Support for staff and students with OHS roles

September 2009

The purpose of this information sheet is to describe the support available to staff and students with occupational health and safety (OHS) functions.

Definition

Staff and students with occupational health and safety functions

A Monash University staff member who has been appointed or who has agreed to act in an occupational health and safety (OHS) role, including safety and deputy safety officers, zone OHS committee members, special role officers, first aiders and emergency wardens, is acting in the course of his or her employment when performing these functions. Any student acting in such a capacity must have agreed to perform these functions on a voluntary basis and cannot have been appointed or coerced into fulfilling a role.

The University will provide training and instruction to staff and students undertaking these functions at no cost to the staff member or student. The University will provide personal protective equipment and immunisations necessary to safely perform these functions at no cost to the staff member or student.

Staff and students undertaking these functions are expected to exercise reasonable care and diligence in the performance of their duties. This includes exercising reasonable care for the safety, health and well-being of those impacted by the performance of their duties. The duties include:

  1. Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) exercising statutory powers and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  2. safety officers, special role officers and members of a zone OHS committee performing duties of an advisory nature
  3. first aiders and emergency wardens providing assistance/advice during emergency situations.

The University appreciates the work of staff and students performing these functions and as such will support those with OHS functions taking time away from their normal duties in order to fulfil these functions. The University regards itself as primarily liable for any claim that arises out of a staff member or student performing such functions in good faith and with due diligence. Accordingly, in these circumstances and to the extent permitted by law, the University will take responsibility for such a claim should it be made and provide assistance to a staff member or student where called upon to defend such a claim against them personally.

Any staff member injured in the course of carrying out these functions is covered by the University workers compensation insurance policy and other employment benefits provided to staff. Any student injured in the course of carrying out these functions, in addition to accessing usual student services, is invited to report their circumstances to the University, which will be favourably considered on a case-by-case basis.

Further information

Contact Occupational Health and Safety by: