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Workplace Inspections and Reports Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure describes the requirement to undertake regular work health and safety (WHS) workplace inspections and the associated reporting requirements.

(2) The purpose of workplace inspections is to identify, assess and eliminate or control hazards in the workplace. Regular inspections that are carried out diligently and identify and eliminate or control risks lead to higher standards of workplace health and safety and are the key to the prevention of incidents and improved workplace safety culture.

Scope

(3) This procedure applies to all employees of Charles Sturt University (the University).

Consultation with Workers

(4) An important element of successfully implementing work health and safety workplace inspections involves meaningful and effective communication with workers aimed at achieving commitment from all areas and levels within each organisational unit. Managers need to plan for how consultation will be achieved and how ideas and actions will be communicated.

(5) For assistance or guidance on work health and safety consultation at the University, refer to the University's Work Health and Safety Consultation Statement.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(6) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy

(7) Nil.

Responsibilities

(8) All persons in charge of workplaces must carry out at least two inspections of their workplaces each year and keep a record of those inspections, including any hazards identified and the actions undertaken (or recommended) to eliminate or control those hazards. Workplace Managers are also responsible for implementing all identified corrective actions.

(9) Delegation of the issues to be resolved should be assigned to appropriate employees. Assigning different issues to other employees will ensure as many employees as possible are included in the plan. Details of employees and the actions they are required to complete should be clearly spelled out together with target dates to complete actions. These dates should be realistic.

(10) All staff must comply, so far as they are reasonably able, with any reasonable safety instruction given to them by their Supervisor to allow the Supervisor to comply with this Policy and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

(11) The Manager, Work Health and Safety (Division of Human Resources) will provide advice and assistance as required and appropriate.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Conduct of Workplace Inspections

(12) All persons in charge of workplaces are required to have carried out a minimum of two work health and safety inspections (one every six months) of their workplaces each year and to keep a record of hazards identified and actions undertaken to rectify or control those hazards.

(13) Where workplaces are geographically large or where there are a large number of facilities, then it may be prudent to carry out inspections on the separate locations and combine them into a single report. This approach can be carried out over a number of months and still meet the recommended reporting schedule.

(14) Inspections should completed between January to April and July to November each year.

(15) Where facilities or workplaces are shared, then the persons in charge of those facilities, manage staff in that building, or their delegate (e.g. the Office Manager, Associate Head of School, etc.) need to formally organise the manner in which the workplace will be inspected and records kept by each individual unit.

(16) Where facilities or workplaces have no nominated person in charge, such as shared teaching spaces and lecture rooms, then the Division of Facilities Management shall nominate a person to be in charge for the purpose of this Procedure.

(17) Managers/Supervisors should enlist the aid of their employees to assist in the conduct of inspections. Where relevant, these assistants may be chosen for their knowledge or expertise in particular areas. The number of persons needed to carry out an inspection is generally limited to about three persons, but the employees carrying out the inspection may be rotated to ensure the involvement of as many employees as possible in the workplace inspection program over a number of years.

(18) Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) have a legal right to inspect workplaces and may schedule this activity. Managers/Supervisors may find it beneficial to conduct inspections with their Health and Safety Representative and should keep in contact with their representative.

(19) A Workplace Inspection Checklist shall be developed for each workplace and can be derived from the Workplace Inspection Basic (Generic) Checklist or from any available checklist. This Workplace Inspection Checklist can then be used to form the basis of workplace inspection records.

(20) The purpose of a workplace inspection is to detect hazards and as such the inspection should not deteriorate into an exercise in simple 'nit-picking'. The approach of the inspection team should be more to determine that everything is satisfactory rather than to determine how many things are wrong. For further information on the completion of workplace inspections, please refer to the University's Workplace Inspections web page for presentations on how to conduct inspections or the Workplace Inspection Checklist Guidance Notes.

(21) At the completion of the workplace inspection, all unsatisfactory items recorded on the checklist (i.e. the hazards identified) must be indicated on a Workplace Inspection Action Sheet along with the corrective action necessary to eliminate or control the risk associated with that hazard.

(22) A risk assessment of all hazards must be recorded on the Workplace Inspection Action Sheet to assist with and inform the prioritising of actions required.

(23) A Workplace Inspection Report consists of a completed Work Health and Safety Workplace Inspection Checklist and a Work Health and Safety Workplace Inspection Action Sheet. Work Health and Safety Workplace Inspection Reports will be under the control of the person in charge of each workplace (Head of School, Dean, Executive Dean, Director, Executive Director or other Manager) and are to be retained locally as proof that these risk management activities have been undertaken.

(24) A copy of the Workplace Inspection Notification Checklist together with the Workplace Inspection Action Sheet shall be forwarded to the Work Health and Safety Unit.

(25) Information from Work Health and Safety Workplace Inspection Action Sheets will be used to inform the Work Health and Safety Annual Return, which is also used to develop the Safety Management Plan.

Prioritising Issues

(26) The purpose of prioritising your work health and safety issues is to ensure that serious problems are dealt with immediately, regardless of cost. The Risk Score Matrix (adapted from WorkCover NSW) will help you to prioritise the hazards within your workplace. In order to prioritise the issues you will need to:

  1. Determine the likelihood of an incident occurring as a result of the identified hazard. You must decide if the likelihood is very likely, likely, unlikely or very unlikely.
  2. Determine the severity of an incident stemming from the identified hazard. What would happen to a person if an accident happened because of this hazard? Would they be killed, severely injured, would time off work be needed or would first aid be appropriate? Select the most severe outcome for each hazard.

(27) Serious hazards (denoted P1) require immediate action regardless of impact on the operations of the workplace.

(28) A P6 indicates that a risk is easily resolved and, as such, should receive immediate attention, e.g. moving packing crates that have been stacked in front of an exit.

(29) All risks in between the two extremes above are prioritised as P2 to P5 and should be dealt with as quickly as possible, with P1 being the highest.

Resources

(30) In order to effectively manage work health and safety and to action issues, adequate resources must be made available. These resources are not only financial but also physical (i.e. facilities and equipment) and human. Generally your greatest resource challenges will be time and personnel, not financial.

Training

(31) Workplace inspection training presentations are available from the University's Workplace Inspections web page.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.