Policies and Procedures

Occupational health and safety

  • Purpose

    The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) 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 through a commitment to action in line with relevant Workplace Health and Safety legislation, compliance codes and appropriate standards, by;

    1. Providing an environment that promotes and supports the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace in line with RCH values of Unity, Respect, Integrity and Excellence and the RCH Code of Conduct;
    2. Maintaining a process of continuous improvement of the safety management framework, systems and processes ensuring safety practices are maintained;
    3. Ensuring staff are appropriately trained and educated in the area of WHS in line with position accountability and responsibilities including individual obligations to personal safety;
    4. Reflecting WHS expectations within position descriptions, performance development and planning processes
    5. Reporting on WHS performance targets at the organizational, divisional, and departmental levels;
    6. Evaluate WHS performance through analysis of organisational data of best practice and benchmarking with industry peers;
    7. Providing facilities, equipment, resources and services to enable employees to perform their role safely;
    8. Regularly communicating with staff in relation to WHS initiatives and programs that support a workplace health and safety culture.
    9. Ensuring 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 relating to employee health and safety;
    • Ensure WHS remains a strategic priority for the hospital in support of embedding a strong safety 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 relating to employee health and safety are met and maintained;
    • Ensure WHS remains a strategic priority for the hospital in support of embedding a strong safety culture;
    • Monitor the performance of WHS through key performance indicators and regular reporting  
    • Ensure the effective WHS training and education of staff  through the allocation of sufficient resourcing and operational funding to support related activity;
    • Ensure WHS roles and responsibilities within the Division are effectively communicated and maintained via positions descriptions, performance development and planning discussions and management forums;
    • Ensure the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of staff is promoted and supported through participation in ‘safety walk-arounds’ and 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
    Directors/Managers
    • Ensure effective implementation of workplace health and safety practices in line with the WHS framework, systems and processes, templates and checklists that support expectations and responsibilities of a line manager and the safety of the department/unit/ward;
    • Ensure 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 and investigate and report on all incidents, including near misses
    • 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 safety 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 workplace health and safety 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 the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of staff is promoted and supported through participation in ‘safety walk-arounds’ and programs and initiatives designed to enhance employee wellbeing;
    • 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 workplace health and safety training, programs and initiatives to embed a safety culture;
    • Report all work health and safety breaches, hazards and incidents, including near misses, to the line manager and assist with actions to reduce and eliminate risks.  
    Contractors
    • Comply with all OHS 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;
    • Implement relevant specific responsibilities described in the RCH health and safety policies and procedures.

    WHS Team:

    • Manage the ongoing development and maintenance of workplace health and safety practices in line with the WHS framework, systems and processes, and resources  that support  line managers and employees in meeting their health and safety responsibilities
    • Support the effective communication and education of WHS roles and responsibilities throughout the organisation;
    • 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 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 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 including the Preventative Health Care and Promotion program;
    • Manage the Employee Assistance Program as a key resource for employees and managers in support of work and life issues;
    • Lead and promote a safety culture.   

    Authorised by

    Executive Director People & Culture   

    Related procedures   

    Safe Workplace Behaviors

    Dangerous Goods & Hazardous Substances

    First Aid

    Incident/Injury/Hazard Reporting

    Manual Handling

     WHS Consultation

    WHS Risk (Hazard) Management

    WHS Designated Work Groups

    Radiation Safety

    Safety Inspection   

    Related policies

    Human Resources

    Governance

    Legislative Compliance

    Quality Improvement and Risk Management   

    Related legislation

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

    •  Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act).
    • Dangerous Goods Act 1985 (Vic)
    • Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)
    • Equipment (Public Safety) Act 1994
    • 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)

    Documentation

    Workplace Health & Safety forms and templates (refer WHS intranet page)

    Further information

    Executive Director People and Culture