Policy Number: 054 Work Health and Safety July 2015

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1 Policy Number: 054 Work Health and Safety July 2015 TRIM Ref: TD14/318

2 Policy Details 1. Owner Manager, Business Operations 2. Compliance is required by Staff, contractors and volunteers 3. Approved by The Commissioner 4. Date created July Date of this review N/A 6. Next review due July 2016 Work Health and Safety Act Driver Work Health and Safety Regulation References Code of Practice: Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination December 2011 Code of Practice: How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks January 2012 NSW Ministry of Health s Policy Directive PD2013_050 Work Health and Safety: Better Practice Procedures Australian Standard AS/NZS 4801: 2001 Occupational health and safety management systems Code of practice: First aid in the workplace July 2014 Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Work Health and Safety Regulation Contact Officer/Maintained by Business Services Coordinator who monitors changes to legislation, policies and procedures and recommends any amendment to the Work Health and Safety Policy 10. Search terms Health, safety, occupational 11. Compliance assurance method By incident monitoring 12. Policy Document location TRIM Ref: TD14/318 The Commission acknowledges the NSW Ministry of Health, 13. Acknowledgement from whose Policy this Work Health and Safety Policy is based Policy The Mental Health Commission of NSW is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for workers and visitors to the Commission, in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, Codes of Practice and Australian Standards. The objectives of the Commission s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Policy are to minimise workplace physical and psychological injuries and illnesses of Commission staff, contractors and volunteers. WHS principles are continuously incorporated into all facets of the Commission s business planning and operational activities. The Commission, through its officers and managers, will: Take all reasonably practicable actions to ensure the health and safety of its workers Ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of other persons when they are visiting the workplace TRIM Ref: TD14/318 2

3 Consult with workers and their representatives on health, safety and welfare matters to ensure that the Commission s WHS risk management is a continuous process that is of the highest standard. To support the policy, the Commission has developed a WHS Management System and related activities. The Commission s WHS Management System is a systematic approach to managing health and safety risks in the workplace and managing workplace incidents, injuries and illnesses, when they occur. By virtue of the Commission s mandate to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the people of NSW, the Commission has a special interest in ensuring good practice in workplace wellbeing and also in workplace arrangements that prevent psychological injury and illness. Under this policy, the Commission s Executive team is responsible for taking all reasonably practicable actions to ensure the physical and psychological health and safety of its workers. Additionally, all staff, contractors and volunteers are required to support workplace initiatives to improve the physical and psychological health and safety of others in the workplace. The Commission is committed to developing and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace whereby the risks of psychological hazards and injuries are minimised. This commitment is partly demonstrated by the development, implementation, and regular review of a range of comprehensive employment and conduct related policies for the Commission led by the Executive Unit. These policies have been developed in consultation with staff and contractors and have clearly defined procedures and roles and responsibilities for staff, contractors, volunteers and the management team. These policies also aim to improve workplace mental health at the Commission by addressing some of the key factors which are shown by research to contribute to poor psychological health and safety in the workplace, including: lack of autonomy; excessive workloads; unclear leadership and work expectations; a lack of recognition of good work and commitment to staff growth and development; poor fit between competencies and the requirement of the role description; poor communication channels; lack of staff engagement on key issues; and conflict with other staff/managers. In addition, the Commission s Staff Lived Experience Policy commits the Commission to offering employment opportunities for those with lived experience and values their potential as staff, contractors and volunteers bringing unique experiences of mental illness, distress and recovery and understanding of services and their responsiveness to consumer, carer and family member needs through targeted recruitment and selection processes and organisational support. Further, the Workplace Wellbeing Framework Working Group was established to develop and guide a variety of workplace wellbeing activities, including physical and mental wellbeing, within the Commission. This Working Group will continue to develop and implement strategies and related activities and initiatives, in consultation with staff, contractors and volunteers, to continually improve the quality of working life, health, and the wellbeing of the Commission workforce. Definitions Dangerous incident means an incident in relation to a workplace that exposes a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person s health or safety emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to: an uncontrolled escape, spillage or leakage of a substance, or an uncontrolled implosion, explosion or fire, or an uncontrolled escape of gas or steam, or an uncontrolled escape of a pressurised substance, or electric shock, or TRIM Ref: TD14/318 3

