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Occupational Safety and Health Procedures

procedure

These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Policy.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to all employees.

3. Procedures

3.1 Role of site managers

3.1.1 Training and induction

Site managers will:

  • provide induction, supervision, information, instruction and training in occupational safety and health to enable employees to undertake their duties safely and to remove, as far as practicable, exposure to hazards;
  • display the Department’s Statement of Intent and Commitment to Occupational Safety and Health around the workplace (Appendix A);
  • make available to employees the Occupational Safety and Health Policy and Procedures; and
  • communicate to all employees their responsibilities, Department policy requirements and site specific occupational safety and health requirements; and to contractors, site specific requirements for the particular workplace and:

Guidance

Under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996,  site managers  must (1) identify occupational safety and health hazards in the workplaces, assess risks, and implement effective preventative measures; (2) maintain a record to show that regular workplace inspections are conducted; (3) induct and train all employees in occupational safety and health; and (4) are required to promote a safe and accident prevention culture at the workplace.


Site managers should inform all employees of the Department’s Employee Assistance Program (staff only) counselling services to resolve any work or personal issues that may affect their well-being and productivity.

A handover provided with any change of site manager at a worksite should include details about any known occupational safety and health hazards.

Under the OSH Act 1984, visitors and students are required to comply with directions given by the site manager. Refer to the Department’s Duty of Care for Students policy with regard to the safety and welfare of students.

3.1.2 Plant, equipment and hazardous substances

Site managers will:

  • maintain plant, equipment and systems of work such that persons are not exposed to hazards in the workplaces;
  • where hazardous substances such as chemicals are present in the workplace, confirm that their handling, labelling, processing, storage, transportation and disposal is carried out in such a manner as to avoid exposure to hazards; and
  • provide personal protective equipment where required.

Guidance

Some items of plant and equipment are subject to statutory inspections at regular intervals such as vehicle hoists, air compressors, fume cupboards, passenger lifts and electrical equipment. These inspections are generally arranged by Building Management and Works but the Site Manager is responsible for ensuring that they occur as required.

Fire extinguishers should be routinely checked and evacuation drills conducted on a regular basis. Refer to the Incident Management on Department of Education Sites policy for more information.

Site managers should provide instructions to employees in the use of personal protective equipment and verify that employees maintain the personal protective equipment in good working condition.

3.1.3 Accident/incident investigation report form

Site Managers will:

  • investigate any matter that has been brought to their attention, determine any action required and notify the employee(s) concerned of the outcome of the investigation and the intended action to be taken;
  • use the Accident/Incident Investigation Report Form (AIIR Form) (staff only)  to record accidents/incidents and injuries at the workplace, details of investigation conducted and control measures implemented to prevent further occurrences;
  • advise any elected safety and health representative for that workplace of any accident or incident occurring at the workplace and provide them an opportunity to carry out an investigation in a timely manner; and
  • forward the AIIR Form to the Employee Support Bureau (ESB) via email to ESB.Admin@education.wa.edu.au for any lost time injury resulting in a workers’ compensation claim.

Guidance

The Accident/Incident Investigation Report Form (AIIR) for employees forms the basis for the collection and documentation of information relating to the incident and investigation process. Records should also be kept of any witness and third party evidence or information.

For incidents concerning visitors and students, please use the incident report form.

Record keeping includes the maintenance of a register (staff only) of all risks in the workplace, including for hazardous substances. 

Further information on records management is available at the Department’s Corporate Information Services website (staff only).

3.1.4 Non-compliance notices

Site Managers will:

  • advise their Executive Director or Director of Education when a regulatory agency has issued a non-compliance notice, or when a Safety and Health Representative has issued a provisional improvement notice (PIN), in their workplace; and
  • arrange for a copy of any non-compliance notice to be sent to the Occupational Safety and Health Team in the ESB immediately on receipt of notice.

Guidance

Non-compliance notices include an improvement or prohibition notice issued by WorkSafe WA inspectors when a breach of the OSH Act or the regulations is occurring and has not been remedied.  It states the reasons for the inspector issuing the notice and must include a reference to a specific regulation or provision of the Act.
 

A provisional improvement notice (PIN) can be issued by a safety and health representative when they are of the opinion that a breach of the OSH Act or the Regulations is occurring and has not been remedied.  The person who has been issued with the PIN has the option to request a review by a WorkSafe WA inspector within the stipulated time.

Failure to comply with a notice within the given time is an offence under OSH legislation.

For more information, visit ESB website (staff only).

