Procedures

Work Off-Campus - Procedure

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure outlines The University of Queensland's requirements for work off-campus being undertaken by workers. The purpose is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of work off-campus participants and compliance with relevant legislative requirements.

The objective of this procedure is to:

  • Outline responsibilities of senior officers, supervisors and work off-campus participants.
  • Ensure adequate planning and OHS risk management of work off-campus.
  • Ensure adequate information is provided to all stakeholders for approval and emergency preparedness and response.
  • Ensure the work off-campus OHS risk management process is documented and recorded.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

OHS Division - Occupational Health and Safety Division of The University of Queensland.

OHS Risk Assessment - may refer to one or multiple OHS risk assessments.

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

Reasonably considered - a sound and sensible judgment that a reasonable person would consider in the circumstance, taking all factors into account.

Relevant legislation - Refers collectively to all laws associated with the work or activity being undertaken, the relevant work health and safety laws of Queensland and those associated with the local jurisdiction where the work is being undertaken. Legislation in this context includes Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and relevant standards. E.g. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), Biosecurity Act 2015 (C’th), Occupational Diving Work Code of Practice 2005 (Qld).

Risk - The possibility that harm (injury, illness or death) might occur when exposed to a hazard.

Senior Officers - The Senior Executives, Executive Deans, Heads of School and Directors of Institutes and major centres and the Directors of central services and administrative divisions.

Supervisor - means the person responsible for day to day supervision of a staff member or other person so designated by the University (University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017).

Work off-campus (WOC) - Commonly known as fieldwork. Work off-campus relates to research, teaching, learning, instruction or other activities, which takes place at locations that are not registered as UQ sites. Work off-campus may include unfamiliar surroundings or uncontrolled environments.

WOC leader - The person at the work off-campus location who is appointed by the supervisor to be responsible for day to day supervision of work off-campus participants. The WOC leader reports to the supervisor or senior officer where relevant.

WOC participants - Workers participating in work off-campus.

Workers - Staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors of The University of Queensland.

Workplace - The off-campus location where work is being conducted is recognised as a workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) or relevant legislation.

3. Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to all workers participating in work off-campus and staff including Supervisors and Senior Officers who have responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of the workers and those exposed to their activities.

The scope of the procedure relates to work off-campus (as defined in section 2) that is reasonably considered at a medium or greater OHS risk level. To assist in considering whether this procedure is applicable refer to examples of work off-campus which are detailed in PPL 2.30.09c Work Off-Campus - Guideline.

This procedure does not strictly apply to work off-campus reasonably considered at a low OHS risk level. There are many differing aspects to the types of work off-campus undertaken and therefore each must be considered on their individual merit. It is recommended where work off-campus is reasonably considered at a low OHS risk level, a proportionate OHS risk management approach is taken. This may involve conducting an OHS risk assessment for the work off-campus or for other reasons e.g. driving to the location.

Work off-campus reasonably considered at a low OHS risk level includes (but is not limited to), work off-campus located in a low-risk environment and where the OHS risks of the travel and work are considered minimal. For example, travel via a reputable airline to a major Australian business centre for:

  • conference participation in a conference facility.
  • administrative activities, interviews or audits in established facilities i.e. hospitals, schools.
  • educational presentations or workshops in classroom environments.

This procedure also does not apply to:

  1. Staff working from home - refer to PPL 5.55.07 Flexible Working Arrangements.
  2. Student placements - refer to PPL 3.10.04 Placements Coursework Programs - Policy.
  3. Students undertaking work experience - refer to PPL 3.10.04 Placements Coursework Programs - Policy.

For information regarding University travel - refer to PPL 1.90.01 Travel - Policy

4. Procedure Statement

The University frequently engages in work off-campus which is diverse in nature and may take place in unfamiliar surroundings or uncontrolled environments. The work itself may involve high risk activities and/or may be conducted in a hazardous environment. Persons involved in the planning of, and participating in work off-campus must ensure a proportionate OHS risk management approach is taken. All persons must comply with their duties under the relevant legislation applicable to the work off-campus location and the work that they are performing. OHS risks associated with the work off-campus must be documented and recorded in accordance with the University's OHS policies and procedures.

5. Responsibilities

5.1 Responsibilities

Staff at all levels at The University of Queensland have specific responsibilities for ensuring occupational health and safety. Senior Officers, managers, and supervisors have duties under relevant legislation to exercise due diligence to ensure the health and safety of participants engaged in work off-campus. WOC participants have duties relating to workers under relevant legislation to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and for the health and safety of other persons.

Specific health and safety responsibilities for work off-campus at The University of Queensland include:

5.1.1 Senior Officers

  • Acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters in relation to proposed work-off campus.
  • Ensure adequate resources have been allocated for carrying out the work in accordance with approved WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment.
  • Ensure appropriate processes are in place for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information.
  • Review the performance of supervisors, staff and students with regard to their health and safety responsibilities for work off-campus.
  • Ensure that appropriate approvals have been granted, and records maintained, relating to work off-campus.

5.1.2 Supervisors

  • Supervise the development of WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment for the work off-campus.
  • Ensure adequate information is provided to all stakeholders for review and emergency preparedness and response.
  • Approve WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment.
  • Ensure that appropriate emergency procedures and equipment are in place for work off-campus.
  • Ensure that WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment are updated if the nature of the work changes and new OHS risks are introduced or a WOC Plan proves inappropriate.
  • Provide appropriate induction and training for WOC participants.
  • Ensure the provision, maintenance and proper use of PPE associated with work off-campus.
  • Provide appropriate supervision (appoint WOC Leader) to ensure that all WOC participants comply with the requirements of the WOC Plan and OHS Risk Assessment.
  • Ensure that timely reporting and appropriate corrective action is taken for all incidents involving WOC participants.

5.1.3 Work off-campus leader/participant (worker)

  • Participate in the development of WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment and obtain approval from the supervisor prior to the commencement of work.
  • Participate in work off-campus induction and training programs, as instructed by the supervisor.
  • Comply with legislative requirements and the University's policies and procedures.
  • Implement OHS risk control measures as described in OHS Risk Assessment.
  • Limit work off-campus to the approved, specified activities detailed in the WOC plan and OHS Risk Assessment.
  • Consult with the Supervisor if the nature of the work changes and new OHS risks are introduced or a WOC Plan proves inappropriate.
  • Update WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment if the nature of the work off-campus changes.
  • Ensure that emergency procedures and equipment are in place for work off-campus.
  • Report any injury, illness or near-miss event to the supervisor.

6. Work Off-Campus Plan

When planning work off-campus a WOC Plan must be completed and approved. The WOC Plan must include all relevant information relating to the work off-campus including travel, location, participants, communications, emergency plan, safe work procedures and OHS risk assessment. The extent of the planning and detail in the WOC Plan should be proportionate to the complexity and potentially hazardous nature of the work. Expert advice should be sought when considering appropriate OHS risk controls.

The Supervisor must review and approve the WOC Plan prior to the commencement of work and ensure the distribution of the approved WOC Plan to all WOC participants and the nominated University contact. Depending on the nature of the work, the Supervisor must ensure adequate information is provided to all stakeholders for review and emergency preparedness and response. This may include but is not limited to local police, rangers, security or permit issuers.

Refer to PPL 2.30.09c Work Off-Campus - Guideline for detailed guidance and direction when planning work off-campus.

The WOC Plan template is available on the forms tab of this procedure.

When requesting approval for travel for work off-campus, the WOC Plan and the OHS Risk Assessment should be provided to the relevant approver during the travel approval process. A reference to the WOC Plan and OHS Risk Assessment should be entered into the UniFi "Fieldwork Description" box. Further information relating to travel, refer to PPL 1.90.01a Travel- Policy.

7. Work Off-Campus OHS Risk Assessment

OHS Risk Assessment is the documented process that forms part of the University's OHS Risk Management procedure. OHS risk assessment ensures that the OHS hazards, risks and existing controls for work are identified and assessed. Where the current risk level requires attention or immediate action, proposed controls are required to be implemented to reduce the OHS risk as low as reasonably practicable.

In accordance with PPL 2.30.01 Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management - Procedure, an OHS Risk Assessment must be completed and approved for the work off-campus within the scope of this procedure. The OHS Risk Assessment must include all activities that constitute the work off-campus, including basic activities and specific activities which are detailed in safe work procedures.

Where the specific activities that constitute the work off-campus are complex or have no safe work procedures documented, an OHS Risk Assessment may be required for specific activity. This should be identified during the consultation process when establishing the context of the work off-campus and detailed in the OHS Risk Assessment descriptive fields.

OHS Risk Assessments should be completed in the UQ Risk Management Database, which can be accessed via the OHS Division website OHS Risk Management.

The following details the OHS Risk Management process in relation to the work off-campus considerations when conducting an OHS Risk Assessment:

7.1 Context and consultation

The first step in the OHS risk management process is to define the context of the work off-campus. Consultation should occur between supervisors, WOC leaders/participants, and if required health and safety representatives, WHS coordinators, OHS Division, Senior Officers and other relevant experts, giving due consideration to:

  • The work processes, practices, activities, tasks that will be carried out.
  • The plant, equipment and materials that will be utilised during the work.
  • How hazards/risks may interact with one another, e.g. one activity may affect the risks in another.
  • The people involved in carrying out the proposed work processes, and in what capacity.
  • Whether the work off-campus participants involved are sufficiently competent, skilled, and experienced.
  • The location and environmental considerations.
  • Emergency response and rescue.

Consultation may also extend to suppliers or manufacturers of plant, equipment or materials to be used during work off-campus.

7.2 Hazard identification and risk assessment

Once the context of the work has been defined and consultation has occurred, the next process is to complete the OHS Risk Assessment following these basic steps:

  1. Identify the hazards associated with work being conducted off-campus and the location.
  2. Assess the OHS risks associated with the identified hazards – who might be harmed, and how?
  3. Identify, determine and document appropriate control measures to minimise OHS risk and prevent harm.
  4. Ensure adequate resourcing, procedures, supervision and training are in place to effectively implement the control measures.

7.3 Risk controls

During work off-campus all WOC participants must ensure that controls measures are implemented and monitored according to the OHS Risk Assessment. WOC leaders and participants should limit work off-campus to the approved, specified activities detailed in the WOC plan and OHS Risk Assessment. In the event the nature of the work changes and new OHS risk are introduced or a WOC Plan proves inappropriate, the WOC leader and participants should consult with the Supervisor.

The WOC leader and participants should update WOC Plans and OHS Risk Assessment (by suitable means) and ensure emergency procedures and equipment in place remain relevant and effective for the changes to the work off-campus.

7.4 Incident reporting

All incidents must be reported via the online UQ Safe - Incident Reporting Database on the OHS Division website.

8. Further Information

OHS Division

Phone: 3365 2365

Email: ohs@uq.edu.au

Custodians
Director, Occupational Health and Safety
Mr Jim Carmichael

Guidelines

Work Off-Campus - Guideline

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1. Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this guideline is to provide additional information relating to work off-campus to assist in the planning, approval and participating in work off-campus.