4 the fall or release from a height of any plant, substance or thing, or Mental Health Commission of New South Wales the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use in accordance with the regulations, or the collapse or partial collapse of a structure, or the collapse or failure of an excavation or of any shoring supporting an excavation, or the inrush of water, mud or gas in workings, in an underground excavation or tunnel, or the interruption of the main system of ventilation in an underground excavation or tunnel. Hazard means a source or situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health, damage to property, damage to the environment or a combination of these. Incident means any unplanned event resulting in, or with the potential for, injury, damage or other loss. This includes a near miss. Notifiable incident means: the death of a person, or a serious injury or illness of a person, or a dangerous incident. Officer is defined as a person who: makes or participates in decision making that affects the whole or a substantial part of the Commission has the capacity to affect significantly the Commission s financial standing. Other persons include consumers, Commission partners, other stakeholders and visitors entering or utilising the Commission s workplace. Worker is anyone who carries out work for the Commission, including: Staff (employees) Contractors Sub-contractors Sub-contractors and employees of contractors Volunteers Consultants Apprentices or trainees Students on work experience or other placements. Person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 the term employer is replaced by persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). A PCBU conducts a business or undertaking alone or with other PCBUs, and is responsible for the primary duty of care for workplace health and safety, as far as is reasonably practicable. The PCBU does not need to be a natural person and at the Commission the PCBU is the Commission itself. TRIM Ref: TD14/318 4

5 Reasonably practicable consultation is consultation which is both possible and reasonable for the particular circumstances. Risk is the possibility that harm (death, injury or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard. Risk control means taking action to eliminate health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable, and if that is not possible, minimising the risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Eliminating a hazard will also eliminate any risks associated with that hazard. Serious injury or illness of a person means an injury or illness requiring the person to have: immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital, or immediate treatment for: - the amputation of any part of his or her body, or - a serious head injury, or - a serious eye injury, or - a serious burn, or - the separation of his or her skin from an underlying tissue, or - a spinal injury, or - the loss of a bodily function, or - serious lacerations, or medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance, and includes any other injury or illness prescribed by the regulations but does not include an illness or injury of a prescribed kind. TRIM Ref: TD14/318 5

6 Commission s WHS Management System The Commission s WHS Management System is integrated with the Commission s wider management system. The Commission s WHS Management System is based on Australian Standard AS/NZS 4801: 2001 Occupational health and safety management systems. Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: WHS Statement of Commitment The Commission s WHS statement of commitment is a public statement giving effect to the Commission s commitment to WHS, which includes psychological health and safety. The statement of commitment informs workers and other persons that WHS management is an integral part of all Commission operations. The Commission s WHS statement of commitment is attached at Appendix A. WHS Structures and Governance Arrangements The Commission has established the following WHS structures and systems to demonstrate its commitment to addressing WHS matters: 1. WHS is a regular standing item on the agenda for fortnightly staff meetings, where staff and contractors are given the opportunity to raise concerns, express their views and contribute to decision making processes relating to WHS, as well as be informed about WHS updates 2. The WHS statement of commitment is included in the Commission s Welcome Manual 3. A standardised WHS report for informing the Manager, Business Operations of any incident or near miss (TRIM Ref TD14/346) or hazard or risk (Trim Ref TD14/348) in the workplace is communicated and readily available to staff, contractors and volunteers 4. WHS updates are communicated to staff, contractors and volunteers through the Commission system 5. WHS matters that require redress are escalated, in a timely way, to the Manager, Business Operations 6. WHS issues and implications are considered in planning and decision making 7. WHS education and training is provided to all staff, contractors and volunteers 8. WHS requirements are included in role descriptions and performance agreement and development plans where appropriate. Planning Process The Commission has processes in place to ensure that WHS considerations are included in planning processes, such as: Including WHS as a standing agenda item for fortnightly staff meetings Including specified WHS obligations and accountabilities in contracts for procurement of goods and services, where relevant. Sources of information to assist with WHS planning at the Commission include: Information from the Workplace Wellbeing Framework Working Group, such as staff needs assessments Risk Register data Incident or Near Miss data Workers compensation data Prohibition and Improvement Notices (PINS) issued by WorkCover NSW TRIM Ref: TD14/318 6

