Local OHS Committees

In each area of the University (e.g. faculty/division, school, institute, department, centre, unit) OHS issues are managed by a local OHS committee and these are overseen by the Faculty/Divisional Executive to ensure a consistent approach to OHS.  Further details about the structure and function of local OHS Committee and your local OHS Chairperson, can be found below:

Membership of local committees

The committee must be chaired by the Head of academic/administrative unit or a senior academic/administrative equivalent and comprise of representatives drawn from the major activities and work groups, which typically includes:

  • the Safety Officer(s) located in the area;
  • one laboratory manager (in laboratory/studio-based faculties);
  • the Health and Safety representative(s) in the associated DWG(s);
  • a postgraduate student representative; and, where appropriate
  • specialty officers (Biosafety Officer, Radiation Safety Officer, First aid coordinator, Building/Floor warden) as required.

The heads of academic/administrative units that the committee covers must nominate the members of the committee, except for the Health and Safety representatives who are elected by the DWG members.

Members have a 3 year term. In order to give more staff involvement in occupational health and safety, membership should change every term.

Staff in health and safety roles who are not members should report to the committee via the Safety Officer or can be invited to report directly. Representatives from any other area of the university can be invited to attend the committee.

The Faculty OHS Consultant/Advisor must be invited to attend local committee meetings in an advisory capacity.

Role of local committees

  • Develop and implement OHS improvement strategies, programs, policies and procedures for their area.
  • Apply university OHS policies and procedures.
  • Promote a strong OHS culture through regular communication and consultation.
  • Review and analyse injury and incident reports and data, and develop preventative strategies for the area.
  • Monitor the OHS performance of their area and ensure:
    • regular workplace inspections - at least 2 each year
    • regular evacuation trials - at least 2 each year during semesters with students involved
    • safety induction of new staff and students
    • OHS training of staff and students
    • implementation of OHS audit recommendations
    • development of local emergency procedures
    • implementation of risk controls for hazardous tasks, research, equipment and new activities
    • trade and hazardous waste disposal is managed
    • the work of Safety Officers and Health and Safety representatives is supported.

Meetings and communication

Committees must:

  • meet at least 4 times each year
  • keep minutes, make copies available to staff and postgraduate students (electronically, on notice boards, in lunch rooms)
  • ensure all staff and postgraduates know about the committee's role and membership
  • consult with OH&S about communicating issues to affected staff, students and department heads.

Meeting templates will help you keep relevant records: