Health and Safety on Placement

The following aspects of health, safety and wellbeing are a reminder of what you should expect during your placement.

Student Code of Conduct
Remember that while you are on your placement you are representing Deakin University and are required to:

  • Conduct yourself professionally in accordance with placement requirements of the University and the host organisation
  • Complete all training requirements (including safety training) required by the host organisation
  • Comply with relevant policies and procedures of the University, including the Student Code of Conduct, and external regulatory requirements (including standards of conduct and visa requirements)

Know your Placement Supervisor
You should know who your supervisor is during your time at the placement organisation. Your supervisor will be able to provide you with guidance about what your role is, and what duties you are expected to carry out. They should also be available for you to talk to if you are unsure about any aspects of your placement.

Receive an Induction
You should be given an induction to the placement organisation during your first day. It needs to outline the workplace, the people and where you will be located. An induction must also cover general safety aspects like emergency procedures, evacuations and first aid arrangements.

Identification of Hazards
As part of your induction, any key hazards should be raised and discussed with you. If there are any hazards that you could potentially encounter during your placement, they should be made clear to you along with any extra training and protective equipment or clothing you are required to wear. Hazards might be in the form of materials (e.g. chemicals), equipment, activities, or the locations you are required to work with them.

Travel Safety
It is an inherent risk of practical placements that students will have to travel to and from a venue. You may even have to travel long distances to attended regional placements or fly to interstate or International placements. It is important in these instances that you as a student, are informed and provided with options to minimise your risks as far as is reasonably practicable.

Things to consider:

  • Allowing a reasonable time frame for traveling between appointments.
  • Ensuring colleagues and placement supervisors do not expect you to take calls while you are traveling.
  • Understanding that if you feel unfit to drive or ride you do not have to.
  • Seeking overnight accommodation if you are required to travel a long distance home after a long day.
  • Ensuring long distance travel or late work requirements are not followed by early commitments the following day.
  • Seek alternative transport, such as a taxi, when appropriate.
  • Try to use public transport whenever practical. The Deakin Bus Services are a free, convenient and sustainable mode of transport for Deakin staff and students, servicing the Geelong campuses.

Working Safely From Home

  • Adjust the computer monitor/s so that you do not need to twist your neck, tilt or arch your head or back;
  • Position your keyboard directly in front of you by pushing the keyboard back so that there is room if you need it for your forearms to be supported on the front part of the desk when keying
  • Give yourself space. You should be able to use both your keyboard and mouse comfortably on the same level of the desk surface; adjust your chair to suit you, including the seat height and tilt, lumbar support and backrest position. This includes having your feet flat on the ground or on a footrest;
  • Check that the screen characters can be seen clearly and comfortably and that your specific eyewear is suitable for computer use;
  • Reduce the glare and shadowing on the screen. Adjust the window coverings for glare and provide additional task lighting to suit you and your task. Sit closely to the desk and remove fixed armrests from your chair, if they stop you from doing this;
  • If you use a laptop for long periods of time, consider augmenting this with a separate full-sized keyboard, mouse and monitor; and
  • Move regularly. Ideally, try to give yourself a break about once every half an hour
  • Allowing yourself to get up and use different muscles and reset

(Worksafe Queensland)

What to do if there is an accident or incident
You should be clear about the emergency response procedures, but you will also need to report any incidents (no matter how minor) and advise the Placement Supervisor and Health WIL team.

Your Safety & Security
Any threats or incidents that affect your wellbeing in relation to bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault are considered serious and will be managed in accordance with University policy. Contact the Health WIL team as soon as possible if you have any concerns.

Health and Wellbeing Support
If you require support with your health and wellbeing you should speak with someone - it could be your Placement Supervisor, your Unit Chair, the WIL team or Deakin's free student counselling service.

Please consider linking in with the Deakin Health and Wellbeing Service for assistance. After hours 24/7 support can be accessed via this link.

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