7 Input from workers. Part 4: Consultation NSW WHS legislation requires that the Commission must consult, as far as is reasonably practicable, with workers who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a WHS matter. Given the small size of the Commission, staff and contractors are consulted at fortnightly staff meetings on WHS issues and decision making. Consultation occurs when: 1. Identifying hazards and assessing risks to health and safety, and making decisions on how to eliminate or minimise those risks 2. Making decisions about amenities for the welfare of workers 3. Proposing changes that affect the health and safety of workers. For example, changes to employment and conduct policies, facilities, fixtures, fittings, furniture, equipment, or systems of work that may affect the health or safety of workers or other persons 4. Developing procedures for: Resolving WHS issues at the workplace Monitoring the health of workers Monitoring the environmental conditions at the Commission Providing information and training for workers 5. Determining training needs 6. Investigating incidents 7. Developing, implementing and evaluating related programs, policies, procedures and management systems 8. Designing, purchasing or customising equipment. The Commission also consults, cooperates and coordinates with other PCBUs where it shares a WHS duty such as labour hire companies that provide temporary staff (contractors) for the Commission. Part 5: Risk Management Managing WHS risk, including psychological risk, at the Commission is a proactive and ongoing process. The risk management process at the Commission involves the following key stages: Stage 1. Establishing the context Stage 2. Identifying the hazards Stage 3. Assessing/analysing the risks Stage 4. Eliminating or controlling the risks, considering the hierarchy of risk controls Stage 5. Monitoring and reviewing risks and controls Stage 6. Communicating and consulting during each step of the process. Refer to the Commission s Risk Management Policy for further detail on the Commission s approach to risk management. Part 6: Information, training, instruction and supervision The Commission has a duty under the WHS Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of appropriate information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary TRIM Ref: TD14/318 7

8 to protect people from risks to their health and safety from work carried out by the Commission. TRIM Ref: TD14/318 8

9 Commission workers are provided with adequate information and training (through for example induction, staff meetings and communication) to safely do their work, which includes: Procedures for emergency evacuation Details of the designated first aid officers and first aid procedures How WHS is managed in the workplace How to report a hazard or other safety issues Complaint management processes. The Commission s Orientation and Induction Policy outlines the procedures to be followed for new starters to the Commission. Induction information relating to WHS at the Commission includes: Emergency procedures Employment and conduct related policies How WHS is managed, including consultative arrangements Procedures for reporting incidents, injuries and hazards Amenity facilities e.g. safe entry and exit to and from the workplace; specific procedures for after hours work; afterhours access control; toilets, drinking water, eating facilities First aid who provides first aid and location of first aid kit Accessing the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Part 7: Injury Treatment and Management The Commission s First Aid Officer is available to provide and coordinate appropriate treatment for injured or ill staff members, contractors or volunteers. The Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation legislation provides for the coordination of treatment and return to work of occupationally injured or ill employees. In certain circumstances prescribed by the legislation, employees are entitled to seek compensation payments during this process. The Commission s Register of Injuries and Illnesses is readily accessible to Commission staff, contractors and volunteers via the TRIM records management system (TRIM Ref: TD14/314). Specific roles and responsibilities relating to injury treatment and management can be found in the Commission s Policy on Injury Management and Return to Work. Part 8: Claims Management Claims management refers to the management of an employee s claim for workers compensation and the payment of workers compensation benefits to injured or occupationally ill employees. TRIM Ref: TD14/318 9

10 The payment of benefits are approved at the Commission by WorkCover NSW-appointed insurers called Fund Claims Managers following an investigation of the injury and receipt of WorkCover NSW Medical Certificates from the staff member s nominated treating doctor. Specific roles and responsibilities relating to claims management can be found in the Commission s Policy on Injury Management and Return to Work. Part 9: Incident Recording, Investigation, Analysis and Review Incident investigation at the Commission provides the opportunity to examine aspects of the operation of the WHS Management System, including the process for identifying training needs, safe systems of work, the identification of WHS issues as part of planning, hazard identification, and risk control. Staff, contractors and volunteers are encouraged to report incidents or near misses, including those relating to psychological hazards, in the workplace using the Incident near miss investigation template located in TRIM (Ref TD14/346) At the Commission, incident investigation is undertaken and findings are linked with review of the WHS management system so that: The incident/risk investigator considers whether the findings have implications for the WHS management system e.g. training, procedures, equipment, etc There is a system for communicating WHS findings to relevant officers to respond to the findings Changes can be made to the system/procedure Changes are communicated throughout the Commission. Part 10: Measuring and Evaluating WHS Performance The Commission conducts regular system audits and compliance checks to review operations with specific aspects of legislation, for example emergency evacuation procedures. The Commission reviews data on workplace absenteeism and data from the Register of Injuries and Illnesses to measure achievement against the Commission s WHS objectives to reduce workplace physical and psychological injuries and illnesses of Commission staff, contractors and volunteers. Part 11: Reviewing the WHS Management System The Commission undertakes review of the Policy and associated WHS Management System on an annual basis. The review includes examination of data such as findings of the WHS audits and checks, lessons learned from WHS incidents, and feedback from workers to assess the effectiveness of the WHS management system against WHS objectives. Procedure The Commission s workers and other persons at the workplace will: Take reasonable care for their own physical and psychological health and safety Take reasonable care that their actions do not harm the physical and psychological health and safety of others Support workplace initiatives to improve the physical and psychological health and safety of others Assist any injured or ill staff members, contractors or volunteers in the first instance and alert the First Aid Officer or Deputy First Aid Officer for further assistance TRIM Ref: TD14/318 10

