Health, Safety and Wellbeing policy
1. Policy Statement
The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) discharges our statutory obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (WHS Act).
We are committed to providing a healthy and safe work environment. We recognise that employee health, safety and wellbeing (HS&W) is essential for a healthier, happier and more productive workforce. We have a holistic approach to employee health, safety and wellbeing and strive to achieve ‘leading’ maturity as outlined in the Queensland Government Be Healthy, Be Safe, Be Well framework (the Framework).
This policy applies to all OIC employees, employed under the Public Service Act 2008 (PSA) or appointed by Governor in Council (Senior Executives), and on a permanent, temporary, contract, casual, volunteer basis and/or on secondment from another department. This policy also applies to any other persons to whom we have a duty of care as defined under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
- We meet all statutory requirements including compliance with the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Qld) (WHS Regulations).
- We discharge our obligations under the WHS Act through the adoption of the Framework.
- The Framework is holistic and considers physical, psychological, financial, social and work wellbeing to sustain a healthy and safe workplace where we thrive and achieve our best.
The Be Healthy, Be Safe and Be Well Framework
- Best practice HS&W is achieved through continual improvement across all levels of planning and governance.
- We intervene early and proactively review our systems to identify and manage risk and improve wellbeing.
- Our employees are central to our approach.
- We each take ownership of our HS&W, and work with our colleagues to discover mutually workable solutions that positively contribute to the health safety and wellbeing of ourselves and those around us.
- All employees can become part of the Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee (the Committee) to contribute to the design and delivery of HS&W initiatives.
- The Committee and the implementation of HS&W activities will be appropriately resourced by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).
- We encourage transparency, open reporting and shared decision making in relation to HS&W matters.
- We provide training, education resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risk to HS&W.
- This Policy is supported by our operational procedures accessible to all staff.
- Employee privacy is maintained in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld)
4. Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee: Terms of Reference
- The Committee is comprised of the Executive responsible for human resource risk management (the Chair), the Senior Human Resources Officer, and four (4) other OIC officers providing diversity in representation. The Health and Safety Representative(s) (HSR) will be invited to join the committee.
- Employees are invited to self-nominate to join the committee at any time.
- Where interest to join exceeds available vacancies, the Chair may:
- Coordinate with the Senior Human Resources Officer to run a whole of staff election process.
- Admit the additional staff representative(s) to join the committee.
- Coordinate with the Senior Human Resources Officer to run a whole of staff election process.
- Admit the additional staff representative(s) to join the committee
- Where there are insufficient nominations received, or for the purpose of increasing diversity, the Chair or HSR(s) may invite selected employees to join.
- Members may resign from the committee at any time and nominations invited to fill vacancies in a timely manner.
- The Senior Human Resources Officer provides support and guidance to the committee as required.
- The Committee will as a minimum meet quarterly, with a quorum of three, including proxy members when required.
- Support the vision for integrated and proactive HS&W in the workplace.
- Provide a voice for employees to promote HW&S and to progress maturity within the framework.
- Proactively lead and facilitate initiatives that support the implementation of the framework.
- Continuously seek to innovate and improve HS&W in the workplace.
- Progress our maturity within the Framework by:
- using available data and benchmarking information to provide advice on HS&W risks and inform the development of HS&W strategies, programs and policies
- liaising with colleagues within OIC, across the sector and more broadly to ensure latest research, evidence and good practice is being incorporated
- recommending initiatives that support and promote employee HS&W, and better outcomes for individuals and the organisation
- positioning HS&W initiatives to align with specific business context and needs
- effectively promoting the active participation of all employees in HS&W initiatives
- assessing and reviewing initiatives delivered
- reviewing incidents and hazard reports and recommending corrective actions and areas for improvement.
- Work with ELT and provide necessary information to guide approval decision processes, such as funding requirements, desired outcomes and activity evaluations.
These responsibilities are based on the Framework’s ‘Key responsibilities and accountability for organisations, managers and employees’ document.
