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Health, Wellbeing and Safety policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 23 October 2014.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy outlines the University's commitment to providing a learning and working environment that promotes health, wellbeing and safety.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies throughout the University for students, staff, contractors, and visitors.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) The University promotes work and learning environments, so far as is reasonably practicable, that are safe and supportive of the health, wellbeing and safety of students, staff, associates, contractors, and visitors.

(5) In support of its strategic agenda, the University will:

  1. consider health, wellbeing and safety in decisions and activities that may affect the University community
  2. integrate health, wellbeing and safety into University management systems, activities and strategic objectives
  3. consult with staff on health, wellbeing and safety matters and maintain representative and consultative structures and processes
  4. maintain risk registers and risk management programs that, consistent with the Risk and Compliance Management policy, ensure so far as is reasonably practicable:
    1. health and safety hazards are identified and addressed
    2. incidents and injuries are reported and investigated
    3. emergency plans and responses are effective.
  5. support and encourage a safe learning and work culture by:
    1. facilitating active participation in health promoting initiatives
    2. enhancing staff knowledge, awareness and skills in health, wellbeing and safety practices
    3. enhancing student knowledge, awareness and skills in health, wellbeing and safety practices as they relate to research projects
    4. encouraging the use of health support services for students and staff experiencing health, wellbeing and safety issues
    5. offering reasonable adjustments for students and staff experiencing health, wellbeing and safety issues
  6. enable staff with work-related illnesses and injuries to return to work as soon as is reasonable through prompt return-to-work planning and effective rehabilitation.

Responsibilities

(6) The University's Executive will:

  1. lead the effective implementation of this policy and exercise due diligence in health and safety matters for their areas of responsibility.
  2. promote a culture that ensures and continues to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of the University community.

(7) Staff with management and supervisory responsibilities will, for their local area:

  1. manage operational health, wellbeing and safety matters
  2. develop and implement annual health, wellbeing and safety (HWS) plans
  3. initiate and/or lead early intervention and prevention programs and actions.

(8) All students and staff have responsibility to take reasonable care for their own safety, and are responsible for maintaining, supporting and contributing to a strong health, wellbeing and safety culture, including ensuring that they personally follow safe work practices.

(9) All staff must:

  1. ensure that they are familiar with this policy and the University's Occupational Health and Safety Manual
  2. comply with this policy while completing work-related duties
  3. take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety
  4. take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions within their place of work
  5. support the return to work of staff with work-related illnesses or injuries.

(10) The effectiveness of the policy and associated programs will be assessed through:

  1. feedback from, and consultation with, the University community, staff and staff Health and Safety representatives, students and their representatives and management
  2. performance focused review by management to determine if University wide health, wellbeing and safety risk mitigation strategies and controls and annual Health, Wellbeing and Safety Plan objectives have been met.
  3. feedback from students via surveys, focus groups, representative bodies and other means.
  4. feedback from staff via the biennial Staff Survey (iSay).
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Section 5 - Procedure

(11) There is no attendant procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(12) For the purposes of this Policy:

  1. health: a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization).
  2. reasonable adjustment: an adjustment that balances the interests of all parties affected and does not cause the University unjustifiable hardship as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).
  3. safety: the control of recognised hazards to achieve an acceptable level of risk.
  4. staff: members of the academic or professional staff, executive or honorary staff.
  5. student: as defined in section 3 Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic) means: (a) a person enrolled at the University in a course leading to a degree or other award; or (b) a person designated as a student or who is of a class of persons designated as students by the Council.
  6. University community: includes students and staff as well as members of the general community who use facilities or are affected by the operations of the University.
  7. wellbeing: at work and study wellbeing is characterised by both physical and mental health, constructive and engaging relationships, work satisfaction and work-life balance.