WHS Duty of Care Checklist for Heads of Schools, Centres and Administrative Units

  • Familiarise yourself with the University’s Work Health and Safety Policy 2012 and Work Health and Safety Procedures, to ensure you are aware of your personal responsibility for work health and safety (WHS) within your areas of authority and influence.
  • Ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, students and affiliates in your work group and ensure that WHS risks relating to all activities undertaken are properly identified, assessed and controlled.
  • Demonstrate active and visible leadership in WHS risk management.
  • Be familiar with your "top five" WHS risks.
  • Set goals to improve WHS in the form of a WHS Action Plan.
  • Include WHS as the first agenda item of general management meetings. Use this as an opportunity to:
    - review and respond to incident reports, inspection reports, WHS audit reports etc
    - consider WHS aspects of new projects, purchases, refurbishments etc
    - check progress towards achievement of goals in WHS action plans
    - request and receive WHS reports from managers and supervisors and designated local safety personnel eg. chief wardens, departmental safety officers.
  • Ensure that hazards or WHS risks associated with different jobs, tasks and projects are being formally identified and assessed for risks to the health and safety of those involved. Risk identification and assessment should be done in consultation with those involved or affected.
  • Ensure that suitable risk controls are chosen and established within agreed timeframes. These may include competency based training, adequate supervision and adoption of safe operating procedures. Risk controls should be chosen in consultation with those involved or affected.
  • Inform staff, affiliates, students and contractors of WHS requirements and expectations, directing them to relevant information and risk control resources available. This may include local WHS induction (refer to WHS induction checklist), on-the-job instruction and specific WHS training.
  • Promptly address WHS issues that are brought to your attention in consultation with those involved or affected.
  • Refer WHS issues that are beyond your control to the relevant manager(s) for their attention, but ensure that interim action is taken to reduce the risks in a practical way.
  • Take five minutes for an informal “safety conversation” with members of your workgroup at least once a month. Seek to understand the WHS risks associated with their work and how these are managed. Show that WHS is important to you and your workers will consider it important too.
  • Include WHS as a key performance indicator in all position descriptions and performance reviews.
  • Appoint, support and seek reports from designated safety personnel eg chief wardens and departmental safety officers. Allow them time to fulfil their WHS duties and attend training etc.