Work Health and Safety
The Executive Directive – Work Health and Safety:
- Ensures the physical and mental safety, health, and wellbeing of all members of the CEWA community.
- Develops, promotes, and maintains safe and healthy work and learning environments that seek to minimise the risk of physical and mental injury and illness for all.
- Fosters a reporting and learning culture of safety, health, and wellbeing, and ensures that adequate financial, physical, and human resources are available to support the effective management of occupational safety and health across all system premises.
Sources of authority
- Catholic Education Commission Western Australia Community Policy – Effective 22 February 2021
- Department of Commerce, Government of WA. 2006. WorkSafe.
- Occupational Safety & Health Act 1984 (WA)
- Occupational Safety & Health Regulations 1996 (WA)
- Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand. 2001. Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Specification with guidance for use [AS/NZS 4801:2001]. Sydney: Standards Australia
- CEWA acknowledges the legal duty of care and moral responsibility to put in place procedures and processes to develop, promote and maintain working and learning environments that are, as far as is practicable, safe and healthy for all members of the CEWA community.
- CEWA aims to ensure a working and learning environment that fosters excellent outcomes, both in terms of educational and work achievement and wellbeing for all.
- CEWA Staff are called to be accountable and accept responsibility for any action or initiative at a personal and professional level.
- The authority to employ in a school setting is delegated to the school principal by CEWA or School Governing Bodies. As such, the principal, as the employer, must undertake the duties of an employer, as set out in the Occupational Safety & Health Act 1984(WA) (OSH Act) and this Directive.
- When engaged in activities on school or office premises, CEWA employees and non-employees have a responsibility to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, including a responsibility to follow reasonable instructions and lawful directions. Further, they have a responsibility to avoid situations (including acts or omissions) that may adversely affect the health and safety of others.
- In accordance with the OSH Act, a CEWA employee may give notice to the employer requiring the election of a safety and health representative. The safety and health representative(s) may be member(s) of the teaching and/or non-teaching staff and must be elected to their position in accordance with the OSH Act.
- Access to information and the opportunity to engage with induction, training, and instruction, as appropriate, to facilitate safe and productive working and learning environments will be provided.
- Reporting of incidents must be in accordance with statutory and regulatory obligations and internal requirements, and as set out in the Executive Directive – Incident and Crisis Management.
- A proactive, preventative approach to health and safety, with a focus on improvement that is based on measurable objectives, targets and performance monitoring must be adopted.
- The responsibilities of the principal
- Health and safety representative
- Role of the employee
- Resolution of issues
- Notifications to external bodies
Bullying and Harassment are covered by and is a particular focus of Occupation Health & Safety legislation. For guidance on the process to follow regarding Bullying & Harassment in the workplace refer to the Executive Directive – Employment.
- The employer must, so far as is practicable, provide and maintain an environment in which the employees and non-employees are not exposed to hazards. In doing so, CEWA Executive and the principal must:
- make available to employees and non-employees CEWA’s Executive Directive – Work Health and Safety
- ensure all employees and non-employees follow this Executive Directive, other Executive Directives into which risk management is integrated, and all associated processes.
- provide and maintain safe places of work and learning, plant, and systems of work
- provide induction, supervision, information, instruction and training in occupational safety and health to enable employees and non-employees to undertake their activities safely and to remove, as far as is practicable, exposure to hazards
- consult and cooperate with safety and health representatives and other employees and non-employees at the workplace regarding occupational safety and health matters
- provide adequate personal protective clothing and equipment (without cost to workers) where is it not practicable to avoid the presence of hazards; and report and investigate fatalities, injuries and disease
- communicate to all employees and non-employees:
- their occupational safety and health responsibilities,
- the relevant emergency and evacuation procedures,
- requirements relating to the reporting and recording of hazards, near misses and incidents,
- the location of any asbestos materials on the school premises,
- and the school Asbestos Management Plan, how communicable disease risks and exposure will be managed,
- and how to access the system’s Employee Assistance Program to resolve any work or personal issues that may affect their wellbeing.