The objectives of this guideline are to:

  • Provide an overview of various types of work off-campus for consideration when planning and approving work off-campus.
  • Provide method and instruction for the development of a Work Off-campus Plan.
  • Provide information and direct to relevant UQ policies and procedures regarding specific OHS hazards, risks and risk control measures.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

OHS Division - Occupational Health and Safety Division of The University of Queensland.

OHS Risk Assessment - may refer to one or multiple OHS risk assessments.

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

Reasonably considered - a sound and sensible judgment that a reasonable person would consider in the circumstance, taking all factors into account.

Relevant legislation - Refers collectively to all laws associated with the work or activity being undertaken, the relevant work health and safety laws of Queensland and those associated with the local jurisdiction where the work is being undertaken. Legislation in this context includes Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and relevant standards. E.g.Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), Biosecurity Act 2015 (C’th), Occupational Diving Work Code of Practice 2005 (Qld).

Risk - The possibility that harm (injury, illness or death) might occur when exposed to a hazard.

Senior Officers - The Senior Executives, Executive Deans, Heads of School and Directors of Institutes and major centres and the Directors of central services and administrative divisions.

Supervisor - means the person responsible for day to day supervision of a staff member or other person so designated by the University (University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017).

Work off-campus (WOC) - Commonly known as fieldwork. Work off-campus relates to research, teaching, learning, instruction or other activities, which takes place at locations that are not registered as UQ sites. Work off-campus may include unfamiliar surroundings or uncontrolled environments.

WOC leader - The person at the work off-campus location who is appointed by the supervisor to be responsible for day to day supervision of work off-campus participants. The WOC leader reports to the supervisor or senior officer where relevant.

WOC participants - Workers participating in work off-campus.

Workers - Staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors of The University of Queensland.

Workplace - The off-campus location where work is being conducted is recognised as a workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) or relevant legislation.

3. Guideline Scope/Coverage

The scope and coverage for Work Off-Campus is detailed in section 3 of PPL 2.30.09b Work Off-Campus - Procedure.

The guidance provided in the document is detailed information regarding specific hazards, risks and risk control measures to ensure work off-campus is adequately planned.

4. Guideline Statement

This guideline is a supplement to PPL 2.30.09b Work Off-Campus - Procedure and should be used in conjunction with the procedure to ensure the prevention of work-related injury or illness during work off-campus.

5. Work Off-Campus Overview

The University frequently engages in work off-campus which is diverse in nature and may take place in unfamiliar surroundings or uncontrolled environments. While the location of work off-campus may not be a registered UQ site, it is legally a workplace.

All persons must comply with their duties under the relevant legislation applicable to the workplace. This includes those senior officers and supervisors involved in the planning and approval stages and WOC participants performing the work.

Work off-campus as defined in section 2 above, is work that is reasonably considered at a medium or greater OHS risk level. The following are examples of the types of work off-campus that are considered to be medium or greater OHS risk level. These include but are not limited to:

  • Archaeology expeditions, geological and geographical research
  • Boating, diving, snorkelling, marine and estuary research
  • Collecting biological and other specimens
  • Farm studies and animal research at a non-UQ facility
  • Fauna observations and population monitoring
  • International travel to countries where health and/or personal security may be under threat
  • Interviewing members of the public, investigative journalism and photography
  • Working at mine sites or excavation sites
  • Working or studies in remote or isolated locations
  • Surveying work e.g. soil, vegetation.

The WOC Procedure does not strictly apply to work off-campus reasonably considered at a low OHS risk level. There are many differing aspects to the types of work off-campus undertaken and therefore each must be considered on their individual merit. It is recommended where work off-campus is reasonably considered at a low OHS risk level, a proportionate OHS risk management approach is taken. This may involve conducting an OHS risk assessment for the work off-campus or for other reasons e.g. driving to the location.

Work off-campus reasonably considered at a low OHS risk level includes (but is not limited to), work off-campus located in a low-risk environment and where the OHS risks of the travel and work are considered minimal.

The following are examples of the types of work off-campus that are considered to be low OHS risk level:

  • Travel via a reputable airline to a major Australian business centre
  • Conference participation in a conference facility
  • Administrative activities, interviews or audits in established facilities i.e. hospitals, schools
  • Educational presentations or workshops in a classroom environment
  • Clinical placement including clinical work at a non-UQ facility
  • Staff working at another organisation's workplace such as a hospital, laboratory or office.

The WOC Procedure, Guideline and WOC Plan do not apply to:

  • Staff working from home
  • Student placements
  • Students undertaking work experience.

6. Responsibilities

PPL 2.30.09b Work Off-Campus - Procedure outlines the responsibilities of senior officers, supervisors, WOC leaders and participants in relation to work off-campus.

7. Consultation

Consultation between Supervisors, WOC leaders and participants must be conducted to ensure all relevant persons are familiar with the details of the WOC Plan, OHS Risk Assessment/s and safe working procedures. Briefing sessions should occur prior to commencing the work off-campus and allow sufficient time to ensure WOC participants have adequate time for required preparations (e.g. medical counselling, vaccinations or acquiring appropriate clothing).

When working through the OHS Risk Management process, consultation may also be required with other relevant stakeholders including WHS coordinators, OHS Division, Senior Officers and other relevant experts.

The Workplace Health and Safety Representative (WHSR) from the relevant organisational unit is also entitled to be consulted in relation to the development, implementation or review of the Work Off-Campus Plan and OHS Risk Assessment. Refer to PPL 2.10.05 Work Health and Safety Representative Role and Function - Procedures.