11 Follow any reasonable instruction that is given to ensure health and safety Report incidents or near misses in the workplace using the Incident near miss investigation template located in TRIM (Ref TD14/346) Report WHS hazards and risks using the Record of Health or Safety Issue Template located in TRIM (Ref TD14/348) Participate in WHS training, education and consultation as required Cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure of which they have been made aware. Team Managers will: Participate in regular system audits, compliance checks and WHS management system reviews and maintain those systems, to the extent required by their role Implement any strategies, consistent with the scope of their role, from WHS management system reviews Provide adequate supervision to staff, contractors and volunteers to ensure compliance with WHS policies and safe workplace conduct Implement controls to eliminate or minimise identified WHS risk and monitor the effectiveness of controls Actively communicate and promote the statement of commitment to workers Respond in a timely way to remedy WHS issues brought to their attention, and within their scope of authority and delegation Ensure that WHS implications are considered, and these considerations documented, when making decisions and undertaking planning activities. Business Services Coordinator: Maintain staff, contractor and volunteer WHS training records and ensure that training records have a sign-off date to indicate that the training was completed Investigate incidents, near misses and WHS issues promptly and in accordance with Commission policies and provide advice to the Manager, Business Operations Consult with staff, contractors and volunteers on WHS matters and findings from incident, near miss and WHS issue investigations Ensure staff, contractors and volunteers have adequate information, instruction and training, both on induction and on a continuing basis, on WHS matters Ensure staff, contractors and volunteers know of and can access and use the forms: - Register of Injuries illness (TD14/314) - Incident / near miss investigation (TD14/346) - Record of Health or Safety Issue (TD14/348). All the above forms are located in TRIM folder TF14/512. Conduct regular WHS system audits and compliance checks Maintain an appropriate level of understanding of TRIM Ref: TD14/318 11

12 WHS obligations Ensure the WHS statement of commitment is prominently displayed in the workplace Ensure that WHS is a standing agenda item of fortnightly staff meetings Maintain certification records of First Aid Officers. First Aid Officer and Deputy First Aid Officer will: Provide and coordinate appropriate treatment for injured or ill staff members, contractors or volunteers Ensure the availability and maintenance of and access to appropriate first aid equipment for staff members, contractors or volunteers Provide information about first aid to staff, contractors and volunteers so that they know what to do and who to contact if they are sick or injured Maintain records of any first aid treatment provided Ensure First Aid certification is kept up to date, providing records of certification to the Business Services Coordinator. Manager, Business Operations will: Manage the implementation of regular system audits and compliance checks Ensure that information is provided to staff, including Team Managers and the Executive Director, and contractors, volunteers as appropriate on the outcomes of audits and checks and actions against recommendations arising from audits and checks Report notifiable incidents to WorkCover NSW immediately Consult with other PCBUs where there are shared WHS responsibilities with other organisations Review the statement of commitment: - When there is a significant change, such as organisational, policy or legislative changes; or - Annually Provide visible and active leadership on WHS matters, including prompt action to address WHS issues raised by workers, other persons in the workplace, WorkCover NSW or other entry permit holders Take actions necessary to maintain a safe workplace and report to the Executive Director any WHS issues that cannot be resolved within their level of delegation Implement, support and keep up-to-date the WHS Management System Ensure that an adequate number of staff, consultants and volunteers are certified to administer first aid at the workplace Ensure certification in first aid completed as required Ensure that facilities for the welfare of workers are adequate, including first aid facilities. Executive Director will: Ensure that safety is embedded in core business, through the inclusion of WHS considerations in decision making and planning processes Monitor progress in achieving the Commission s WHS objectives to facilitate continual improvement of health and safety in the workplace and reduce work-related injury and illness Exercise due diligence by taking reasonable steps to: TRIM Ref: TD14/318 12

