Contents NEW SOUTH WALES DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIVE SERVICES. Employee Occupational Health & Safety Handbook

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1 Contents NEW SOUTH WALES DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIVE SERVICES Employee Occupational Health & Safety Handbook October 2008 Introduction 1 Consultation 2 Site OHS Plans 3 Site OHS Procedures 4 OHS Responsibilities 5 OHS Management Systems 6 Step One: Hazard Identification 7 Step Two: Risk Assessment 8 Step Three: Risk Control 9 Step Four: Monitor Hazards 10 Reporting & Investigation of Accidents/Incidents 11 Injury Management 12 Manual Handling 13 Personal Protective Equipment 15 Smoke Free Work Environment 16 Communicable Diseases 17 Contractors Working on Department Premises 18 Ergonomics in the Workplace 19 Managing Exposure to Radiation (Including Ultraviolet Radiation) 20 Managing Plant Safety 21 Safe Use of Hazardous Chemicals 22 Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) 23 Bullying and Harassment 24 First Aid Facilities 25 Conclusion 26 Contents 27

2 Introduction Consultation This Handbook is provided for DCS staff to understand their roles and responsibilities outlined in the Department s OHS Policy Manual. In launching the Manual, the Commissioner underlined the commitment to provide a safe and healthy workplace for our staff, contractors, sub-contractors, visitors and offenders. All are required to ensure that DCS workplaces are monitored using a risk management process as required by OHS laws in NSW. The OHS Policy Manual is available throughout DCS work sites and can also be found, along with other relevant OHS information, on the Department s intranet site under Staff Services, Staff Health Services. This handbook also provides additional information on other health and safety matters not covered by the manual. The Department is committed to staff and managers working together to provide a safe place of work. Not only does the Department have a legal responsibility for OHS it is also required to consult staff on OHS issues. The OHS Committee and elected OHS Representatives must be consulted on any issue that has OHS implications. This is a proactive process for us to identify emerging OHS risks and to manage them together. Technical OHS support is provided by the Staff Health Services Injury Prevention section and the Regional OHS & Injury Management Coordinators. A WorkCover accredited training course on OHS Consultation is delivered by DCS OHS trainers

3 Site OHS Plans Site OHS Procedures Each DCS site is required to develop an OHS Plan that identifies staff, including management, who have specific OHS responsibilities. Management are to provide leadership and are accountable for OHS for the site. The Plan may also include the elected staff representatives who participate on the OHS Committee. The OHS Plan identifies who is responsible for investigating any incidents that occur, details any rules relating to OHS risks for the site and documents any safe work method statements to be followed by all staff and any specific procedures for contractors and sub-contractors. Each site will have site-specific procedures that are developed in consultation with the OHS Committee and Representatives. These will detail how your OHS Committee operates, when the site safety inspections are to occur and what PPE (personal protective equipment) must be worn at this site. Check with your supervisor or a member of the site OHS committee if you are unsure of local OHS procedures. New staff members should receive site specific induction training, to make them aware of the OHS procedures and fire and emergency evacuation plans. This training should be recorded and filed

4 OHS Responsibilities OHS Management Systems In a large Department like DCS there are many persons and groups with specific OHS responsibilities. 1. The Commissioner is ultimately responsible for the Department s obligations under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation The Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and Executive Directors are responsible for the implementation of the OHS Policies, strategies and procedures for the DCS programs. 3. The Officer In Charge (OIC) is responsible for the specific sites and programs to ensure that site procedures are followed and any unsafe act or incident is investigated and appropriate action taken. In correctional facilities the OIC is the General Manager or Manager of Security. 4. The Supervisor of a work Unit is responsible for the work area under their control in the same way as the OIC is for the site. 5. All employees are required to comply with the DCS OHS policies and any reasonable instruction from their manager or supervisor in the interest of good OHS practice. They are required to notify their supervisor any hazard in the workplace and not to intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for OHS. 6. All Other Persons (e.g. visitors, contractors, offenders) are also required to comply with the DCS OHS policies and any reasonable direction from a DCS employee in the interest of OHS. Offenders are also required to report hazards to a DCS employee. Contractors must take care for the safety of others at the DCS site, including staff and offenders. Note: Under NSW law, DCS can be prosecuted for breaches of the OHS Act. Individuals can be prosecuted if they deliberately aid and abet or commission an offence. Penalties apply. 5. Each DCS site is required to systematically identify and address OHS risks in the workplace. This must be done by the OIC in consultation with the staff at the site to ensure that a proactive program is followed. The simple steps to the system are: 1. Identify hazards in your work area 2. Assess the risk that the hazard presents 3. Introduce actions/controls to eliminate or reduce the risk 4. Monitor the actions/controls to ensure that the hazard has been addressed A Corrective Action Register is located at each site to record the hazards that are reported and what actions were implemented to address them. If a safe working procedure is required this should be documented and provided to all relevant staff and offenders. Training should be provided on these procedures. Work area inspections should also be undertaken to identify any new hazards. Consultation with staff should occur during the inspections to identify any health risks not obvious in a safety review. Each site has access to Accident/Injury 48 Hour Notification Forms that must be completed if an OHS incident occurs on site. These accidents/ incidents must be investigated and appropriate prevention actions put into place by the local OIC. 48 hour forms are available on the intranet under Staff Services, Staff Health Services. 6.

