2    Senate Risk and Audit Committee

The role of the Senate Risk and Audit Committee (SR&AC) is to oversee the assessment and management of enterprise risks. The Committee’s responsibilities are in relation to enterprise risk of which health and safety form part.

3.3    Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee (VCRCC)

The VCRCC provides assurance to the Vice-Chancellor and President and the SR&AC on the effectiveness of UQ’s risk management and compliance frameworks and practices and on significant risk or compliance issues. The VCRCC provides management oversight of occupational health and safety at UQ.

3.4    Occupational Health and Safety Division

The OHS Division provides overall direction, co-ordination and leadership to the University on OHS matters, to effectively manage OHS risk and minimise injury and illness of staff and students during their teaching, research and support activities.

3.5    Supervisors and Managers

Supervisors and managers have a responsibility to ensure the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of an effective system for managing occupational health and safety and wellness within their areas of responsibility.  UQ management is responsible for driving health, safety and wellness and to undertake effective measures to ensure workers fulfil their responsibilities. Specific OHS responsibilities of supervisors and managers are detailed in the PPL 2.10.4 Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety.

3.6    Workers

All workers have specific responsibilities for ensuring health and safety, based on the Queensland Work and Health and Safety Act 2011, and related regulations and legislation. Specific OHS responsibilities of workers are dependent on their role within the University, refer to PPL 2.10.4 Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety.

4.0    Monitoring and Review

Under the oversight and direction of senior executives and the VCRCC, the following groups of people within the University will undertake monitoring and review activities to assess and ensure effective and efficient health and safety management.

While each group has its own monitoring and review objectives and scope consistent with their respective roles in the organisation, there will be ongoing communication and consultation amongst them to ensure effective and efficient monitoring and reviews at each level and avoidance of duplications. 

4.1    Management

As the first line of defence, managers will monitor and review their operational activities, risks and controls to ensure effective health and safety management, improve performance and compliance. Monitoring and reviews performed at this level will be facilitated by OHS staff and is generally embedded in the routine processes, procedures and activities of front line operating management. 

4.2    OHS Division

As the second line of defence, the OHS Division will monitor and review the compliance practices and health and safety management performance across the University to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the related controls including policies and procedures.

5.0    Recording and Reporting

Reporting and recording of near misses, hazards, incidents and injuries is recognised as an important component in effectively preventing harm. UQ encourages people to challenge the environment in which they work through open communication and reporting.

The OHS Division provides the resources to record the transactions, activities and results associated with the policy. The OHS Division will provide the relevant information and reports to senior management and the VCRCC to demonstrate and provide assurance that the objectives and outcomes warranted by this policy are being achieved.

6.0    Appendix - Health, Safety and Wellness Policy Statement

The University of Queensland regards the health, safety and wellness of our people as an ethical and moral responsibility. Safety and compliance risk are non-negotiable as the University aspires to zero harm for all staff, students, visitors, controlled entities, contractors and volunteers across all University operations and sites.

UQ encourages innovation and prudent investment in strategies to protect the health, safety and wellness of our people with a focus on the prevention of high risk. We are dedicated to continuous improvement in the prevention of injuries, illness and incidents through an effective health and safety management system and by actively driving a proactive health, safety and wellness culture.

Our health, safety and wellness principles are:

  • Health, safety and wellness is a moral and ethical responsibility
  • Management is accountable for driving health, safety and wellness in the workplace
  • It is unacceptable for people to be harmed in the course of their endeavours at UQ
  • Leadership commitment on the health, safety and wellness of our people is expected and essential

Through its teaching and research, UQ is a prominent contributor to the development of practices and policies that enhance the global environment. It is the intent of UQ to conduct its internal operations in the spirit of this leadership role as we aim to be recognised as a health, safety and wellness leader in the sector. This will be achieved by:

  • Emphasising that leaders at all levels must demonstrate, through their actions, their accountability and commitment to the health, safety and wellness of our people.
  • Adopting a constructive, proactive approach through the implementation of the UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Strategy 2017-2021.
  • Establishing the Health, Safety and Wellness Goals of the University to ensure continual improvement and provide assurance to senior management on our performance.
  • Maintaining an occupational health and safety management system in accordance with relevant legislative and self-insurance licence conditions, and provide adequate resources as determined by the nature and scale of the University’s workplace activities.
  • Ensuring occupational health and safety risk management processes are proportionate, evidence informed and aligned with the risk appetite statement (RAS) approved by the Senate.
  • Encouraging people to continually challenge the environment in which they work and empowering them through training and competency to take personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.
  • Encouraging open consultation, collaboration and dissemination of safety information and engage with suppliers, contractors and industry partners to raise the standards of safety.
  • Recognising positive outcomes and innovation as strong indicators of proactive performance.

Everyone at The University of Queensland is required to fully support and promote this policy by complying with the requirements and duties contained in the OHS management system and the UQ Health, Safety and Wellness Strategy 2017-2021.

We strive for excellence in everything we do, including the health, safety and wellness of our people.

A full text version of the HSW Policy refer to the PPL 2.10.03 Health, Safety and Wellness Policy.

Custodians
Director, Occupational Health and Safety
Mr Jim Carmichael
Custodians
Director, Occupational Health and Safety
Mr Jim Carmichael