8. Work-Off Campus OHS Risk Assessment

To conduct a Work Off-campus OHS Risk Assessment, refer to PPL 2.30.09b Work Off-Campus - Procedure.

For general OHS Risk Management information refer to PPL 2.30.01b Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management - Procedure.

9. Work Off-Campus Plan

A WOC Plan template is available on the forms tab of the WOC Procedure.

If the work off-campus being planned is within the scope and coverage of the WOC Procedure, then a WOC Plan must be completed.

Section 10 of this guideline provides an overview of work off-campus considerations and direction to relevant UQ policies and procedures regarding specific hazards, risks and risk control measures to assist with planning. This is a guide and not an exhaustive list and discretion should be exercised. When appropriate, the supervisor should contact their local OHS Manager or WHS Coordinator, or the OHS Division and/or seek expert advice for issues which are not addressed in this section.

9.1 Review and approval

The WOC Plan and OHS Risk Assessments must be reviewed by the Supervisor prior to approval and the commencement of work.

The Supervisor must ensure the distribution of the approved WOC Plan to all WOC participants and the nominated University contact. Depending on the nature of the work, the Supervisor must ensure adequate information is provided to all stakeholders for review and emergency preparedness and response. This may include but is not limited to local police, rangers, security or permit issuers.

10. Work Off-Campus Considerations

When undertaking planning, the University's policies, procedures and guidelines must be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, regulations, standards, and codes from the appropriate authorities relevant to the location of the work off-campus.

This section provides an overview of a number of specific activities, hazards, risks and proposed controls associated with the diverse range of work off-campus conducted by the University. Direction to the relevant UQ policies and procedures has also been provided to assist with planning.

This is a guide and not an exhaustive list and discretion should be exercised. When appropriate, the supervisor should contact local OHS Manager or WHS Coordinator, or the OHS Division and/or seek expert advice for issues which are not addressed in this section.

Subjects covered in this section are as follows:

  • Medical conditions affecting work off-campus participation
  • Health advice and vaccinations
  • First aid
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Communication
  • Climate and weather conditions
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and clothing
  • Training
  • Hazardous manual tasks
  • Biological safety
  • Chemical safety
  • Plant and equipment
  • High-risk activities
  • Prescribed activities
  • Boating, diving and snorkelling
  • Remote or isolated work and solo work
  • Hours of work and fatigue
  • Driving and 4WD safety
  • International work off-campus
  • Nutrition, hydration, hygiene and substances
  • Children at work off-campus and working with children
  • Insurance cover and liability
  • Permits.

10.1 Medical conditions affecting work off-campus participation

Participants with a potentially life threatening medical condition shall not participate in work off-campus at remote locations.

Particular consideration of the health and fitness of participants should be given in the case of work in a remote location. Supervisors should advise potential WOC participants to take appropriate medical advice from a medical professional. WOC Participants should be given the option of attending the University Health Service (or their preferred medical professional) in the first instance, to confidentially discuss medical concerns with a physician.

In the case that the medical limitation is likely to impact on health and safety during work off-campus, the participant should discuss this directly with the supervisor. Alternatively they should give written authority for their doctor to discuss the functional consequences of their medical condition and specific needs with the supervisor.

A physician-informed, risk-based approach should be used to determine whether it is suitable for the individual to participate in the work off-campus activity. When the work is physically demanding or strenuous, the University Health Service and/or OHS Division should be contacted by the supervisor regarding general assessment of fitness and capacity for participants.

To ensure that the University meets its obligations, it is vital that all relevant information regarding medical limitations is confidentially documented and considered by the supervisor in accordance with PPL 1.60.02 Privacy Management.

10.2 Health advice and vaccinations

The University Health Service or a specialist travel clinic should be contacted regarding advice on vaccination and medical requirements to avoid travel-related disease transmission related to the work off-campus destination. Vaccinations may be required for overseas travel and occasionally for travel within Australia depending on the task being performed.

Refer to the University Immunisation Guideline for general information on recommended vaccinations, within Australia and for specific work activities PPL 2.60.08 Vaccinations and Immunisation.

Refer to the Australian Government’s Immunisation Handbook for up-to-date information on recommended vaccinations for international travel.

It is important to understand that recommendations regarding vaccination requirements and health precautions depend on various factors such as the duration of stay, living conditions and location. In addition, travel medical advice changes over time, depending on disease trends and medical advances. For this reason it is recommended to obtain current medical advice before any international work off-campus. Contact with the Health Service or a specialist travel clinic should be made in the earliest stage of planning (at least 6 weeks) to ensure adequate time for vaccinations to be effective.

The University Occupational Health Nurse Advisor (OHS Division) can also be contacted for assistance and advice, if required.

10.3 First aid

First aid requirements for remote area travel should be determined as part of your risk assessment, and require consideration of the following (but are not limited to):

  • Location e.g. country, altitude, temperature, humidity
  • Work tasks and activities to be undertaken
  • Mode of transport and travel
  • Number of work off-campus participants
  • Current health of staff e.g. immune problems, allergies, asthma
  • Expected weather conditions
  • Food and water hygiene
  • Local disease prevalence
  • Mosquito borne disease risk
  • Zoonotic disease risk
  • Injury, allergy from animal contact, bites or stings
  • Location (and time to) closest medical service or hospital, including mode of transport to nearest hospital.

The WOC Plan and OHS Risk Assessments should identify specific first aid requirements including:

  • First aid kit contents and supply levels
  • The first aid training requirements of participants (e.g. as a minimum, at least one certified First Aider is required for work at remote locations).

