Duties: safety officers

Safety officers are staff members whose duties are as follows:

  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety
  • take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons
  • so far as they are reasonably able, comply with any reasonable instruction given by the University to ensure compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the University relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.

Where there is a need, Directors/Deans/Heads are responsible for appointing suitable Safety Officers and Deputy Safety Officers for the areas under their control. Safety Officers act as a focal point for WHS issues arising in an area. Deputy Safety Officers may also be appointed to share the responsibilities of the role and to act without the safety officer. Not all areas have or need a Safety Officer or Deputy Safety Officer.

Without an appointed Safety officer, the Supervisor followed by the relevant Director/Dean/Head of an area,or nominee, shall be a point of contact for Work Health & Safety (WHS) issues.

In research and workshop environments with diverse interests it may be appropriate to appoint several part-time Safety Officers, each with responsibility for a particular WHS issue, including:

  • general safety
  • radiation safety
  • hazardous waste safety
  • biological safety
  • electrical safety
  • plant and equipment safety.

Deputy Safety Officers may also be appointed for each of these roles.

The responsibilities of the Safety Officer and Deputy Safety Officer may include:

  • providing advice, information,instruction and training on local WHS issues
  • helping with managing the risk associated with hazards in the area
  • helping in examining incidents, injuries and hazards
  • liaising with Work Environment Group
  • consulting with local health and safety representatives on WHS issues
  • reviewing and analysing injury and incident reports and data
  • developing injury and incident prevention strategies for the area
  • checking WHS standards and compliance with WHS policies and procedures locally, including workplace inspections, building evacuations and induction and training of staff and students
  • helping to promote WHS awareness
  • liaising with ANU Green environmental officers.

Safety Officers and Deputy Safety Officers must be:

  • free to devote enough time to WHS issues
  • provided with the resources and time to attend WHS training
  • accessible to staff.