5 Step One: Hazard Identification Step Two: Risk Assessment Before looking for hazards it is important to identify the staff groups who work at the DCS site and the main tasks that they perform. Hazards are normally identified at each site in 3 ways, using the TOM approach: The Risk Assessment is used to determine how likely the hazard is to result in injury or illness to someone and how serious the illness or injury is likely to be. A matrix is used by DCS to rate the level of risk to ensure that actions on the most serious issues are given priority. Talk to: - Staff/offenders who perform the tasks and others in close proximity - Suppliers, insurers and OHS specialists Observe: - Staff/offenders performing those tasks around the site - Staff in close proximity to see how they are affected by the task Monitor: - The injuries or incidents that are reported The identification of hazards in an area may depend on who uses or accesses the site as areas may be used by different groups. Consider the potential for hazards from each group s perspective. Each site has Hazard Identification Reporting forms where staff concerns can be documented. This is linked to the Corrective Action Register (CAR) where actions are recorded for the site. Likelihood Severity Fatality or permanent disability Major injury (LTI more than 14 days off work) Average loss time injury (3 14 days off work) Minor injury (minor LTI hours 3 days) Risk Ranking Matrix Common Has Happened Could Happen Not likely Practically Impossible Hazards must also be reviewed when there is to be a change to the systems of work at your site. This includes the introduction of new plant or chemicals to the site. The review is a continuous improvement process as new information on the hazards or control measures may require a review of your previous corrective actions. 7. First Aid (No LTI or illness) Risk Category Risk Rating Standard High Risk 1-6 Imperative that immediate action is taken to eliminate or control the hazard 8. Moderate Risk 7-15 Risk control measures required ASAP (within 2 months) Low Risk Corrective action required when practicable (continue to monitor

6 Step Three: Risk Control Step Four: Monitor Hazards Where practical we have a legal obligation to eliminate any risk that has been identified. If this is not practicable then we must reduce the level of risk by implementing one or more risk control strategies. This process uses a Hierarchy of Controls, consisting of 6 steps, which should be undertaken in the following order: 1. Eliminate the hazard or task; e.g. remove loose furniture 2. Substitute with a lesser hazard; e.g. replace a chemical with a less hazardous one 3. Isolate the hazard; e.g. erect barricades, control access 4. Engineering controls; e.g. place a guard on a machine 5. Administrative controls; e.g. implement safe work procedures 6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); e.g. gloves, masks, goggles, hats, riot equipment Once the risk controls have been discussed and an agreed action plan is developed, accountability for implementing the controls and a realistic timeline needs to be agreed. Recommended timelines are provided in the risk matrix. Once the risk controls have been implemented, consult the relevant staff who work in the area to determine that the control has eliminated or reduced the risk. Check that the control has not inadvertently introduced other risks. When your site inspections are undertaken and the OHS Committee is reviewing the work areas, keep an ongoing check on the controls to make sure that they are still working. The ongoing monitoring of performance will indicate where policies, procedures, programs and key performance indicators may need review. This assists in refining both the local OHS Plan and also the DCS OHS plan to tackle emerging OHS issues

7 Reporting & Investigation of Accidents/Incidents All accidents/incidents on a DCS site must be reported to the OIC or their nominee. The Accident/Injury 48 Hour Notification Form should be completed to record the reporting of the accident and sent to the insurer and the Regional OHS&IM Coordinator. If a worker is injured as a consequence of the incident and is required to have treatment or take time off, then the insurer will automatically notify WorkCover. An investigation of the accident is also required by DCS. This process is conducted by the OIC assisted by the OHS Committee. The purpose of the investigation is not to lay blame but to build up a series of events to identify the root causes. The investigation requires interviewing the persons involved as well as witnesses, inspecting the area and taking relevant photos and measurements. Any hazards identified should be recorded on the Hazard Identification Reporting Form and actions in the Corrective Action Register (CAR). Copies of these forms must be kept on an administration file and on the file of any offender involved in the accident. Copies of the forms should also be sent to the regional OHS&IM Coordinator. The data contained in these reports is then used by the Staff Health Services unit to generate the Department s statistics for reporting to the Commissioner and other Government agencies. In NSW it is legally required to report to WorkCover, by phone or through the internet, all accidents/ incidents that involve: 1. Loss of life or serious injury to employees, visitors or offenders (must be reported immediately). 2. A person taking 7 or more days off work, or unable to undertake their usual duties because of injury. 3. Damage to potentially dangerous items of plant. 4. Any injury on the work site to non-workers. Injury Management 1. First Aid: First Aid will be provided in the workplace where appropriate. 2. The Accident/Injury 48 Hour Notification Form will need to be completed and sent to the Workers Compensation insurer and the Regional OHS&IM Coordinator. 3. Medical Treatment: The employee should nominate a treating doctor who can appropriately manage the injury and be involved in the return to work. The employee must provide current medical certificates accurately reflecting fitness for duties until clearance to resume unrestricted duties is given. 4. Return to Work: A Return to Work Plan will be drafted to assist with the return of the employee to normal duties. Wherever possible, suitable duties will be provided as part of a graduated return to work. External rehabilitation services may be used to assist in this process. The Regional OHS&IM Coordinator can be contacted to provide further information or assistance. Injured workers have a responsibility to keep the Department informed of their progress, including travel plans, so that contact can be maintained at all times. Commissioner s Memorandum outlines the Department s Injury Management Strategy. For more information see the Injury Management Handbook, available on the intranet under Staff Services, Staff Health Services. 11.

