Qld Work Health & Safety Act 2011 What it means for the University Qld Work Health and Safety Act 2011 • Introduction • Summary of the Act – Duties of the University – Duties of Officers – Duties of staff and students – Consultation – Penalties • What this means for the University – Key activities to manage risk • How are we preparing? Model Work Health and Safety Act • All Australian states will be enacting work health and safety legislation in 2012 , based on the Model Work Health and Safety Act • The main object of this Act is to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to – protect workers and other persons against harm to their health, safety and welfare through the elimination or minimisation of risks arising from work, and – provide for fair and effective workplace representation, consultation, cooperation and issue resolution in relation to work health and safety; and – provide a framework for continuous improvement and progressively higher standards of work health and safety • Griffith Safe and Well safety management frameworks, policies, procedures and guidelines support this legislation Qld Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (Effective 1/1/2012) The Act includes a positive (separate and individual) duty of care for “officers” (eg senior management) of organisations to exercise due diligence in relation to their duty to ensure health and safety. Ensuring health and safety requires the duty holder to eliminate risks to health and safety as far as reasonably practicable or if not reasonably practicable to eliminate, to minimise these risks Scope of the Act • The duties specified in the Qld WHS Act (based on the Model Work Health and Safety Act) point beyond the need for work health and safety management systems to verifying the implementation of these systems through monitoring and auditing, and the need to provide “officers” with appropriate reports and information to enable them to meet their due diligence obligations Duties of the University Duties on the University will include ensuring, as far as reasonably practicable the health (physical and mental) and safety of workers (this includes post-grad students and students on work experience) the health and safety of others is not put at risk by the activities of the University (this includes students/visitors) the provision and maintenance of a work environment without risks to health or safety; and Duties of the University cont the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures; the provision and maintenance of safe systems of work; the safe use, handling, storage and transport of plant, structures and substances; the provision of adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work Duties of the University cont the provision of any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking; that the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace are monitored for the purpose of preventing illness or injury of workers arising from the conduct of the University’s business Duties of the University cont Shared duty holders • Where there are shared duty holders (eg in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) situations, or working with contractors) the University must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with all other persons who have a duty in relation to the same matter. Duties of Officers • “Officers” are required to exercise due diligence to ensure that the University complies with the duties or obligations specified in the Act • An “officer” is a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions which affect the whole or a substantial part, of the organisation (same definition as Corporations Act) eg members of Executive Group May possibly include functional heads on whose instructions or wishes the most senior executives are accustomed to act. Duties of Officers cont Due diligence means to take reasonable steps: • to acquire and keep up to date knowledge of work health and safety matters; and • to gain an understanding of the nature of the operations of the University and generally of the hazards and risks associated with those operations; and • to ensure that the University has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to enable hazards associated with the operations to be identified and risks associated with those hazards to be eliminated or minimised; Duties of Officers cont • to ensure that the University has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information; and • to ensure that the University has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the University under this Act; eg – consulting with workers – ensuring the provision of training and instruction to workers about work health and safety – verifying the provision and use of the resources and processes to comply with the Act eg by monitoring and auditing Duties of Staff and Students Staff and students must • take reasonable care for their own health and safety; • take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons; (this may be particularly relevant for Heads of School, course convenors and other line managers) • comply, so far as they are reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the University in relation to ensuring safety as required by the Act; • cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the University relating to health or safety at the University Consultation The Act has an increased emphasis on local consultation. • The University must so far as is reasonably practicable, consult with workers who carry out work for the University who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a matter relating to health or safety at work. Nature of Consultation Consultation requires: • that relevant information about the matter is shared with the workers; and • that workers be given a reasonable opportunity: - to express their views and to raise work health and safety issues in relation to the matter; - to contribute to the decision-making process relating to the matter; and • that the views of workers are taken into account by the University • that the workers consulted are advised of the outcome of the consultation in a timely manner. When Consultation is Required (a) when identifying hazards and assessing risks