13 - ensure that the Commission has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety from work carried out by the Commission - ensure that the Commission has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information - ensure that the Commission has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the Commission under the WHS Act, (e.g. reporting notifiable incidents, consulting with workers, ensuring compliance with notices issued under the Act, ensuring the provision of training and instruction to workers about work health and safety, etc.) - verify the provision and use of the resources and processes above. Commissioner will: Ensure that the Executive Director, Managers and Business Services Coordinator receive the training and resources they need to carry out their WHS responsibilities Ensure that adequate resources are provided to ensure workplaces are physically and psychologically safe for workers and others who may be impacted by the activities of the Commission Ensure appropriate and effective structures and systems are in place, such as systems and structures for training and education; review and evaluation; consultation; recording, investigating and reporting incidents and near misses; and remain in place, so that physical and psychological safety is entrenched in all business activities, and decisions are based on WHS information that is current and relevant to the Commission Authorise the WHS statement of commitment, promulgate the document throughout the Commission Support a positive WHS culture at the Commission. Further Guidance and Resources WorkCover NSW has further WHS information available on its website at including: when and how to report a notifiable incident to WorkCover NSW requirements and advice on the form that agreed consultative arrangements can take, and how they must be supported, via The Code of Practice: Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination December 2011 (issued by Safe Work Australia) practical guidance for persons who have duties under the WHS Act and Regulations to manage risks to health and safety, via the Code of Practice: How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks January 2012 (issued by Safe Work Australia) First aid in the workplace code of practice, Safe Work Australia. The code of practice commenced on 18 July Comcare has guidance on minimising psychological injuries and illness in the workplace as follows: Working Well: An organisational approach to preventing psychological injury, Preventing and Managing Psychological Injuries in the Workplace: Managers Guide, data/assets/pdf_file/0020/41348/preventing_and_managing_psych ological_injuries_in_the_workplace_-_managers_guide.pdf TRIM Ref: TD14/318 13

14 Records Management The Commission is required to keep a record of each notifiable incident for at least five years from the day that notice of the incident is given to WorkCover NSW. In the event of a notifiable incident, training records should be kept for two years after the incident. TRIM Ref: TD14/318 14

15 Appendix A: Mental Health Commission of NSW Work Health and Safety Statement of Commitment A safe and healthy workplace The Mental Health Commission of NSW is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for workers and visitors to the Commission, in accordance with Work Health and Safety legislation, Codes of Practice and Australian Standards. The objectives of the Commission s Work Heath and Safety Policy are to minimise workplace physical and psychological injuries and illnesses of Commission workers. Our workers are anyone who carries out work for the Commission, including staff, contractors, volunteers, subcontractors, the employees of contractors and subcontractors, consultants, Community Advisory Council members, Commission advisors, Commission partners, students and trainees. The Commission will consult with workers and their representatives on health, safety and welfare matters to ensure that our work health and safety risk management is a continuous process that is of the highest standard. We will take all reasonable actions to prevent injury and illness from occurring. Incidents will be reported to WorkCover NSW in accordance with the law. Executive s responsibility The Commission s Executive will take all reasonable steps to promote and maintain the workplace health, safety and welfare of workers and visitors to the Commission. This includes keeping under review work health and safety programs and strategies to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, including both physical and psychological, and continually improving the safety culture of the Commission. Specific responsibilities a Workers and Visitors to the workplace have a duty to: Take reasonable care for their own health and safety Take reasonable care that their actions do not harm the health and safety of others Follow any reasonable instruction that is given to ensure health and safety. Also, workers must cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure. b Managers will: Take actions necessary to maintain a safe workplace, which is fundamental to effective workplace management, and report to more senior managers any work health and safety issues that cannot be resolved within their level of delegation Act quickly on matters raised by workers, WorkCover NSW or other entry permit holders Implement work health and safety policies, programs and procedures in their areas of control and reinforce safe workplace practices Ensure that workers receive on-going supervision and are trained in safe work practices and know who to use work health and safety reporting/recording systems, e.g. to report incidents and near misses Ensure that workers are consulted on issues which affect their health and safety and that any concerns they may have are addressed promptly. Workers will be given a reasonable TRIM Ref: TD14/318 15

16 opportunity to express their views relating to a health and safety matter and have their views taken into account. Work Health and Safety Program In order to implement the general provisions of the Commission s Work Health and Safety Policy, a program of activities and procedures will be supported, continually updated and effectively carried out. Commissioner s signature Mental Health Commission of New South Wales Date TRIM Ref: TD14/318 16

17 End document TRIM Ref: TD14/318 17

18 TRIM Ref: TD14/318 18

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