Element 9 Participation and consultation
Safety duties apply to all persons
All persons who work, visit or enter a University site have a duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and can be simplified as:
- The Person Conducting the Business or Undertaking (PCBU i.e. The University) must ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety of all persons who may be affected by work at the University
- Officers of the University must exercise due diligence to ensure that the University is meeting its safety obligations
- Workers must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and for other personnel affected by their work including following all reasonable instructions and ensuring that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others
- All other persons (including visitors) must take reasonable care for their own health and safety including complying with any reasonable instruction and ensuring that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others
The WHS act requires the University to consult, so far as is reasonably practicable, with those workers who are likely to be directly affected by matter relating to work health and safety.
Workers are entitled to:
- elect a health and safety representative
- request the formation of a health and safety committee
- cease unsafe work
- have health and safety issues resolved in accordance with the agreed issue resolution procedure
- not be discriminated against for raising health and safety issues.
Safety committees are the primary method of providing an opportunity for consultation and participation. The safety committees are established according to the risk profile of the work area or at the direction of individual DVCs. Details are contained on the Safety Committee and HSR Table.
Where the risk level does not warrant the establishment of a safety committee, the business unit is required to include safety as an agenda item on department meetings as per the Safety Committee and HSR table.
Safety committee hierarchy
The safety committee hierarchy is built from the ground up with work area/section/school safety committees reporting to their division safety committee and then through to the University safety committee. The University safety committee reports four times a year to the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee which is the preeminent safety authority within the University.
Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are elected by USQ workers to ensure effective consultation and communication between workers and management and to assist in the implementation of WHS Policies and Procedures. All HSRs are entitled to be a member of their representative safety sub-committee, however selected divisional HSRs will also be nominated as members of theUniversity Safety Committee.
HSRs are elected for a period of three years and the list of current HSRs is contained in the Safety Committee and HSR Table.
Safety committees should operate in accordance with the approved terms of reference (TOR). Templates are available for both division level safety committees and safety sub-committees. A copy of the completed TOR for each committee is to be forwarded to USQSafe
Safety committees should meet as often as required to address the safety issues but not less than four times per year.