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This section contains obligations for all staff.
This section sets out the University's process for resolving occupational health and safety (OHS) issues. The process is the relevant agreed procedure for resolving an issue concerning employee health and safety arising at a workplace or from the conduct of an undertaking by an employer under section 73(1) of the OHS Act.
A health and safety issue is a question or problem concerning OHS that requires resolution between the University and its staff.
Examples of such issues include:
The OHS Act obliges an employer and an employee to attempt to resolve the issue in accordance with an agreed resolution procedure (or if there is not such a procedure, the procedure prescribed by the OHS Regulations). If an issue cannot be resolved within a reasonable time, the Act gives any party involved in the resolution process the option of requesting the attendance of a WorkSafe inspector. The powers of WorkSafe inspectors are set out in the OHS Act.
Staff who wish to raise health and safety concerns are encouraged to first discuss them with their manager, either directly or through their Health and Safety Representative (HSR) (if any). If the concern is addressed satisfactorily at this stage, then there is no need to use the formal issue resolution process
If a concern is raised with a manager, the manager is expected to:
The parties to the process are the University, the HSR and the staff member(s) affected by the issue.
Where practical, the informal process above should be tried first.
Either party may initiate the process.
For the purposes of this process the University is represented by, in the case of:
Where this is not appropriate or practical, the University's representative is the Chief Operating Officer.
In the case of the affected employee(s), if there is a Designated Work Group (DWG) and an HSR, then the HSR represents the staff member(s).
Where there is no HSR, and there is more than one affected staff member, the staff members may nominate a representative from among their number, or participate personally.
Either party may notify the other party of an issue. Notification is to be in writing. Where staff are unrepresented, all affected staff are to be notified by the University's representative.
The University's representative and the staff or their representatives are to meet as soon as possible after notification to attempt to resolve the issue.
The parties should discuss at least the following matters at the meeting (and any further meeting):
In relation to the funding of external expert advice and the cost of possible solutions, the University's representative is to explore whether there are funds able to be made available by the University and if so the avenue through which they are to be obtained (including any urgent funding for issues which warrant attention in the short term).
Depending on the issue, it could be resolved by, for example:
If possible, the issue should be resolved in the first meeting, and a short agreement and implementation plan drawn up, to enable the issue to be addressed promptly.
If the resolution process is complex or prolonged, a timetable for the process and who is to do what should be agreed at the first meeting.
In any event, the issue and the agreed steps to resolve the issue must be put in writing and copies provided to both parties and the Manager, OHS.
The agreement must contain implementation dates and responsibilities.
The University's representative must:
The OHS Act provides that where a health and safety issue in the workplace involves an immediate threat to the health and safety of any person, and given the nature of the threat and degree of process it is not appropriate to adopt the above issue resolution process, a direction to cease work may be given by the University or an HSR (where the issue arises in relation to a DWG), after consultation between them.
Any party involved in attempting to resolve the issue may ask WorkSafe for an inspector to attend the workplace. The OHS Unit should be advised in advance of any such request.