For additional information, please refer to PPL 2.60.20 First Aid Safety or contact the University Occupational Health Nurse Adviser (OHS Division) for assistance.

10.4 Emergency preparedness

Fire and emergency evacuation procedures are mandatory for all work at off-campus locations.

The purpose of emergency preparedness for work off-campus is to ensure a timely and appropriate response to emergency situations by workers and to enable the University to locate workers in emergency situations. For example: workers travelling to a remote location during cyclone season should identify the nearest emergency evacuation shelter and provide the details in the work-off campus plan.

Emergency preparedness procedures for work off-campus should include consideration of the following (but are not limited to):

  • A contingency plan for reasonably foreseeable emergencies, as determined during the OHS risk assessment process undertaken during proposed work off-campus planning.
  • Emergency communication systems and devices, for example two-way radio, satellite and mobile phones. The communication system should be fail safe, and a backup means of communication should be in place in the case of failure of the principal means of communication.
  • Contact details of relevant emergency services e.g. police, water police, harbour master, Royal Flying Doctor Service, ambulance, hospital, park ranger, fire authority.
  • A nominated emergency contact at the University (within the relevant Faculty/Institute/Division) should be available at all times, and the contact person should have access to an approved copy of the work off-campus plan, including the names and contact details of all participants.
  • In remote areas, the local police or park ranger should be provided with a copy of the work off-campus plan, including the itinerary and University contact person.
  • Groups conducting work off-campus in remote locations on land or water should consider the use of an EPIRB or other satellite tracking device.
  • Provision of emergency equipment suited to the general environment and potential hazards/risks likely to be encountered. This may include first aid kits, fire extinguishers, fire blanket, thermal blanket, bivouac tent, rescue beacons etc.
  • Skills and capacities required by work participants to effectively manage emergency situations e.g. training in relevant first aid procedures, mop up procedures following chemical spill etc.
  • The University Guideline PPL 2.10.07 Workplace Injury, Illness and Incident Reporting.

For assistance with fire preparedness, the University Fire Safety Officer or UQ Security (P&F) can also be contacted for assistance and advice.

10.5 Communication

Emergency communication must be possible from all work off-campus locations.

The means of communication should be appropriate to the work off-campus environment. For example mobile phone or satellite trackers, hand-held radio, EPIRB or other satellite tracking device. The OHS Risk Assessment should consider a backup system should be in place in the event of technology failure. The chosen systems or methods of communication should be tested upon arrival to the work off-campus location to ensure effectiveness of the control.

In addition to emergency communication, for work off-campus in remote, isolated or for lengthy or high-risk work consideration must be given to development of a communication plan. A communication plan may be detailed in the WOC Plan or as a separate document within the suite of WOC documents. The communication plan should identify a nominated University and the pre-arranged contact schedule for the duration of the work off-campus. The frequency of contact should be determined by OHS Risk Assessment.

Contact your local WHS Coordinator or the OHS Division for assistance sourcing emergency and communication equipment, if required.

10.6 Climate and weather conditions

General seasonal weather conditions should be reviewed during work off-campus planning, and specific weather forecasts obtained about 4 days prior to embarking on the trip. The following climatic factors should be considered during planning:

  • Season
  • Temperature range and humidity
  • Likelihood of rain and snow
  • Possibility of flood events
  • Possibility of cyclone events and high winds
  • Possibility of electrical storms
  • Likelihood of dry, hot conditions and fire risk
  • Expected UV exposure
  • Ocean and river tides and currents.

Hypothermia, hyperthermia, frostbite and heat stroke are examples of serious medical conditions arising from exposure to the elements. Risk assessments should assess the suitability of weather conditions for the planned work off-campus activities, ensuring that suitable and effective control measures are implemented to reduce the risk of illness or injury. Emergency procedures should include response process where adverse climate and weather conditions are considered a risk.

10.7 Personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing

Clothing should be appropriate to the climate, particularly in environments prone to climatic change. The physical environment in general and the physical demands of the work activities must also be considered when stipulating suitable clothing for participants e.g. UV radiation protection during outdoor activities, hearing protection when using equipment or machinery, suitable gloves for veterinarians attending sick animals.

PPE required for work off-campus activities should be identified in the risk assessment.

All clothing and equipment should comply with the University policy and minimum standards of dress and personal protective equipment.

10.8 Training

A work off-campus online training module is available via Blackboard and is to be completed by all WOC participants. This training should be identified as a control in the work-off campus risk assessment.

The skills required for the specific work activities are to be considered when conducting the OHS Risk Assessment. Supervisors must ensure that all workers are adequately trained for the specific activities. Supervisors may need to verify a workers competency prior to or during the activity. Particular consideration should be given to the training, skill and experience of the WOC leader.

Examples of training that may be required includes (but is not limited to):

  • First aid training
  • Navigation and map reading
  • Care and maintenance of equipment and vehicles
  • Off-road 4 wheel drive training
  • Underwater diving
  • Boat handling.

If conducting prescribed activities (section 10.14) or high-risk activities (section 10.13), workers must have the necessary prescribed activity licences, certificates of competency, and/or experience in operating equipment.

10.9 Hazardous manual tasks

Work off-campus may include hazardous manual tasks such as animal handling, digging with a shovel, vehicle maintenance, use of a computer keyboard and mouse, setting up a tent and baggage handling.

When determining controls measures for hazardous manual tasks in the OHS Risk Assessment and safe work procedures, Supervisors and WOC leader/participants should consider task re-design and mechanical assistance, where appropriate for controlling risk. 

For further information and guidance refer to PPL 2.50.01 Manual Tasks Risk Management.

