This section contains obligations for all managers and staff.
This manual sets out instructions to staff of the University about Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). The aim of this manual is to promote safe work practices, to manage OHS risks, to inform staff and to assist in providing a safe environment for University staff and contractors, students and visitors.
The manual resides on the University's OHS website and is maintained by the Health, Wellbeing and Safety (HWS) Unit in the Human Resources Division (HRD). Enquiries in relation to this manual may be directed to the Manager, HWS, Michael O'Donoghue, on extension 68175 or by email.
The University's OHS policy is in The Guide.
- Role of HWS Unit
- Who is a manager in terms of OHS responsibilities?
- A manager's responsibilities
- Who is an employee?
- The role of employees
- Delegation of responsibilities
- What is an OHS hazard/risk?
Role of Health, Wellbeing and Safety (HWS) unit
The Health, Wellbeing and Safety (HWS) unit provides advice and services in relation to workplace health and safety, emergency management, staff welfare and wellbeing, workers' compensation and the rehabilitation of injured workers.
The Manager, HWS has authority to require from relevant managers -
- the completion and submission of health and safety plans
- health and safety compliance reports
- completed checklists and risk assessments
- information about health and safety matters (e.g., a list of stored chemicals).
The HWS team liaises with WorkSafe (also known as the Victorian WorkCover Authority). WorkSafe is the regulator of OHS in Victoria. WorkSafe's website provides wide-ranging information about OHS in Victoria.
Staff must promptly refer any notice, telephone call or other communication from WorkSafe to the HWS unit.
Follow these links to view the major Victorian legislation governing OHS:
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- Dangerous Goods Act 1985
- Radiation Act 2005
- Accident Compensation Act 1985
Who is a manager in terms of OHS responsibilities?
|Group||You are a manager under the OHS Act if you:|
Manage or supervise:
Engage, manage, authorise or supervise:
Supervise or invite:
Look after or control spaces
A manager's responsibilities
For more detailed guidance please go to OHS Responsibilities of Managers (PDF, 122.6KB)
Responsibilities of all managers
Managers have University wide responsibilities either through their membership of the University Executive or through the nature of their University-wide operations. The latter group includes:
- the Executive Director, Facilities Services Division (FSD) who is responsible for OHS in connection with all University structures and grounds
- the Chief Digital Officer, eSolutions who is responsible for OHS in connection with the choice and installation of IT equipment and systems
- the Executive Director, Campus Services who is responsible for OHS in connection with the choice of vehicles.
An academic staff member:
- teaches in lecture theatre X twice a week (the lecture theatre being available to all faculties
- conducts tutorials in room Y once a week
- conducts research in laboratory Z
- supervises three post-graduate students in their research
- reports to Head of School A in the Faculty of Q
- has no University staff reporting to them
- takes students on a field trip once a semester
- parks their car in the multi-level carpark on the Melbourne campus at Burwood.
Who is responsible for which health and safety matters in this scenario?
The Head of School:
- inspects the academic staff member's immediate workspace, and laboratory and follows up any hazards and makes safety information available
- ensures that there is a reasonable level of housekeeping maintained in offices, laboratories and adjacent public areas
- ensures that there adequate wardens, first aiders and emergency arrangements in place
- ensures that the academic staff member evaluates the field trip in advance for health and safety issues for both staff and students
- follows up injuries, incidents or hazards reported or identified in inspections or audits.
The Executive Dean:
- holds the Head of School to account for the above
- includes all the above areas in their annual Health, Wellbeing and Safety Plan and Activity Plan
The Chief Digital Officer, eSolutions attends to the IT safety aspects of the lecture theatre and classroom.
The Director, Facilities Services Division attends to the structural, electrical and fire safety of, the buildings in which the academic staff member's workspace, the lecture theatre, the tutorial room and the laboratory are located.
The academic staff member:
- performs their duties safely in a manner to avoid harm to themselves or anyone else
- follows instructions provided about health and safety in this manual and by the Head of School
- provides a level of supervision to their postgraduate students to ensure their safety whilst carrying out their studies or research work
- reviews the safety of student research proposals and monitors the safety of ongoing work
- report sany injuries, incidents or hazards through the Incident Reporting System
The Manager, HWS reviews incident reports, initiates formal incident investigations, analyses and reports on incident trends and follows-up.
Who is an employee
For OHS purposes, "employee" includes:
- all staff, whether ongoing, fixed-term or casual
- independent contractors of the University and their employees
- work experience students engaged by the University
The role of employees
Employees are expected to:
- follow safety instructions in the workplace
- keep their work spaces safe (e.g. ensure that they do not leave items to trip over)
- take care when performing duties to ensure that they do not expose themselves, a colleague, a student or any other person to risk of harm
- report health and safety hazards in the workplace
- participate in required training
- wear protective clothing provided
- read health and safety information provided at work
- report any injury suffered by them in the workplace
Delegation of responsibilities
For practical reasons managers may delegate some of their OHS responsibilities to other managers or supervisors. The manager remains fully responsible for the health and safety of their staff.
The manager must ensure the person to whom responsibility has been delegated has the appropriate skills and authority to carry out the delegated duties.
What is an OHS hazard/risk?
A hazard is anything in the workplace which has the potential to harm people.
A risk arises when it is possible that a hazard will actually cause harm.
Read more at the WorkSafe website.