WORKING SAFELY AFTER HOURS

Overview

When working after hours, the risk of incidents occurring may increase due to fatigue, reduced access to immediate assistance, reduced levels of staffing and technical supervision. These guidelines provide a risk management framework for University Faculties, Schools, Disciplines and Units to use when developing local after-hours procedures.

The information contained in this document is provided to support implementation of the University’s OHS Policy.

Scope

This guidance is applicable to all University staff and students, but has been written specifically for Heads of Schools, Disciplines and Units and their delegated safety officers to use when developing local procedures to manage the health and safety risks associated with afterhours work.

This guideline does NOT address:
- Staff, students or visitors conducting fieldwork
- On campus residences;
- Construction/Maintenance contractors; or
- Issues of overtime or other paid work matters.

Table of Contents

  • Definitions
  • Access Matrix
  • Approval of after-hours work
  • General rules for after-hours work

Definitions

Terminology

Definition

Normal Operating Hours

Weekdays, Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 6.00 pm

The normal operating hours may vary from workplace to workplace.

Limited After Hours

Weekdays, Monday to Friday 5.00 am to 8.00 am and 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm, and 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays

Work

Any activity undertaken on behalf of the University including clerical duties, study, laboratory work, research, data collection/analysis

Access Matrix

Categories of People

Categories of Risk rating

Recommended After-Hours Access

Conditions of Access

Example/s of application

Undergraduate students

Low Risk

Limited

No approval

- Lecture/seminar/tutorial (under direct supervision of teaching staff/tutor)

24/7

Established SOP

- Use of computer labs, libraries and other afterhours study areas;

- Use of architecture studio

 

Moderate Risk

Prohibited

N/A

 

High risk

Prohibited

N/A

 

Research Students

Low Risk

Limited

No approval

- Lecture/seminar/tutorial (under direct supervision of teaching staff/tutor)

Verbal supervisor approval

- Take readings from low risk experiments;

- Preparation of samples for use on instruments;

- Dry laboratory work (e.g. using microscopes);

- Collecting research data (e.g. biomechanical, movement related, speech studies) on healthy or disease populations

24/7

Established SOP

- Use of computer labs, libraries and other afterhours study areas;

- Use of architecture studio

Moderate Risk

Limited

Written supervisor approval

Established SOP

Evidence of competency

Buddy system

Security notification

- Work with Risk Group 2 microorganism ;

- Working with low level radiation or low powered lasers;

- Working in general chemistry laboratories;

- Working with small and medium size non-venomous or non-infectious animals;

High risk

Prohibited

N/A

 

Staff

Low Risk

Limited

Verbal supervisor approval

- Admin staff stay back to finish work up to 11 pm;

- Marketing/social event.

24/7

Verbal supervisor approval

Established SOP

Security notification

- ICT emergency call out to undertake repair

Moderate Risk

Limited

Written supervisor approval

Established SOP

Evidence of competency

Buddy system

Security notification

- Work with Risk Group 2 microorganism ;

- Working with low level radiation or low powered lasers;

- Working in general chemistry laboratories;

- Working with small and medium size non-venomous or non-infectious animals;

High Risk

Limited

Head of School/Unit approval

Risk Assessment

Established SOP

Evidence of competency

Buddy system

Line of sight contact with a colleague of equivalent competency

Security notification

Special conditions as applicable

- Operating machinery or other large equipment capable of inflicting serious injury (e.g. chainsaws, lathes, power saws);

- Handling venomous reptiles, insects, arthropods or fish or infectious animals;

- Working with large animals other than for the purpose of feeding or observation;

- Working with toxic or corrosive substances where there is a significant risk of exposure to the substance;

- Using apparatus that could result in explosion, implosion or the release of high energy fragments or significant amounts of toxic or environmentally damaging hazardous material;

- Working at heights (e.g. climbing towers or high ladders);

- Working with exposed energized electrical or electronic systems;

- Working with radioactive materials requiring a high level laboratory in accordance with AS2243.4;

- Working with microorganisms of Risk group 3 and higher;

- Operating lasers of class 3 and above;

- Working in environments not at atmospheric pressure.

Approval for After Hours Work

Prior to allowing staff and students to work after hours, a risk assessment shall be conducted before work can commence.

The risk assessment must address the following:
- Type of work;
- Work area;
- Does the work have to be carried out after-hours;
- Duration of work;
- Supervision required;
- Consequences of unattended experiments or equipment;
- Competency, skills, experience and training of staff and
students undertaking the work;
- The number of people working in the area after hours;
- Availability of a “buddy” system;
- Access to emergency communication system;
- Security in the area where work is being undertaken; and
- Mode of transport.

General Rules for After Hours Work

- Whenever possible, avoid working after 11 pm at night and before 5 am in the morning;
- Staff and students must carry their ID card and copy of the
approval;
- No unauthorised staff or students (e.g. friends and family
members);
- Follow established procedures and take reasonable steps to
ensure their own and others safety;
- Stop work immediately in the event of an incident or
emergency; Report incidents to supervisor via RiskWare;
- Personal safety issues may need to be taken into account
when leaving a building after dark. University Security can
provide safe (late night) escorts to your motor vehicles, bus
stops or campus residences. Contact Security on 9351 3487 if
service is required.