- The Employer must:
- ensure regular risk assessments are carried out in order assess and review risks effectively
- document risks in a risk register and regularly review the register
- identify and implement suitable control measures, actions and treatments to mitigate all identified risks, and
- report and escalate relevant risks to stakeholders through appropriate channels.
- The Employer must:
- maintain plant, equipment and systems of work such that employees and non-employees are not exposed to hazards on the school premises
- where hazardous substances such as chemicals are present on the school premises, confirm that their handling, labelling, processing, storage, transportation and disposal is charred out in such a manner as to avoid exposure to hazards, and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) where required.
- The Employer must:
- use the Hazard/Near Miss/Incident Report Form to record hazards, near misses and incidents at the office or school premises or in conjunction with a school-related activity
- advise any elected safety and health representative of any hazard, near miss or incident on the office or school premises or in conjunction with a school-related activity and provide them an opportunity to carry out an investigation in a timely manner
- investigate any matter than has been brought to their attention, determine any action required and notify the employee(s) or non-employees concerned of the outcome of the investigation and the intended action to be taken using the Investigation Report Form, and forward the Investigation Report Form via email to the school’s Employee Relations Consultant at CEWA for any lost time or injury resulting in a workers’ compensation claim.
- The Employer must:
- advise the school’s Employee Relations Consultant at CEWA when a regulatory agency has issued a non-compliance notice, or when an elected safety and health representative has issued a provisional improvement notice (PIN) at the office or school premises, and
- arrange for a copy of any non-compliance notice to be sent to the school’s Employee Relations Consultant at CEWA immediately on receipt of the notice.
- The Employer must:
- facilitate requests by employees to elect safety and health representatives and/or form a safety and health committee
- work collaboratively with the safety and health representative(s) to form a whole-of-school health and safety committee
- allocate time and resources for the safety and health representative(s) to complete training within 12 months after being elected; consult and cooperate with safety and health representatives and employees regarding occupational safety and health at the school
- enable the safety and health representative paid time off to attend the compulsory CEWA training course
- and provide time for the safety and health representative(s) to carry out their designated functions.
- Employees and non-employees must:
- exercise a duty of care for health and safety of self
- take reasonable care for the safety and health of others
- follow the employer’s health and safety instructions
- utilise personal protective clothing and equipment where appropriate (i.e. as intended or directed)
- take care of and appropriately maintain equipment
- report suspected or actual hazards to a safety and health representative and/or the employer
- immediately report work-related injuries or near miss or concerning incidents to a safety and health representative and/or the employer
- comply with workplace injury management and return to work programs
- seek appropriate information and advice before performing new or unfamiliar tasks, and
- cooperate with the employer, members of the management team, the safety and health representative and/or safety and health committee members to enable the employer to execute their obligations under the OSH Act.
- The employer must ensure that, when a safety and health issue arises, including a hazard, near miss or incident, the issue is investigated as soon as possible and a resolution found, to include the implementation of control methods, as appropriate.
- The employer must use the appropriate notification form when notifying certain types of injuries and diseases to WorkSafe https://wise.commerce.wa.gov.au/wise-noi/. This includes any injury which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.
- The employer must also inform WorkSafe following any workplace-related death or serious life-threatening injuries or diseases using the 24-hour incident/accident reporting hotline – Tel: 1300 307 877.
- A principal must notify the Employee Relations Team at CEWA prior to making any notification to WorkSafe.
- A principal must report any event that occurs on school premises that constitutes a reportable incident as defined in the Guide to Registration Standards and Other Requirements for Non-Government Schools. The principal shall also notify the Department of Education using the Critical and Emergency Incident Report form located online here.
- A principal must supply a completed copy of this form to CEWA’s Employee Relations Team, and the Executive Director will submit it to the Department of Education on behalf of the school within 48 hours of the incident occurring.
- Bullying and harassment are covered by and are particular foci of Occupation Health and Safety legislation. For guidance on the process to follow regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace refer to the Executive Directive – Employment.