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Occupational Health & Safety Report

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					              Occupational Health & Safety Report - January - October 2001

Overview

The University of Tasmania’s Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) is managed through an
extensive OH&S policy framework which has been developed in accordance with statutory
requirements and by assigning specific responsibilities to senior staff, employees, students,
contractors and visitors. All Deans, Heads of Division, Heads of School and Administrative
Sections have been designated as Responsible Officers under the Workplace Health & Safety Act
1995. They have responsibility for providing suitable resources and facilities to ensure that the
University's policies can be effectively implemented in their areas. All Responsible Officers are
required to attend a training session outlining their legislative responsibilities.

The Occupational Health & Safety Committee's role is to oversee University-wide OH&S
Management. The Committee monitors regular reports including those from the Committee's
three Sub-Committees, the Radiation Advisory Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee
and the Diving and Boating Committee, and reviews and approves OH&S policies and
guidelines. The OH&S Committee also inspects selected facilities, approves audits and monitors
action plans which arise from all compliance audits. The OH&S Committee will also provide
regular reports to the Planning and Resources Committee.

All OH&S policies and guidelines clearly outline responsibilities of Responsible Officers,
supervisors, staff, students, contractors and visitors.       An extensive Employee Safety
Representative Network also operates on a statewide basis and plays a vital role in assisting with
the management of OH&S in the workplace. In addition to the above, the Occupational Health &
Safety Unit is responsible for providing advice and service to the University community for all
matters relating to OH&S including policy development, workers compensation and
rehabilitation, radiation safety and hazardous materials management. The Unit oversees the
University's compliance with the Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995, the Workplace Health &
Safety Regulations 1998, the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1998, relevant
Australian Standards and Codes of Practice and provides reports to the OH&S Committee.

OH&S Activities

All OH&S Policies and Guidelines have been reviewed and modified to ensure compliance with
changes to OH&S legislative requirements. In late January, the OH&S Unit completed this
review and updated its website (www.admin.utas.edu.au/hr/ohs/ohs.html). An OH&S Manual
was published and provided to all Responsible Officers and Employee Safety Representatives
(contents page and a listing of OH&S Policies - Attachment 1). Whilst there have been numerous
audits conducted in previous years where the OH&S Committee has identified that high risk
activities are undertaken such as the Chemistry Building, School of Art and Fume Cupboards
Audit, in 2001 three major audits have been conducted: the School of Eduction Audit
(Launceston), the Marine Research Laboratories Audit (Hobart) and a Noise Monitoring Audit
(Launceston and Hobart). In addition to the above, the Dive Operations Manual has been
comprehensively overhauled to ensure compliance with the new Australian Standard for
Scientific Diving, and an audit of all Laboratory Practical Manuals has been completed. In
conjunction with Asset Management Services an audit of Sharps and Hazardous Waste has been
conducted on a statewide basis to ensure that disposal paths are appropriate. Bulk dangerous
goods storage was also audited to ensure that licensing requirements are being met.
There has been a great deal of activity in regard to Radiation Safety with staff and students fully
implementing the new Radiation Policy and Procedures. There has been extensive liaison with
the Department of Health & Human Services - Health Physics Branch and a new approval of
premises and sources process has been implemented in accordance with the Radiation Control
Act 1977. All historical sources have been relocated from Schools in Launceston and Hobart to
the new Radiation Storage Facility. Many sources have been disposed with the remainder
correctly characterised and stored. There has been an audit of the database of all used sources
and authorised persons, with the permit to use system operating most effectively. Radiation
Safety Officers and XRD training programs have also been offered in 2001.

All activities of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) have now come under the control of
the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. In terms of new compliance requirements, all IBC
procedures have been modified and IBC proposals have been reclassified and confirmed to ensure
compliance with the Gene Technology Regulations 2001.

