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Policies and Procedures

Occupational health and safety

  • Purpose

    The Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing policy reflects our commitment to a safety culture that extends beyond the once traditional view of physical injuries sustained from accidents in the workplace to the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of staff.  

    Scope

    All RCH employees, volunteers, contractors and visitors.    

    Governance

    The RCH-wide governance of Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) is managed specifically within the RCH WHS Committee structure, reporting through to the RCH Executive and Board.   

    Policy

    RCH is committed to the provision of a safe and healthy work environment for all employees, volunteers, contractors and visitors by:

    1. Promoting the physical and psychological health in the workplace.
    2. By ensuring our actions are in line with RCH value sof Unity, Respect, Integrity and Excellence, the RCH Code of Conduct and the RCH Compact.
    3. Continuously improving our safety management framework, systems and processes thereby ensuring safety practices are maintained and enhanced;
    4. Ensuring that staff are appropriately trained and educated in the area of WHS in line with position accountability and responsibilities including individual obligations to personal safety;
    5. Reflecting WHS expectations within position descriptions, performance development and planning processes
    6. Reporting on WHS performance targets at the organizational, divisional, and departmental levels;
    7. Evaluate WHS performance through analysis of organisational data of best practice and benchmarking with industry peers;
    8. Providing facilities, equipment, resources and services to enable employees to perform their role safely;
    9. Regularly communicating with staff in relation to WHS initiatives and programs that support a "zero harm" culture, and,
    10. Ensuring that WHS is an integral part of all RCH management systems and core operations  

    Commitment to actions:

    The involvement of all employees at every level is required to achieve workplace health and safety objectives as follows.  

    RCH Board

    • Oversee  legal obligations and the effective implementation of the WHS framework, systems and processes;
    • Ensure WHS remains a strategic priority for the hospital in support of embedding a strong "zero harm" culture;
    • Monitor the performance of WHS through key performance indicators and regular reporting.

    RCH Executive

    • Ensure legal obligations and the effective implementation of the WHS framework, systems and processes are met and maintained;
    • Ensure WHS remains a strategic priority for the hospital;
    • Monitor the performance of WHS through key performance indicators and regular reporting
    • Allocate sufficient resources and operational funding to ensure the effectiveness of WHS training and education for staff;
    • Ensure that the WHS roles and responsibilities are effectively communicated and maintained via positions descriptions, performance development and planning discussions and in management forums; 
    • Ensure that the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of staff is promoted and supported through participation in ‘safety walk-arounds’, programs and initiatives designed to enhance employee wellbeing; 
    • Embed a culture whereby employees are encouraged to discuss health and safety issues and concerns in a transparent and open manner. 
    • Shall have a clear understanding of the key WHS issues pertaining to their divisions
    • Be safety leaders and uphold RCH core safety values 
    • Actively support the planning and promote the implementation of health, safety and wellbeing enhancement initiatives. 
    • View health, safety and wellbeing as an integral part of daily business activities, and demonstrate this through their planning, communication and work practices,and
    • Support the effective implementation of the Staff Mental Strategy.

    Directors/Managers

    • Ensure the effective implementation of WHS practices in line with our framework, systems and processes;
    • Ensure that local procedures are in place for the systematic identification of workplace hazards and  assessment of their level of risk as well as implementation of controls to manage risks;
    • Lead departmental safety inspections and audits
    • Investigate and report on all incidents, including near misses 
    • Be actively involved in following up any actions after an incident occurs
    • Ensure staff are returned to the workplace from a physical or psychological injury in line with the RCH Early Intervention Program approach to return to work; 
    • Prioritise WHS requirements within the department/unit/ward to ensure a "zero harm" culture is being promoted at all times; 
    • Report on WHS performance in line with key performance indicators; 
    • Ensure sufficient forums for employees to raise and discuss WHS issues in a transparent and open manner; 
    • Encourage staff to take accountability for personal health and safety; 
    • Participate in WHS training and education and ensure WHS representatives are also enabled to participate in training obligations as required; 
    • Ensure that the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of staff is promoted and supported through participation in ‘safety walk-arounds’, programs and initiatives designed to enhance employee wellbeing, and;
    • Establish and maintain the framework for the WHS system in their area of managerial responsibility   

    Employees and volunteers

    • Assume individual accountability for personal health and safety including psychological wellbeing;
    • Undertake tasks in accordance with relevant standard operating procedures and/or work instructions;
    • Participate in health and safety consultative forums and contribute ideas to improving the health and safety of the department/unit/ward/team;
    • Where appropriate, participate in WHS training, programs and initiatives;
    • Report all WHS breaches, hazards and incidents, including near misses, to the line manager and in VHIMS, and assist with actions to reduce and eliminate risks.  

    Contractors

    • Comply with all WHS requirements set out in RCH contracts 
    • Work safely at all times to protect themselves and those working with them;
    • Report all hazards and incidents, including near misses to the RCH.
    • Take reasonable care for their own health and safety and not place at risk the health or safety of others;
    • Cooperate with others in relation to actions taken by the RCH to comply with Occupational Health and Safety legislation
    • Undertake tasks in accordance with relevant standard operating procedures or work instructions;
    • Wear correct personal protective equipment specified in standard operating procedures or working instructions as required;
    • Seek supervision and guidance from the relevant supervisor for all new or modified work procedures;
    • Where required, participate in health and safety information, training and induction procedures, and;
    • Implement relevant specific responsibilities described in the RCH health and safety policies and procedures.

    WHS Team:

    • Develop and maintain WHS practices in line with the WHS framework, systems, processes, and resources that support line managers and employees to meet their health and safety responsibilities
    • Support various WHS roles within the organisation and their responsibilities effectively communicating and providing adequate education;
    • Manage the organisational health and safety risk register and coordinate the maintenance of departmental risk registers for high risk departments ….
    • Lead the education process for:
      • departmental safety inspections and audits
      • investigations and reporting of incidents, including near misses
      • hazard identification and risk controls
    • Manage the Early Intervention Program and Workers Compensation process for employees remaining in the workplace or returning to the workplace after an injury;
    • Report on WHS performance in line with key performance indicators;
    • Ensure the effective implementation of the WHS  committee structure and related forums for employees to raise health and safety issues and have these issues addressed;
    • Facilitate, record and report on all WHS training and education requirements including maintenance of compliance training and refresher training needs;
    • Ensure that the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of staff is promoted and supported through the development and implementation of programs and initiatives designed to enhance employee wellbeing, in particular our Mental Health strategy;
    • Managing the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as a key resource for employees and managers in support of work and life issues;
    • Leading and promoting a "zero harm" culture.   
    • Organising workplace specific programs and procedures to support the health and wellbeing of staff.

    Authorised by

    Executive Director People & Culture   

    Related RCH Policies

    Related RCH Procedures   

    Related legislation

    Copies available at www.legislation.vic.gov.au

    • Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).
    • Dangerous Goods Act 1985 (Vic)
    • Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)
    • Equipment (Public Safety) Act 1994 (Vic)
    • Health (Radiation Safety) Regulations 1994 (Vic)
    • Health Act 1958 (Vic)
    • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
    • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic)
    • Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) 
    • Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) 

    Further information

    Executive Director People and Culture