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Occupational Health and Safety Policy

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Section 1 - Policy Statement

Part A - Policy Declaration

(1) This policy explains Southern Cross University's commitment to health and safety. It identifies the framework of consultation and responsibilities that apply and the management systems that are to be implemented.

Part B - Policy Description


(2) The aim of this policy is to promote the health, safety and welfare of all University staff, students, contractors and visitors to the University. The policy facilitates compliance with the provisions of the relevant state legislation.


(3) This policy applies to all University employees, students and contractors.

Part C - Content and Implementation

Management's Responsibility

(4) The promotion and maintenance of occupational health and safety (OHS) is primarily the responsibility of management. Management at all levels is required to contribute to the health and safety of all persons at the University.

Specific Responsibilities

Vice Chancellor

(5) The Vice Chancellor is responsible for the overall implementation of the University's OHS Policy and with it overall responsibility for the health and safety of employees, students and all who visit the University. The responsibility includes ensuring that staff are able to meet their obligations through the allocation of resources, availability of health and safety guidelines and the establishment and implementation of appropriate OHS Management Systems. The Vice Chancellor may delegate responsibility for the management of workplace health and safety but retains ultimate accountability.


(6) Each member of the Executive is responsible and accountable for assisting the Vice Chancellor in the overall implementation of OHS policies and compliance with legislation. Where necessary, members of Executive will advise the Vice Chancellor of OHS implications of activities in areas under their control. This includes providing support and guidance in the management of OHS to those whom they supervise.

Head of Work Unit

(7) Head of Work Unit are responsible and accountable to ensure that relevant safety standards and procedures are implemented, reviewed and maintained in their area of responsibility. Where necessary, they must provide staff (and students and visitors where applicable) with safety equipment, safe systems of work, information, instruction, training and supervision as prescribed in the relevant state legislation.

Managers and Supervisors

(8) Each first-line Manager/Supervisor is responsible and accountable for taking all practical measures to ensure that the workplace under their control is safe and without risk to health, and that all persons in the workplace take reasonable care to ensure the workplace is safe and without risk to health.

(9) More specifically they are responsible for identifying any unsafe or unhealthy conditions or behaviour. If they do not have the necessary authority to fix a problem they must report the matter promptly, together with any recommendations for remedial action, to the Head of Work Unit.


(10) Employees have an obligation to comply with the University's health and safety policies, procedures and instructions to ensure their own health and safety and the health and safety of others at the University. Employees are also required to take corrective action to eliminate hazards at the workplace, or report those beyond their control to their immediate supervisor.

(11) Employees must cooperate with the University to enable compliance with the requirements under the relevant state legislation and regulations.

Contractors and Subcontractors

(12) All contractors and subcontractors engaged to perform work on the University's premises or locations are required as part of their contract, to comply with health and safety policies and procedures of the University and observe directions on health and safety from designated persons of the University.


(13) Consultation between the University and employees is an essential part of effectively managing health and safety in the workplace. The University will consult with employees so that they may contribute to decisions about the implementation of safety practices and systems designed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees. Employee involvement at all levels is critical for ensuring a safe workplace.

(14) The University will ensure:

  1. the sharing of relevant information about OHS and welfare with employees;
  2. that employees be given the opportunity to express their views and to contribute in a timely fashion to the resolution of OHS and welfare issues at the workplace; and
  3. that the views of employees are valued and taken into account.

(15) The Occupational Health and Safety Committee (OHSC), as part of the consultative process, advises the Vice Chancellor on OHS matters in the workplace. The OHSC provides a forum for discussion and the recommendation of the resolution of issues brought before it. In order to progress solutions, a management representative is included in the OHSC membership.

(16) Safety Support Officers represent designated groups of employees at the University. Their main function is to carry out monthly OHS workplace inspections. In keeping with the consultative process they may also raise with the OHSC, OHS concerns of the employees in their designated group.

Occupational Health and Safety Management System

(17) An OHS Management System is set up and continually updated. The OHS Management System relates to all aspects of OHS including, but not restricted to:

  1. risk management that includes identification of hazards, assessment of risk, control of risk and continuous monitoring;
  2. OHS training and education;
  3. work design, workplace design and standard operating procedures;
  4. changes to work methods and practice, including those associated with technological change;
  5. safety responsibilities;
  6. emergency procedures and drills;
  7. provision of OHS equipment, services and facilities;
  8. workplace inspections and audits;
  9. reporting and recording of incidents, accidents, injuries and hazards;
  10. provision of information to employees; and
  11. contractors and subcontractors.