The OH&S Unit has also developed a Critical Incident Management Plan, which complements
the comprehensive Emergency Procedures Manual. Although this plan is currently being
reviewed by other areas within the University it is hoped that the plan will be implemented in
early 2002. Evacuation exercises and emergency training was successfully completed on a
statewide basis.

A number of OH&S initiatives were offered throughout Safety Week (15th - 19th October). These
included ergonomic assessments, stress-reduction massages, Responsible Officer, Accountable
Person and manual handling training programs. Safety Week initiatives are always popular but
this year the demand for the stress-reduction massages was overwhelming with many staff
witnessing first hand the benefits of a preventative approach to their wellbeing.

The OH&S Unit has also had to respond to two Infectious Disease incidents in 2001,
Tuberculosis and Meningococcal. Screening and information to staff and students proved most
effective in the management of both infectious disease concerns. There has been a close
relationship established with personnel within Public Health Services and protocols in this area
are working effectively.

The Staff Counselling Service has also been well attended throughout 2001 with Christine
Clifford providing services to Hobart staff and Christine Brown available for Launceston &
Burnie Staff. This preventative program has ensured that early intervention can be achieved in
stress cases and managed appropriately.

2001 Workers Compensation, Incident/Near Miss and Counselling Statistics will be provided to
the March Council Meeting.
                       POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

•   Occupational Health and Safety Policy
•   Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs in the Workplace Policy
•   Asbestos Procedures
•   Boating Activity Policy
•   Chemical Substance Labelling Policy and Procedures
•   Confined Space Entry Procedure
•   Contractor Log On and Off Procedure
•   Dangerous Goods Handling Policy – Use and Storage
•   Electrical Safety in the Workplace Policy and Guidelines
•   Eye Examination and Reimbursement of Prescription Spectacles Expenses Policy
•   Excavation & Demolition Policy and Procedures
•   Field Activity Policy
•   First Aid in the Workplace Policy
•   Guidelines for Driving Authorised Vehicles
•   Guidelines for the Safe Use of Office Copying Machines
•   Guidelines for the Use of Screen Based Equipment
•   Hazardous Substances Policy and Procedures
•   Hearing Conservation Management Policy and Procedures
•   Hot Work Procedure
•   Isolation Procedure
•   Laboratory Safety Policy and Procedures
•   Manual Handling Policy and Procedures
•   Occupational Exposures to Blood and Body Fluids Policy and Procedures
•   Occupational Health & Safety Issue Resolution Procedure
•   Out-of-Service Procedure
•   Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Policy and Procedures
•   Potting Mix Policy
•   Prevention of Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) Policy
•   Project/Task Risk Assessment and Control Procedure
•   Radiation Policy and Procedures
•   Rehabilitation of Injured Employees
•   Safety in Workshops Policy
•   Scheduled Carcinogenic Substances Policy and Procedures
•   Sharps Disposal Policy and Procedures
•   Working at Heights Procedure
•   Workplace Inspection Procedure & Checklist
•   Zoonoses and Animal-Based Hazards Policy
               Occupational Health and Safety Manual
                                CONTENTS

•   About the University's OH&S Unit
•   Role of the Unit
•   OH&S Unit Contact Details
•   OH&S Unit - Services Provided

•   OH&S Responsibilities of Managers & Staff

•   Employee Safety Representatives - listing

•   Emergency Management
•   Emergency Information for Staff & Students
•   Emergency Management

•   Staff Counselling Service

•   Policies & Procedures (listing followed by policy documents)

•   Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation
•   Questions & Answers
•   Summary of Legislation

•   OH&S Committee & Sub-Committees

•   OH&S Committee
•   Radiation Advisory Committee
•   RAC Annual Report
•   Institutional Biosafety Committee
•   Diving & Boating Committee

•   Infosafe

•   Notification Forms
•   Notification of Accident & Incident Report Form
•   Notification of Safety Hazard Report Form




           www.admin.utas.edu.au/hr/ohs/ohs.html

				
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