Executive Leadership Team
Ensure compliance with HS&W legislation and drive and resource our HS&W framework*proactively work towards creating healthy and safe workplaces where people can thrive and achieve their best
- effectively discharge the duty of care for the HS&W of all employees
- commit to integrating HS&W in the organisation’s values and strategic plans
- develop HS&W strategies and plans based on evidence, from research, audits and evaluations
- support development of organisational HS&W maturity through the review, integration and continuous improvement of systems and practices
- embed HS&W governance systems into the way work is done
- implement effective risk management practices and systems to identify and manage exposure to hazards especially physical and psychological ones in the workplace
- increase employees’ awareness and understanding of their rights and responsibilities in HS&W
- develop capability across the organisation for HS&W and include it in inductions, leadership programs and corporate training
- ensure employees are proactively engaged in initiating and discussing HS&W issues and solutions
- improve early intervention and resolution of workplace issues
- ensure contact with staff on prolonged periods of leave and support reasonable adjustment back into the workplace
- ensure programs and interventions promote HS&W and achieve better outcomes for the individual and organisation:
- support the uptake of flexible work
- promote and encourage individuals’ pursuit of healthy lifestyle behaviours
- ensure work environments are conducive to healthy behaviours and reducing chronic disease risks
- understand and implement the principles of good work design through needs assessments and prevention activities
- design roles/work tasks/workloads/systems to eliminate or minimise exposure to physical, biomechanical, cognitive and psychosocial risks
- clearly communicate the benefits of HS&W to the workforce as well as the workplace
- measure and review progress against HS&W performance indicators
- embed accountability for HS&W in performance agreements and cascade to managers
- network with other agencies and the sector to share information and identify integrated and proactive approaches to HS&W
- provide incentives and recognition for integrated and proactive approaches to HS&W
- recognise integrated and proactive approaches to HS&W are a key attraction and retention strategy.
Managers have responsibilities to ensure the HS&W of employees while at work. This includes keeping people safe and improving their health, safety and wellbeing by using an integrated approach.
- be an active champion and role model for HS&W
- ensure compliance with WH&S legislation and work practices
- focus on outcomes, including better health, decreased injuries/illness, improved recovery, improved workplace culture and increased organisational maturity
- use healthy supervision practices
- encourage access to flexible work arrangements regardless of employment status or reason for request
- recognise diversity and that individuals all have different needs which change over time
- be aware of the impact of all dimensions of a person’s wellbeing – physical, psychological, social, work and financial aspects
- design and provide meaningful work with HS&W in mind
- promote positive HS&W workplace culture and address areas for improvement
- review work schedules and rosters (if necessary) in collaboration with staff
- encourage and support staff participation in programs that support healthy lifestyle behaviours
- help staff work/life integration
- actively encourage staff participation in identifying the issues and impacts of workplace culture, leadership, work environment and work design on their HS&W and contributing to improvements
- implement best practice return to work processes for injured workers.
An employee’s responsibility is to take ownership of their HS&W, and to work with their manager to discover mutually workable solutions.
- take reasonable care for their own HS&W and the health and safety of others
- show respect for and embrace workplace strategies and practices that support HS&W
- contribute to creating a positive, healthy and safe team and workplace culture
- generate and share ideas and suggestions for improvements in workplace HS&W
- discuss with their manager key HS&W issues and propose possible solutions. Employees may also raise issues and make suggestions direct to the HSR
- participate in employee engagement forums, such as committees, working groups and review teams where possible
- seek to continually build knowledge and skills in the application of HS&W
- report risks, hazards, incidents
- follow reasonable health and safety instructions issued by OIC
- undertake mandatory training as prescribed.
Health and Safety Representative
Ensure a healthier and safer workplace by representing the views of fellow staff in matters of work health and safety
- Execute their powers and functions as detailed in Subdivision 5 s 68 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Work with leadership, managers and staff to champion Health Safety and Wellbeing at work
- May choose to become an active member in the Health, Safety and Wellbeing committee and to share knowledge and expertise in health, safety and wellbeing matters.
Health Safety and Wellbeing committee
Champion the framework’s principles, HS&W strategy and healthy and safe workplace culture
- As per terms of reference (section 4)
Senior Human Resources Officer
- Facilitate and support HSW Committee meetings
- Share skills, knowledge and networks with the HSW committee
- Assist with the implementation of projects and initiatives
- Provide HR, OH&S and wellbeing data and benchmarking information to inform to development of HS&W strategies, programs and policies
- Liaise with colleagues within OIC, across the sector and more broadly to ensure our approach to HS&W is incorporating the latest research, evidence and good practice.
6. Human Rights Considerations
OIC is committed to respecting, protecting and promoting human rights. Under the Human Rights Act 2019, OIC has an obligation to act and make decisions in a way that is compatible with human rights and, when making a decision, to give proper consideration to human rights. 7.References
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
- Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Qld)
- Be Healthy, Be Safe and Be Well framework – Queensland Public Service Commission (8 November 2021)
- OIC Health and Safety procedures
- OIC Hazard Report and Incident report forms
- Public Service Act 2008 (Qld)
- Human Rights Act 2019
- Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld)
- Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service
- relevant policies, procedures and directives issued by the responsible Minister and the Public Service Commissioner
- WorkSafe Queensland