arising from the work carried out or to be carried out by the business or undertaking; (b) when making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks; (c) when making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers; (d) when proposing changes that may affect the health or safety of workers; (e) when making decisions about the procedures for: (i) resolving health or safety issues; or (ii) monitoring the health of workers; or (iii) monitoring the conditions at any workplace under the management or control of the University; or (iv) the provision of information and training for workers; or (v) consultation with workers; Notifiable Incidents The University must notify Workplace Health & Safety Qld immediately after becoming aware of the occurrence of the following: • • the death of a person, or a serious injury or illness – requiring immediate treatment as hospital in-patient – requiring immediate treatment for an amputation, serious laceration, burn, head, eye, spinal or skin separation injury, or loss of a bodily function – requiring medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance • a dangerous incident – incident exposing a worker or other person to a serious risk to health or safety from eg uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire, escape/leakage/spillage of a substance, gas, steam or pressurised substance – electric shock – collapse/failure, fall or release from height of plant – collapse or partial collapse of a structure, excavation or its shoring support Offences & penalties Penalties are significantly increased under the new Act Category 1 – for most serious breaches, for a duty holder who recklessly endangers a person to risk of death or serious injury (Note: an incident does not have to occur) • Corporation $3m • Individual as PCBU* or Officer: $600k/5 years jail • Individual eg worker: $300k/5 years jail *Person who conducts a business or undertaking (PCBU) Offences & penalties cont Category 2 – failure to comply with a health and safety duty that exposes a person to risk of death, serious injury or illness (Note: an incident does not have to occur) • Corporation $1.5m • Individual as PCBU* or Officer: $300k • Individual eg worker: $150k Category 3 – failure to comply with a health and safety duty • Corporation $500k • Individual as PCBU* or Officer: $100k • Individual eg worker: $50k *Person who conducts a business or undertaking (PCBU) What this Means for the University Senior managers must • acquire and keep up to date knowledge of work health and safety matters; and • understand the nature of the operations, hazards and risks in their area of responsibility Managers must know where to access essential H&S resources and information eg Griffith Safe & Well website/Group Teamplace What this Means for the University Cont Senior managers must • monitor and audit the implementation of the H&S systems and processes which manage these risks eg – audits against Griffith H&S Performance Standards – review incidents & recommendations & implement as appropriate – review inspection & audit recommendations & implement as appropriate – review training completion data H&S Practitioners will need to assist by providing relevant information about H&S training completion, results of audits & inspections, incidents etc Key Activities to Manage Risk • Ensure that hazards and risks associated with University activities are identified and control measures are implemented – Ensure risks are assessed, eg for courses/programs/research activities – Ensure Risk Registers are in place – Review Risk Registers annually, or when there are changes to equipment/activities Key Activities to Manage Risk Cont • Ensure staff and students are provided with any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect them from risks to their health and safety arising from learning/work activities - Managers complete Advanced Health & Safety online course - Induction training eg online WIL H&S course/lab inductions for students, online Basic WHS & Annual Fire Safety courses for staff - Provide adequate supervision to ensure staff/students work safely Key Activities to Manage Risk Cont • Ensure that the University has appropriate resources and processes to enable hazards to be identified and risks eliminated or minimised eg – Ensure health and safety implications are taken into consideration when making decisions about purchases – Ensure costs associated with controlling H&S risks are incorporated into research proposals, new courses/programs etc Key activities to manage risk cont • Maintain trained H&S staff eg WHSO or equivalent, Local Health & Safety Contacts (LHSCs) to support managers in meeting their due diligence requirements • Ensure staff are consulted when there are changes which may affect their health and safety – Informal consultation as required – Note: The University’s current formal arrangements eg H&S committees, Local H&S Contacts etc meet the requirements of the legislation How are we Preparing? • Briefings to key stakeholders • Information sessions • Reporting frameworks project – – Looking at what H&S information is currently provided to managers/committees – Address overlaps/gaps – Ensuring key summary information is provided to “officers” How are we Preparing? Cont • External audit completed of the University’s preparedness to meet due diligence requirements for “officers” • Safety sampling audits against Griffith H&S Performance Standards across Groups/elements • Group H&S Committees implementing H&S Operational Plans • Training/certification of Local Health & Safety Contacts How are we Preparing? Cont • Introduction of GSafe (2012) GSafe is a web-based risk management system which will provide – online hazard and incident reporting – online creation of risk assessments – central repository for risk assessments/registers – records of inspections/audits – reporting and analysis of H&S data Further information will be provided about GSafe in coming months Qld WHS Act 2011 Further guidance can be obtained from “Understanding the Model Work Health and Safety Act”, Sherriff, B and Tooma, M, CCH 2010 Queries may be directed to : Glen Kerridge on Ext 57802 Michael Marsh on Ext 28680 or email [email protected] with any questions or comments you may have.