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Work Health and Safety Policy

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (CDU) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and learning environment, in accordance with Work Health and Safety legislation (Work, Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011). The University has a primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety of all people who work, study, and visit its campuses or are potentially affected by its operations.

(2) The University recognises that success in achieving a healthy and safe workplace depends on the commitment and cooperation of staff, students and authorised visitors throughout its areas and activities. All members of the University community must take reasonable care to prevent personal injury, injury to others and prevent, minimise and report actual or potential hazards.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) The purpose of this policy is to ensure that no person is harmed while working, studying or visiting the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This policy applies to all staff, students and visitors to the University and at all University property.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) The CDU People Enabling Plan 2021-2026 aims to deliver the CDU Strategic Goals including prioritising organisational and environmental sustainability and to be an employer of choice where people feel supported and happy. Effective implementation of WHS Policy is a prerequisite for achieving these goals.

(6) The Vice-Chancellor (VC) has responsibility for, and is committed to, the effective implementation of the University’s WHS policy. The Senior Executive Team will support staff to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities and accountabilities.

(7) The Vice-chancellor's Advisory Committee is committed to the University's safety and accountable for showing leadership to ensure a safe, supportive, protective and healthy working and learning environment. This will be achieved to the highest standards by ensuring that health and safety management is a key priority in all areas of planning, resourcing, implementation, measurement and review within our places of work.

(8) The following principles form the basis of achieving the University’s health and safety policy objective:

  1. All staff, students and visitors have a responsibility for the safety, physical and mental health and well-being of themselves and others;
  2. An incident-free working and learning environment is actively pursued; and
  3. Communication and consultation are central to working together for a safer workplace.

(9) The University will undertake the following activities in fulfilling its commitment to provide a healthy workplace:

  1. Comply with applicable health and safety legislation as well as other requirements such as Codes of Practice or Australian Standards;
  2. Develop and maintain a Work Health and Safety Management System (WHS SMS) compliant with current legislation;
  3. Allocate sufficient financial and physical resources to enable the effective implementation of the WHS SMS;
  4. Establish measurable objectives and targets for health and safety aimed at the elimination of work-related illness and injury;
  5. Report on measurements and targets to Council, Vice-chancellor's Advisory Committee and the University Health and Safety Committee.
  6. Implement a health and safety risk management process to ensure workplace hazards are identified, assessed, controlled and reviewed where they are not able to be eliminated;
  7. Provide appropriate health, safety and wellbeing training and the dissemination of health, safety and wellbeing information to all University staff, students, contractors, volunteers, and visitors to the workplace; and
  8. Consult with staff and students about decisions that may affect their health, safety and wellbeing.

(10) All staff, students and visitors must comply with any reasonable instruction, policy, procedures or guidelines of the University in relation to health and safety.

(11) All persons are required to ensure that their own acts and omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others.

(12) All persons are required to report all hazards, incidents, and injuries.

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Section 5 - Non-compliance

(13) Failure to follow safe systems of work, misuse of Work Health and Safety equipment, tampering with Work Health and Safety signage, damaging or bypassing risk control measure, or interfering with another person’s effort towards Work Health and Safety can lead to severe fines or prosecution under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 and Regulations 2011 or other relevant legislation.

(14) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct - Staff or Code of Conduct - Student as applicable and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures.

(15) Failure to abide by the terms outlined in this policy may lead to disciplinary action, and if severe enough may be referred to the relevant law enforcement authorities.

(16) Any disciplinary action will be determined after due consideration of the facts and may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Direction from an authorised officer to cease duties or academic activity immediately, for example, lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, workshops, training, or excursions, pending an investigation;
  2. Imposing a monetary penalty under the terms of the Charles Darwin University Site and Traffic By-laws (clauses 8 (1) (c) (i); (h); (k) (ii) and clause 9 (1) (g));
  3. Referral to the appropriate disciplinary procedures for misconduct in the Charles Darwin University (Student Conduct) By-laws or current Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement; and/or
  4. Referral to relevant law enforcement authorities, where the misconduct potentially constitutes a legal offence.