10.10 Biological safety

It is the responsibility of supervisors to ensure correct approvals are in place through the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) to do biological work. For example, if your work off-campus involves collection of biological material considered by the IBC to be high risk, then approvals will be required.

Similarly, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator is responsible for the regulation of scientific activities that use genetically modified organisms. Approvals by the IBC are required for all genetically modified work. The approval, training and authorisation requirement should be documented as a control measure in the risk assessment.

Quarantine material is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAgWR). Depending on your permit conditions, you may need approval from DAgWR to take biological material off campus. The approval must be documented in the risk assessment.

Transport of biologicals is also regulated within Australia and internationally by dangerous goods legislation and the International Air Traffic Authority (IATA). If you are transporting biological material to another site, training via UQ Staff Development must be completed before air, post or surface transport is undertaken. The training must be documented in the risk assessment.

If the work off-campus activities being undertaken involved biologicals, an appropriate risk assessment and safe work procedures must be completed and these documents must also be identified in the Work Off-Campus Plan.

For further information refer to PPL 2.40 Biosafety.

10.11 Chemical safety

If the work off-campus requires the use of chemicals, it is necessary for the trip participants to have completed the UQ online training module for chemical safety before undertaking the work.

The module can be accessed via Chemical Safety

Where chemicals are involved in the work off-campus an appropriate risk assessment and safe work procedures must be completed and these documents must also be identified in the WOC Plan. Risk assessments must include assessment of the chemicals to be used, outlining the potential hazards and risks posed, and the controls required to ensure the process is performed safely.

Persons transporting hazardous substances and dangerous goods should first complete the training titled Dangerous Goods Transport within UQ. Registration for the training is via UQ Staff Development Dangerous Goods Transport.

For further information relating to chemical safety requirements refer to PPL 2.70 Occupational Hygiene and Chemical Safety.

Advice and assistance can be obtained from a University Occupational Hygienist by contacting the OHS Division.

10.12 Plant and equipment

Plant and equipment used during work off-campus should be identified in the OHS Risk Assessment including the Safe Operating Procedures as existing controls and/or reference to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) instructions. If new plant or equipment is to be modified or is being used for a different purpose from its intended design, then a separate OHS Risk Assessment must completed which must include any changes/deviations from the OEM instructions. For further information regarding managing risks of plant and equipment used during work off-campus refer to the Managing risks of plant in the workplace Code of Practice 2013.

Persons required to use plant or equipment should be familiar with relevant Australian Standards pertaining to the safe use of that plant. Australian Standards are accessible via the UQ Library.

Points to consider for managing risks associated with plant and equipment use include:

  • Equipment used for work off-campus must be carefully selected, with consideration of its intended use and potential risks
  • Equipment must be inspected and/or tested before use including (but not limited to):
    • Vessels or vehicles e.g. servicing or pre-start checks
    • Tents and camping equipment e.g. gas stoves, water pumps
    • Ropes, climbing and abseiling equipment e.g. karabiners, harness
    • Recovery equipment e.g. winches, slings, straps and shackles
    • Ladders or access equipment
    • Compressed air cylinders, upon which life may depend. Regular checks should also be made during use.
  • Items essential for survival should be duplicated, where practicable
  • Work off-campus participants must have the necessary certificates of competency, prescribed activity licences or experience in operating equipment
  • Safe operating procedures (SOPs) must be documented for the use of high risk equipment
  • Verification of competency prior to use off-campus
  • Machines must be maintained in good condition, and adequately guarded
  • Equipment which has been contaminated by dangerous substances must be thoroughly decontaminated
  • Damaged equipment must be tagged out in accordance with University requirements, and repaired or replaced, as appropriate.

For further information relating to plant and equipment safety requirements see PPL 2.20.09 Plant and Equipment Safety.

For further information relating to UQ property, plant and equipment refer see PPL 9.50.02 Property, Plant and Equipment.

10.13 High-risk activities

Work-off campus which involves high-risk activities requiring WOC participants to have specific skills, training or qualifications include (but are not limited to):

  • Boating, diving, snorkelling.
  • Cliff walking, climbing.
  • Farm work.
  • Four wheel vehicle driving.
  • Remote fieldwork, bushwalking.
  • Operating high-risk equipment e.g. tractor, forklifts.
  • Use of high voltage equipment.

Supervisors must ensure that WOC participants meet the minimum skill, experience and/or qualification requirements for high-risk work activities prior to commencement of the work off-campus.

High-risk activities during work off-campus should be identified in the OHS Risk Assessment and certified copies of mandatory qualifications or evidence of required training must be provided by WOC participants, verified by the supervisor, and recorded with the OHS Risk Assessment or on the worker's personnel file.

10.14 Prescribed activities

Prescribed activities are specific high-risk work-related activities identified in legislation that require the work, or class of work, to be carried out by, or under the supervision of, a person who has prescribed qualifications or experience. For example: operating vehicles such as forklift trucks, earth moving equipment or cranes. Prescribed activities during work off-campus should be identified in the OHS Risk Assessment and licenses or certificates recorded with the OHS Risk Assessment or on the worker's personnel file.

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 specifies requirements for high-risk work licences and classes of high-risk work. Licences must be obtained before operation of the following equipment as detailed in Schedule 3 and 4 of the Regulation:

  • Crane and hoist operation
  • Dogging and rigging work
  • Pressure equipment
  • Fork lift truck operation
  • Reach stacker.

Occupational licenses or prescribed activity certificates are required and obtainable through Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. For further information contact the OHS Division.