3.1.5 Safety and health representatives or committees

Site Managers will:

  • facilitate requests by employees to elect safety and health representatives and or form a safety and health committee;
  • when a request for the election of a safety and health representative is received in writing, invite employees to appoint a nominee to consult on the election process within 21 days from the date of request made;
  • allocate time and resources for the safety and health representative to complete training within 12 months after being elected;
  • consult and cooperate with safety and health representatives, if any, and employees regarding occupational safety and health at the workplace;
  • allow an elected safety and health representative to inspect the workplace every 30 days after they give prior notice, however where possible, the number and type of inspection should be agreed upon by the representative and the site manager; and
  • provide time for the safety and health representatives to carry out their designated functions.

Guidance

The Department supports workplaces to elect one or more safety and health representatives and to establish a safety and health committee.

The site manager has statutory obligations with regard to safety and health representatives under the OSH Act, Section 35.

The WorkSafe Guidance note Formal Consultative Processes at the Workplace provides detailed advice on all matters relating to safety and health representatives and safety and health committees. Further information is also available at the  ESB website (staff only).

At a minimum the Occupational Safety and Health representative training will be completed within 12 months after the election but it is preferable that training is completed within six months.

3.2 Role of employees

Employees will:

  • take reasonable care for their own safety and health and avoid adversely affecting the safety or health of any other person through any act or omission at work;
  • follow all instructions and safe working procedures established to protect their safety and that of others;
  • report all identified hazards and accidents/incidents in the workplace to their line manager; and
  • follow the steps in the Occupational Safety and Health Issues Resolution Process (Appendix C) for resolving occupational safety and health issues as agreed between the Department and relevant parties under the OSH Act.

3.3 Resolution of issues

All employees must follow the steps in the Occupational Safety and Health-Issues Resolution Process (Appendix C) for resolving safety and health issues that arise in the workplace as agreed by the Department and the relevant parties in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Executive Directors and Directors will assist site managers in the issue resolution process, as required.

Guidance

Under section 26 of the OSH Act 1984, an employee is entitled to refuse to work by notifying his or her employer (site manager and OSH representative) if they consider there are reasonable grounds to believe that to continue to work would result in exposure to a risk of imminent and serious injury or imminent and serious harm to health

An employee who refuses to work may be given reasonable alternative work to do until the employee resumes his or her usual work.

4. Definitions

The Employee Support Bureau (ESB) is based in the Department of Education’s Employee Relations Directorate and is the collective name for the Workers’ Compensation, Injury Management and Occupational Safety and Health teams. 

The issue resolution process (referred to in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 as ‘the relevant procedure’) is a procedure agreed on by the employer and the employees to deal with safety and health issues in an efficient and systematic way. The Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Issues Resolution Process contains the steps for resolving occupational safety and health issues as agreed between the Department and relevant parties under the OSH Act. OSH representatives can take advice or seek information from any source, at any stage of this “resolution process” (e.g. from Employee Relations, unions, Department of Health, WorkSafe etc.)

A non-compliance notice is an improvement or prohibition notice issued to a person or an organisation who is required by the OSH Act to take action to remedy the identified safety issue stated in the notice within the stipulated time. 

Committees are established when requested by an employee or employer as described within the WorkSafe - Safety and health representatives handbook.

Is an elected employee as described within the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Officers, including Principals, College Managers and Line Managers, who have executive responsibility for overall management and control of any Department of Education workplace.

WorkSafe WA is responsible for the regulation of workplace safety and health in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (the OSH Act).

5. Related documents

6. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Employee Relations

Policy contact officer:

Occupational Safety and Health Consultant

Employee Relations

T: (08) 9264 4921

 E: Oshteam@education.wa.edu.au

7. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Policy version no.
17 September 2010 3 August 2011
Reporting requirements for Workplace Improvement Notices have been included in section 4.2.3 and requirements altered in section 4.2.4. D12/0321184. Contact information also updated.
17 September 2012 5 July 2012
Updated reference to School Education Act Employees’ (Teachers and Administrators) General Agreement.
5 April 2013
Amendment at section 4.2 to require principals and line managers to complete training within six months of appointment. Endorsed by Corporate Executive 15 March 2013
5 April 2013 20 January 2014
Updated contact details added to policy. D13/0581606
20 June 2017
Major review of policy. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 5 May 2017
16 April 2019
Major changes have been made to the policy and procedures. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 20 March 2019
16 April 2019 30 August 2019
Minor changes to references to guidelines and related documents D19/0405033
16 April 2019 4 December 2019
Minor changes to references to guidelines and related documents D19/0554972
16 April 2019 9 February 2021
Minor changes to replace the Regional Executive Director position title with Director of Education D20/0647278

9. More information

This procedure:

Download procedure PDFOccupational Safety and Health Procedures v3.4

Please ensure you also download the policy supported by this procedure.


Supported policy:

Download Policy PDFOccupational Safety and Health Policy


Supporting content:


Procedure review date

30 June 2020

Procedure last updated

9 February 2021