Background to the OHS Risk Management Self-Audit
The University’s OHS risk management system was established in 2002 as a practical mechanism to assist managers and staff at all levels to systematically manage OHS risks in their work areas.
The aim is to promote the health, safety and welfare of staff, students and visitors, and to enable compliance with NSW OHS legislation.
During the period 1 July to 30 September 2010 all academic and administrative units are required to undertake a self-audit using an audit tool provided by OHS & Injury Management.
The 2008 ohsrm audit tool will be used as the basis for the 2010 ohsrm audit. Three (3) months have been allowed for completion of the audit. This will allow planning of the audit around other competing priorities.
The audit is targeted at school/department level ie. separate audits are not required for the different disciplines within a School. Discreet administrative units will also need to be self-audited eg. Faculty and College offices. Where these audit boundaries are not obvious, Heads or their delegates may contact the OHS and Injury Management team for assistance and clarification.
Heads of Departments and Schools and other Unit Managers are responsible for arranging the audit of their Department etc. This includes nomination of an “In-house OHS Auditor” ie. an appropriate staff member to conduct the ohsrm audit on behalf of the Unit. These In-house Auditors are provided with simple audit tools and training in how to conduct the OHS audit.
In order to maintain impartiality and avoid conflicts of interest, the senior managers of comparable units may arrange to audit each others' units ie. swap auditors. This swapping arrangement is not compulsory.
Unit Heads are expected to provide strong support for their In-house Auditor. The audit itself is expected to take a day to conduct, or possibly longer for larger and more complex Units. It will include interviews with some members of staff and review of relevant evidence. The In-house Auditor requires the cooperation of some staff, including the Unit Head, to complete the audit.
The self-audit results are lodged by the In-house auditor into a central database. At the end of the audit period each Unit Head will be provided with a report showing the audit results for their management area. This will highlight the Unit’s strengths and weaknesses in managing OHS risks and give recommendations for improvement where warranted.