10.15 Boating, diving and snorkelling

Boating, diving and or snorkelling activities during work off-campus must be identified in the OHS Risk Assessment and the WOC Plan and safe work procedures should be recorded with the OHS Risk Assessment.

For further information relating to boating, diving and snorkelling please refer to the following procedures:

The Occupational diving work Code of Practice 2005 provides guidance on the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the Act.

10.16 Remote or isolated work and solo work

Remote or isolated work is described as work that is isolated from the assistance of other people because of the location, time or nature of the work being done.

Solo work can be described as the performance of any work by an individual who is out of audio or visual range of another person for more than a few minutes at a time.

It is not advisable for any person to perform solo work off-campus which has been assessed as high-risk or where the work activities are undertaken at a remote or isolated location. In these circumstances there should be at least 2 people undertaking the work off-campus.

If solo or remote or isolated work is required during work off-campus this must be identified in the OHS Risk Assessment and the WOC Plan. Communication plans or details must be documented according to section 10.5 Communication of this Guideline and recorded with the OHS Risk Assessment.

Emergency procedures should include response process in the event of an emergency as per section 10.4 Emergency preparedness.

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 specifies legislative requirements for remote or isolated work - refer to section 48.

For further information relating to work in isolation refer to PPL 2.30.02 Working After Hours or in Isolation.

10.17 Hours of work and fatigue

Effective workload management is the joint responsibility of Supervisors and WOC leaders/participants. Supervisors should take active measures to consult with WOC leaders/participants when planning and monitoring work off-campus and working hours to ensure that workers work within the authorised policies and procedures. Fatigue arising from work off-campus should be considered in the OHS Risk Assessment and controls implemented.

For further information relating to hours of work refer to PPL 5.55 Hours of Work and Flexible Work Arrangements.

For further information relating to fatigue prevention and management refer to PPL 2.60.02 Fatigue Prevention and Management.

10.18 Driving and four-wheel drive (4WD) safety

Driving being undertaken during work off-campus should be identified in the OHS Risk Assessment and the WOC Plan. Consideration should be given to (but is not limited to):

  • Long distance driving
  • Off-road driving (unsealed roads)
  • Four-wheel driving (unsealed, rough terrain)
  • Vehicle selection
  • Licence, skill and experience of the driver/s
  • Emergency breakdown and maintenance.

10.18.1 Vehicle selection

Work off-campus may involve driving vehicles on:

  • sealed roads in metropolitan, country, or remote areas; or
  • dirt roads, bush tracks, sandy shore lines, inland waterways and estuarine locations in country or remote areas.

UQ Fleet Services section is responsible for a range of activities concerned with the fleet of vehicles and plant owned by the University and the mobility of University staff and students via hire vehicles and charters.

Vehicles may be used for a variety of work off-campus activities and may carry any combination of passengers, equipment, foodstuffs or animals.

Accordingly, the vehicle should be selected to suit:

  • the road surfaces and terrain to be travelled
  • the general environment of the work off-campus destination
  • the type of work being carried out
  • the amount and type of equipment, passengers and animals being transported.

10.18.2 Licence, skill and experience of the driver/s

Vehicles may only be driven by people who are appropriately qualified, trained, authorised and insured to do so. All drivers of vehicles must have a current vehicle licence that covers the type of vehicle being used for work. The OHS Risk assessment should identify the training, qualifications and level of skill required to safely drive the vehicle chosen for the work. Licences, qualifications and/or certificates of competency should be recorded with the OHS Risk Assessment.

The competency training unit designed for the safe operation of a four wheel drive vehicle must be completed by WOC leader/participants who will undertake 4WD during work off-campus. For example: driving a 4WD vehicle over unsealed and winding bush tracks that exceeds the capabilities of a conventional two wheel drive vehicle, or in an area signed as ‘four wheel drive’.

10.18.3 Emergency breakdown and maintenance

Consideration should be given to emergency breakdown and maintenance of vehicles during work off-campus. Fail safe communication should be ensured for all vehicular travel, to ensure contact can be made, and assistance obtained, in the event of an emergency. This is of particular importance for work at remote locations.

Strategies to minimise the risk of accidents and breakdowns include the following:

  • Those whose functional capacities are impaired to a dangerous extent by fatigue, injury, illness, alcohol or drugs must not drive a vehicle.
  • Vehicles must not be driven in a careless, reckless or dangerous manner.
  • Vehicles must be maintained in a safe and reliable condition.
  • All vehicles should carry an appropriate tool kit, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.
  • All vehicles must be equipped with the appropriate vehicle user’s manual, as supplied by the manufacturer.
  • All vehicles travelling outside the metropolitan area must carry appropriate spare parts and vehicle recovery equipment, commensurate with the remoteness of, and facilities, within the area of operation. A system of checking spare parts kits must be developed.
  • Seat restraints must be used at all times.
  • Loads must not be excessive or dangerously distributed. They must be properly secured.
  • Cargo nets should be fitted to vehicles carrying loads in the back compartments.
  • If dangerous substances are carried, they must be safely packed and loaded. Appropriate warning signs must be displayed, and relevant legislation and regulations must be complied with (refer to section 8.14 for additional information).

For further information relating to fleet services emergency breakdown and maintenance of vehicles refer to UQ Fleet Services.

10.19 International work off-campus

In accordance with PPL 1.90.01 Travel, it is recommended that work off-campus participants travelling to international destinations register with Smartraveller.

The Smartraveller information service will provide updates and travel advisories for the relevant country/countries to be visited. Smartraveller also provides health advice for overseas travel. Travellers should also ensure they have recorded the Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate locations and contact details for each destination of their journey, as an additional point of contact for help, if required.

