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Work Health and Safety Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and learning environment, in accordance with Work Health and Safety legislation(s). 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 workers, students and authorised visitors throughout its areas and activities. All members of the University community must comply with this policy and related procedures, and should take reasonable care to prevent personal injury, injury to others and prevent or minimise damage to plant and equipment.

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Section 2 - Statement of Authority

(3) The authority behind this policy is the Charles Darwin University Act 2003 part 3, section 15.

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Section 3 - Compliance

(4) This is a compliance requirement under the Work Health and Safety Legislation for the relevant Territory or State.

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Section 4 - Intent

(5) The University intent is that no person will come to harm while working, studying or visiting the University. This commitment to health, safety and wellbeing allows the University to teach, conduct research and promote scholarship at the highest international level through the attraction and retention of high quality staff, students and other partners.

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Section 5 - Relevant Definitions

(6) In the context of this document:

  1. Officer means a person who has significant decision-making abilities and/or financial control over the University or a substantial part of the University. Officers have high level WHS responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the Act);
  2. Senior Executive means a staff member of the University holding the position of Vice-Chancellor, Provost, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor or Chief Financial Officer or equivalent;
  3. Senior Manager means a staff member of the University holding the position of Director or Head of School or equivalent;
  4. Visitor means any person who visits the University and is not classified as a Worker of the University. Visitors to the University may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Conference and function attendees;
    2. External auditors;
    3. Commercial clients or customers family and friends of workers and students;
    4. Community visitors, including prospective students;
    5. Consultants; or
    6. Contractors or vendors.
  5. Worker means any person who carries out work in any capacity for the University, including but not limited to:
    1. University staff members;
    2. contractors;
    3. subcontractors and their employees;
    4. apprentices or trainees;
    5. students gaining work experience, and volunteers; or
    6. employees of a labour hire company assigned for work at the University.
  6. Workplace means a place where work is carried out for the University and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work (including on field trips, in teaching facilities, in offices, in rural environments or any area of industry operations). A workplace may include, but is not limited to:
    1. laboratories, workshops and training rooms;
    2. on-site recreational facilities; and
    3. vehicles or vessels.
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Section 6 - Policy

(7) The Vice-Chancellor (VC) has responsibility for, and is committed to, the effective implementation of the University WHS Policy.

(8) The Senior Executives will support Senior Managers, Managers and Supervisors to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities and accountabilities within their area of responsibility.

(9) University Council has the responsibility to oversee the monitoring of the University’s WHS performance against objectives and targets.

(10) The University, its Executive Leadership Group and Senior Management are committed to the University's safety management system and accountable for ensuring 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.

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

  1. Committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in the workplace.
  2. Everyone has a responsibility for safety; their own and that of others.
  3. Injuries can be prevented and an incident-free working and learning environment is actively pursued.
  4. Communication and consultation are central to working together for a safer workplace.

(12) 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, Executive Leadership Group 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 workers, students, contractors, volunteers, and visitors to the workplace.
  8. Consult with workers and students about decisions that may affect their health, safety and wellbeing.

(13) All workers, students and visitors have a responsibility and are required to take reasonable care for their own safety and the safety of others and comply with any reasonable instruction, policy, procedures or guidelines of the University in relation to health and safety.

(14) All persons are required to ensure that their own acts and omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others. All persons are required to report all hazards, incidents and injuries.

(15) For further information or detail on roles and responsibilities consult the University’s WHS Roles and Responsibilities guideline.

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Section 7 - Non-compliance

(16) 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, and will also be dealt with under the University’s Code of Conduct - Staff, Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2018 and Student Conduct By-laws.