• Policy Number: SCS2022026
• Document Rescinds/Replaces: SCS WHS 000-00-01-2012 Safety Policy
• Policy Released: 7 November 2022
• Review Date: 7 November 2024
• Policy Type: Strategic
• Audience: Public
• Approved: SCS Board
• Document Owner: Director, People & Culture

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) seeks the highest level of protection reasonably possible for students, SCS staff, contractors, parents and visitors against harm to their health and safety and is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

SCS does this by fostering a culture where staff and management consult and collaborate to identify hazards, assess risks and implement effective measures to either eliminate or reduce those risks, as far as is reasonably practicable.

This policy outlines the work health and safety roles and responsibilities of the SCS Board, Executive Team, SCS leaders, SCS staff and other persons.

The policy applies to:

  • SCS workers, including employees, members of religious orders engaged in schools, volunteers, trainees, interns, labour hire employees and contractors.
  • Other persons, including parents and carers, visitors and school patrons, insofar as they are at an SCS workplace or affected by work carried out for and on behalf of SCS.

Failure to comply with this policy may lead to disciplinary action including termination of employment of SCS workers. Other persons who fail to comply with this policy may be required to leave the premises of the SCS workplace.

The applicable legal framework in New South Wales as it applies to SCS is set out below. The primary focus of the framework is to foster safe and healthy work environments and safe work systems.

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), which outlines broad responsibilities, duties, offences, processes and enforcement measures.
  • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (NSW), which set out specific requirements for particular hazards and risks.
  • Codes of Practice, which provide detailed information on how to achieve standards required under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation.
  • Enterprise Agreement (as applicable).

The health and safety of all persons in a workplace is a shared obligation and responsibility between SCS, SCS staff and other persons (including other organisations with a shared duty).

These responsibilities are outlined below:

4.1 SCS Board

The SCS Board is responsible for SCS’ overall compliance with its work health & safety obligations to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and other persons.

The Board seeks to do this by:

  • Understanding the operations of the SCS workplace and any risks.
  • Staying updated on workplace safety issues and changes in legal requirements and standards to ensure that there is a safe place and system of work and good governance.
  • Ensuring SCS has effective risk assessment and reporting processes, safety procedures and workplace safety policies which are appropriately communicated to workers and other persons.
  • Monitoring, reviewing and providing advice in relation to SCS’ work health and safety obligations based on effective and transparent management reporting of safety issues.

4.2 SCS Workplace Health & Safety Central Committee

The SCS Workplace Health & Safety Central Committee will assist the SCS Board by monitoring key risks in the areas of Work Health and Safety and ensuring SCS’s compliance with relevant legislation, statutory regulations and SCS operational policies and standards.

In order to fulfil this role, the Committee will receive and consider reports submitted by SCS directorates and networks on:

  • WHS performance and issues.
  • WHS audit program and respective results.
  • WHS management and performance of their operations.

The SCS WHS Central Committee is also committed to facilitating cooperation and consultation between SCS and its staff to develop and improve health and safety in the workplace.

4.3 SCS Executive Team

The SCS Executive Team is responsible for:

  • managing SCS‘ resources and processes to maintain safe and healthy workplaces for all workers and other persons.
  • providing information, training, instruction or supervision to protect workers and other persons from work health and safety risks.
  • monitoring the work health and safety of workers to prevent illness or injury, and
  • consulting with workers and others with a shared duty to identify, eliminate or minimise risks.

The Executive Team seeks to do this through:

  • ensuring SCS’ compliance with all work health and safety legislation and regulatory requirements.
  • ensuring adequate communication and consultation with workers on work health and safety matters, by giving workers reasonable opportunities to express their views, raise issues and contribute to decision making processes.
  • engaging in discussions and cooperate with any health and safety representatives appointed on behalf of SCS workers (if any).
  • overseeing the development and implementation of safe working systems and providing
    adequate safety information, training and supervision for those systems, and
  • ensuring the regular review and monitoring of SCS’ work health and safety systems including assessing their effectiveness and establishing measurable targets.
  • ensuring that SCS workers have the prescribed qualifications and experience, and SCS workplaces and equipment are duly authorised to carry out and conduct work on safely.

4.4 Principals and Managers

SCS Principals and Managers are responsible for work health and safety within their areas of responsibility. They achieve this through:

  • undertaking the actions necessary to maintain a safe workplace by reinforcing safe work practices.
  • ensuring the implementation of SCS work health and safety policies, procedures and programs.
  • ensuring all incidents and hazards within their area of control are identified, reported, investigated and control strategies implemented.
  • ensuring that training and instruction is provided to SCS workers on work health and safety that is suitable and adequate having regard to the nature of their work and exposure to risk, and that they are adequately supervised.
  • encouraging workers to raise work health and safety concerns and to report incidents or near misses.
  • ensuring that workers are consulted on all issues that affect their health and safety.
  • ensuring notifiable incidents are notified in line with relevant procedures and within the required timeframes, and
  • ensuring they act promptly to resolve and close out any work health and safety concerns raised by workers or other applicable persons.

4.5 SCS workers

SCS workers are responsible for taking reasonable care to ensure that their acts and omissions are not harmful to either the mental or physical health and safety of themselves or others in the workplace.

SCS workers must also comply with any reasonable instruction of SCS with respect to work health and safety, including that they cooperate with any reasonable work health and safety programs, policies or procedures.

Workers are also required to:

  • immediately report to their manager or supervisor any unsafe acts, equipment or hazards
  • that might pose a risk to work health and safety
  • not misuse, damage or interfere with workplace equipment
  • perform all work duties in a manner which ensures their own health and safety, as well as that of all other workers and other persons who may be affected by the work performed, and
  • cooperate with SCS to ensure and maintain a safe working environment of all workers and others.

4.6 Work Health & Safety (WHS) Team

The WHS Team in SCS is responsible for:

  • developing, reviewing and communicating the WHS policy, procedures, systems and programs.
  • keeping up to date on health, safety and wellbeing developments and legislative requirements.
  • developing a framework that enables all workers to know and understand their WHS responsibilities.
  • identifying and investigating hazards, assessing risks and implementing appropriate strategies to eradicate or minimise risk of injury.
  • providing expert advice, consultation, recommendations and training in relation to work health and safety matters.
  • monitoring, analysing and reporting on safety performance metrics.

4.7 Other persons

Other persons such as parents/carers, contractors, consultants or visitors to SCS workplaces are responsible for taking reasonable care to ensure that their acts are not harmful to the health and safety of themselves or others. They must also comply with all reasonable instructions given by SCS to maintain health and safety.

If you have any questions about the WHS Policy or would like further information, please contact the WHS team at safetyadvisers@syd.catholic.edu.au.

• Policy Number: SCS2022026
• Document Rescinds/Replaces: SCS WHS 000-00-01-2012 Safety Policy
• Policy Released: 7 November 2022
• Review Date: 7 November 2024
• Policy Type: Strategic
• Audience: Public
• Approved: SCS Board
• Document Owner: Director, People & Culture