Supervisors and workers must refer to the DFAT Travel Advisory website or contact DFAT for advice on world-wide risks to Australians overseas during the preparation of the WOC plan and OHS Risk Assessment.

Where the work off-campus is to take place in a country of destination categorised by DFAT as “Reconsider your need to travel” or “Do not travel”, the work off-campus activity should not be conducted, unless an infallible, high-level of risk control can be demonstrated. If either of these two highest warning levels exist at any time prior to departure or if travelling to high-risk destinations, travellers must seek additional approval to depart from their relevant USMG member. This must be identified and recorded in the OHS Risk Assessment.

The OHS Risk Assessments for work in high-risk destinations must also consider the possible requirement for an emergency medical evacuation service to cover WOC participants.

For further information refer to PPL 1.90.01 Travel.

10.20 Nutrition, hydration, hygiene and substances

10.20.1 Nutrition, hydration and hygiene

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that WOC participants are provided with hygienic and wholesome food. Food must be prepared in as hygienic manner as is practicable. Care must be taken to ensure a balanced diet and ample potable water, providing sufficient energy for the proposed tasks and activities and adequate hydration.

The following should be considered when planning work off-campus:

  • Food should be selected and prepared carefully.
  • A constant supply of potable water must be available. If necessary, the water should be sterilised by boiling, filtration or use of tablets. Always assume stream and river waters are unsafe, even in wilderness areas.
  • When handling food, cuts and sores should be covered with waterproof dressings.
  • Food preparation areas must be kept as clean as is reasonably practicable.
  • Food must be kept clean and covered, wrapped tightly or protected in sealed containers to prevent contamination.
  • Refrigeration of perishable and cooked foods.
  • Purchase of non-perishable, long-life and canned products.
  • Waste disposal.
  • Cooking stoves must be of safe construction, operated safely, maintained in a safe condition, and sited so as to minimise any fire risk.
  • Gas cylinders should be changed in the open air.
  • Amenities should be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.

10.20.2 Substances

In accordance with the UQ Alcohol, Smoking and Other drugs Policy, WOC participants should not be affected by alcohol or other drugs while conducting University business.

For further information refer to PPL 2.60.01 Alcohol, Smoking and Other Drugs.

10.21 Children at work off-campus and working with children

10.21.1 Children at work off-campus

To align with the UQ's children on campus policy, it is considered that children (other than students) should not be present at work off-campus locations. Similar to the policy, there are some work off-campus locations where children are not permitted because of potential health and safety risks. These locations include high-risk environments such as laboratories, diving and boating, workshops and places where farm/grounds equipment is in use. Exceptions to this should be as determined by a formal approved OHS Risk Assessment.

In a situation where childcare arrangements have failed unexpectedly, consideration must be given to re-scheduling the work off-campus.

For further information see PPL 1.70.05 Children on Campus.

10.21.2 Working with children

As an educational and research institution, The University of Queensland, including its staff and students, is subject to the provisions of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. Where work off-campus involves WOC participants who are defined as a child under the Act, Supervisors must ensure all WOC leaders/participants comply with PPL 1.60.07 Working with Children.

10.22 Insurance cover and liability

Supervisors should ensure that they have knowledge of the extent of insurance provisions for the following categories of the WOC participant:

  • Staff (personal injury and public liability)
  • Students (personal injury and public liability)
  • Volunteers (personal injury and public liability)
  • Non-University staff.

Insurance provisions for vehicles and equipment should also be determined.

Refer to the Finance and Business Services website for up-to-date information on insurance provisions.

During the OHS Risk Assessment, the Supervisor should assess whether the insurance provisions are appropriate, and ensure that suitable insurance is obtained prior to commencement of the work off-campus. WOC participants should be informed of the extent of insurance provisions, prior to commencing the work.

The UQ Insurance Officer should be contacted if there are any uncertainties regarding insurance coverage.

For further information on UQ Insurance refer to PPL 9.70.01 Insurance.

10.23 Permits

During the work off-campus planning, permit requirements must be considered and incorporated into your WOC plan. You may need to have copies of your permits with you to legally carry out certain activities, and for entry to restricted sites.

Examples may include:

  • Import permit (for quarantine materials/samples)
  • Ethics permit
  • Parks and wildlife permit
  • Fisheries permit.

11. Contact for Additional Information

OHS Division

Phone: 33652365

Email: ohs@uq.edu.au

 

Custodians
Director, Occupational Health and Safety
Mr Jim Carmichael

Forms

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Work Off-Campus Plan - Form

Work Off-Campus Plan - Form

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Description: 

A Work Off-Campus (WOC) Plan must be completed when planning work off-campus that is considered within the scope of the Work Off-Campus Procedure.

Please read the following instructions before completing a WOC Plan:

  1. Read the Work Off-Campus Procedure and Guideline to determine if the work you are undertaking is considered 'Work Off-Campus'. 
  2. The WOC plan must include all relevant information relating to the work. The extent of the planning and detail should be proportionate to the complexity and the OHS risks associated with the work being undertaken.
  3. The WOC template allows the user to enter unlimited text or add extra rows where required.
  4. The WOC Plan may require details from other documentation and therefore should be completed in conjunction with OHS Risk Assessment/s and other bookings.
  5. Where information is not required enter N/A.
  6. Where information is not available at the time of planning or approval (e.g. vehicle registration), the WOC Leader/Supervisor must ensure the WOC Plan is updated and provided to the relevant persons.
  7. If the Supervisor is the WOC Leader in the field (off-campus), then only one signature is required.

Click the link below to open the WOC Plan template.

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