Procedure: Work health and safety actions
This procedure describes how the Australian National University (ANU) manages corrective and preventative actions for the work health and safety, rehabilitation and claims management systems (WHS). This procedure meets compliance requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth), the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth), the Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Act 1998 (Cth) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (Cth). This procedure is linked to the University’s Work Health and Safety Policy and is one of the WHS Management System Procedures.
Corrective actions are actions taken after a situation or exposure has occurred e.g. when an unplanned event, change or incident occurs; or when deficiencies are recognised from audits, inspections and reviews.
Local area is the relevant College/Research School/Service Division.
Preventative actions are actions that are identified to prevent situations, system deficiency and exposures to hazards e.g. by conducting a hazard review, setting objectives, designing processes, and/or conducting a review.
Worker is anyone who carries out work for the University. A worker includes staff, volunteers, contractors and students gaining work experience at the University.
- This procedure applies to all actions identified from WHS processes:
- WHS audits
- WHS monitoring and testing; WHS management review; WHS objectives, targets and programs
- WHS consultation
- WHS incident management; WHS legal and other requirements; WHS training; WHS documentation; and Emergency response.
- All workers at the University shall report any matter or issue, hazardous situation or WHS management system deficiencies immediately to their supervisor/manager. The supervisor/manager shall in consultation with the workers identify corrective actions and/or preventive actions to address the issue or concern.
- All findings from WHS processes (e.g. investigations, audits, monitoring programs, legal reviews and management reviews) shall be reported and communicated to the local areas affected as per the WHS communication and consultation procedure. All corrective actions will be recorded in the Workplace safety incident and hazard reporting tool and assessed for risk to ensure the new control does not create additional risk.
- All actions and completion dates shall be identified in consultation with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs), and approved by the local area, monitored and progress reported as per the WHS management review procedure.
- On receipt of findings, the local area shall consider the findings and respond as to whether they accept the recommendations and whether they wish to vary them.
- Following approval and acceptance of actions, it is the responsibility of the Responsible Person or delegate of a local area to track all of the actions through to verification and ensure the Chairperson of the WHS Committee is aware of the progress.
- If the corrective actions are also the result of a Notifiable Incident or the result of a direction or notice from a regulator, the Work Environment Group (WEG) will report the progress to the regulator until completion and verification by the regulator have taken place.
When findings are accepted
- Table 1 describes the action management will take when findings are accepted.
The relevant WHS Committee and/or Health Safety Representative and/or WHS Officer
Discuss the findings, propose actions and identify the responsible person and timeframe for implementing the actions.
Responsible Person from the local area to implement the action(s)
Implements the action(s) and provide feedback to the Work Environment Group on who will do what by when.
Verify that all of the corrective actions have been completed, are effective and have reduced the risk.
Work Environment Group
Monitor the progress and record that all actions have been completed.
When findings are questioned
- Local areas may seek clarification on the findings from the person who conducted the investigation, audit etc. Should the parties disagree the concerns can be escalated by the process in the table below:
Local area WHS Committee Chairperson
Submits a written request to the Work Environment Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration and response.
Note. The local area may raise and discuss issues, recommendations, and supporting written statements at their next local WHS Committee meeting. The WHS Committee may review all the available information and provide additional feedback to Work Environment Group through the Chairperson.
Work Environment Group
Reviews the written request and assesses the original finding to assess whether the recommendations remain unchanged or modification is required.
Replies in writing of the finding.
The Responsible Person in the local area
Implements the actions and provides feedback to the Work Environment Group and the Chairperson of the local WHS Committee.
The Responsible Person in the local area
May request arbitration from the Chief Operating Officer (COO) through the Chairperson for a decision by the University’s WHS Committee.
Escalation of actions not completed
- Where such action is not taken within these time frames, a process of escalation will take place. The Associate Director WEG shall seek the reasons for not addressing the actions from the local area WHS Committee Chairperson.
- Should the local areas WHS Committee not address the actions, it shall be escalated to the University WHS Committee as per the WHS communication and consultation procedure.
Recording and reporting actions
- The local area shall record all actions, have timeframes and resources assigned to each action and report on their progress to their WHS Committee.
- The local area shall report when the actions are completed to the Work Environment Group and to the University WHS Committee if asked to do so.
- The Associate Director WEG shall report outstanding actions as per the WHS management review procedure.
Legal and other requirements
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)
AS/NZ 4801:2001 Occupational health and safety management systems
ISO 19011:2002 Guidelines for auditing management systems
|Printable version (PDF)|
|Title||Work health and safety actions|
|Purpose||This procedure describes how the Australian National University (ANU) manages corrective and preventative actions for the work health and safety, rehabilitation and claims management systems (WHS). This procedure meets compliance requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth), the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth), the Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Act 1998 (Cth) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (Cth). This procedure is linked to the University’s Workplace Health and Safety Policy and is one of the WHS Management System Procedures.|
|Topic/ SubTopic||Health, Safety & Environment - Occupational Health & Safety|
|Effective Date||1 Jul 2017|
|Review Date||1 Jul 2020|
|Responsible Officer||Director, Human Resources|
|Approved By:||Chief Operating Officer|
|Contact Area||Human Resources Division|
Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011