Work location safety

This section places obligations on managers in faculties, including those managers who are academic staff.

Overseas travel

Staff considering overseas travel for University purposes must consult the travel advice on the Facilities Services Division website, which refers users to government travel warnings, travel insurance and a risk assessment form, among other things.

Field work

Field work must be assessed for health and safety risks, and the risks addressed, in advance, by the staff member organising the activity. The staff member must review the Fieldwork Preparatory Checklist (PDF, 28.3 KB) , and complete a Fieldwork Project Safety Plan. The staff member must not proceed with the activity if the risks are significant and the training or experience of the participant(s) is insufficient to deal with them. Before the fieldwork is carried out the (Model) Fieldwork Operational Checklist (DOC, 36.5 KB) or the local version must be completed.

Work placements (including practicums)

Although the other organisation controls the environment for a work placement, the staff member either arranging or approving the work placement is to ascertain whether there are any health and safety risks involved. The staff member is to also ensure that the student or staff member involved has the appropriate skills and that the host organisation has an appropriate health and safety management system. The staff member must review the Work Placement Checklist  (PDF, 29.4 KB) . Before the placement is commenced the (Model) Work Placement Proforma (DOC, 37.0 KB) or the local version must be completed and returned to the staff member who has either arranged or approved the placement.

Work placement will normally be approved by a Faculty staff member.  However in those cases where a student has identified a work placement that falls outside of the usual Faculty approval processes, then the Careers and Employment Service can act as placement approver.  Approval will not be given where a Faculty has refused to support a student because they felt that the student would be put at unreasonable risk by undertaking the placement.

Work experience

The University is directly responsible for the safety of any person involved in work experience at the University. The work experience person must, as a minimum, be given the same induction as a casual staff member or contractor carrying out the same work.

The person organising the work experience must ascertain with the person or their placing organisation the work experience person's skill level. The work experience person must be given a level of supervision that is proportional to their skills, previous confirmed work experience and the risks involved in the work being undertaken. The staff member must review the Work Experience Checklist  (PDF, 26.2 KB) before the program commences.

Working from home

If a staff member is given permission to work regularly for more than one day per month, the staff member and manager are to complete the OHS agreement and checklist for staff based at an off-site location (DOC, 161.5 KB) .

This will enable the University to ensure that the work site meets OHS standards, and that the staff member working from home is aware of the need to maintain a safe working environment. The completed form is to be reviewed, signed and retained by the manager and a copy given to the staff member. Further information is contained in the Flexible Working Arrangements procedure and Guidelines for making and dealing with requests for flexible working arrangements.

Where any changes to the home working environment are reported by the staff member, the manager is to consider whether these will impact on the health and safety of the staff member and consider whether any negative impact can be addressed or whether the working from home arrangement should cease.

Meetings with third parties such as research collaborators from other Universities should only be conducted on University premises, unless otherwise agreed by the University and the home-based staff member.

Outdoor work activities

Managers of staff working outdoors will, where possible:

  • move outdoor tasks indoors or under shelter or shade, particularly between 11am and 4pm in summer
  • ensure an indoor area or other shelter or shade is available for scheduled breaks
  • use budget centre funds to supply appropriate eye protection, sunscreen, lip balm and hats (with 10–12 cm brims or protective flaps)
  • direct staff to use the above items when working outdoors
  • when the temperature reaches 30°C, relocate staff to cooler areas
  • when the temperature reaches 35°C, relocate staff indoors
  • read for yourself and display for staff the WorkSafe guidance note on sun protection for outdoor workers.

Field work or other outdoor University activities involving students should be arranged so that students are not exposed for long periods to direct sunlight between 11am and 4pm in hot weather, or are not outdoors when the temperature is 30°C or more.

Staff organising sporting or other similarly physically demanding outdoor activities on behalf of the University or on University premises must conduct a risk assessment. The Australian Football League's "Risk Management for Football Clubs" provides a useful example. For further information see the Sport Medicine Australia's Hot Weather Guidelines. The activity should not proceed until the outcome of the risk assessment has been provided to the head of the organisational area and their approval obtained.

Checklists

Event and visit management

Events on University premises may carry OHS risks. Before giving approval for an event on a University campus, the responsible manager must consult the Event and Visit Management Manual.

Motor vehicle safety

A motor vehicle being used for work purposes is a workplace regardless of whether the vehicle is owned and maintained by the University or owned by the staff member.

The Director Logistics is responsible for purchasing and maintaining a safe and roadworthy fleet. In practice this means defining and meeting safety criteria in the purchase and maintenance of vehicles and consulting with health and safety representatives and staff on those criteria. Managers and supervisors are required to:

  • ensure staff, students or contractors under their direct control that drive vehicles have the relevant appropriate driver licences
  • ensure staff, students or contractors that are required to use special vehicles such as four-wheel drives, minibuses or tow trailers etc. have the appropriate skills and experience
  • reduce where practical the amount of driving through the sharing of vehicles, use of conferencing technology, use of public transport and the scheduling of appointments
  • schedule work to account for speed limits and fatigue. This may mean allowing for regular breaks, minimising night driving and providing overnight accommodation.

Staff, contractors and students using University vehicles must:

  • hold a current, valid driver's licence
  • not use hand held mobile phones while driving and minimise the use of hands-free phones
  • abide by all road rules including being considerate of, and courteous to other road users
  • refrain from driving if impaired by tiredness or medication
  • report any accidents, incidents or vehicle defects promptly
  • carry out any routine vehicle checks required by the University (this includes refuelling, replenishing windscreen wiper water, and maintaining tyre pressure).

Where a privately owned vehicle is used, the relevant manager is responsible for ensuring the vehicle meets commonly accepted safety standards.

Further information is provided by the Use of University Vehicles Guidelines and WorkSafe documents on vehicle selection and safe driving.


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