8 Manual Handling 12. Manual Handling Manual handling tasks include activities using force to lift, carry, push, pull, hold or restrain an object, person or animal. There are no safe lifting weight limits for workers in NSW. Weight is one of several risk factors that should be considered together. It is recommended that a risk assessment should be undertaken where objects weigh more than 16-20kgs. Objects weighing over 55kg should only be handled with mechanical assistance. Individual capabilities will result in a range of weights that can be safely lifted by staff. A frequent source of muscular fatigue is through static postures. This is a result of holding a fixed posture for a long period of time e.g. sitting in front of a computer with a fixed position for the neck and shoulders. It is important that there are frequent changes of posture to generate blood flow and relieve static fatigue. Where lifting and carrying of objects are involved, key principles to be followed include: - Before lifting, test the load to determine its stability and centre of gravity. Determine whether it is safe to be lifted by you. - Adopt a position around the load to enable your centre of gravity to be as close as possible to that of the object before lifting. - Ensure that the knees are bent so that the legs can assist with the lift. - Grip the object so that the centre of gravity is balanced and the hands can move between knee and shoulder height. - Face in the direction of travel and avoid twisting the back when positioning the object. - Where practical, use a trolley or seek assistance where heavy objects are involved or carrying over distances including through gates and doors.

9 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Smoke Free Work Environment This includes items such as gloves, safety boots, hearing or eye protection, helmets, Emergency Response pouches, sunscreen and duress alarms. Fall protection, such as harnesses, should also be provided where required. PPE must be worn by staff and offenders where designated in the Work Procedures. This is in circumstances where the OHS risks cannot be eliminated or reduced in other ways. Where a risk assessment determines PPE is necessary, Assistant Commissioners/Executive Directors are responsible for the information on PPE and for providing adequate resources to ensure that PPE is available. The supervisor of the area is responsible for ensuring all people in the area are trained in the selection, fitting and wearing of the designated PPE. All persons issued with the PPE must ensure that it is maintained and cleaned to maintain hygiene. From 1 July 2004, correctional staff and offenders are only permitted to smoke in a designated smoking area. Apart from these areas, all DCS sites are now Smoke Free work places. No staff, contractors, visitors, or offenders are allowed to smoke on a DCS site except in the designated areas. These areas were determined for the site at a local level in consultation with the OHS Committee/ OHS Representative and Head Office OHS. Areas designated for smoking should have appropriate signage. Breaches of the policy can involve disciplinary action. The Department is supportive of staff wishing to give up smoking and will provide appropriate information and support. Contact the OHS Officer, Health Promotion on for assistance. 15.

10 16. Communicable Diseases Contractors Working on Department Premises DCS has recognised the importance of the management and control of communicable diseases by developing guidelines for Infectious/ Contagious Diseases and HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. These guidelines are found in Section 7of the Operations Procedures Manual. The variety of communicable diseases includes HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other contagious diseases. Details of Standard Precautions are provided in the Operations Procedures Manual and by Justice Health. Contractors are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of their staff who work on Department premises. However, DCS has a duty of care for all people on its premises, so the OIC for a site must ensure that any contractors engaged operate under a safe management system and follow safe work practices. Prior to any construction or maintenance work, the OIC should ensure that a contractor s OHS Management Plan is provided to the nominated DCS Contact Person and the Workplace OHS Committee/representative for review. Contractors are responsible for ensuring their employees and subcontractors are appropriately trained and follow safe work procedures, including the wearing of PPE, and all Department directions when on site. All accidents, incidents, near misses and injuries on site must be reported to the site Contact Person and investigated as if it involved a DCS staff member. Contractors are responsible for providing their own First Aid Officers and kits. All contractors in correctional centres must attend the Security Awareness Induction Course. Site staff must ensure that contractors are provided with security information and comply with the requirements. Contractors should be given a short site-specific induction/orientation.

11 Ergonomics In the Workplace Managing Exposure to Radiation (Including Ultraviolet Radiation) Ergonomics is the multi disciplinary science that ensures that the individual differences between staff members are accommodated through the design of the work environment. In office areas, the adjustment of the workplaces through using chairs, and positioning computer technology to suit the individual needs reduces the risk of postural discomfort. Where it is not practical to provide full adjustment of workplaces, it is important that the staff member frequently changes their posture such as mixing sitting and standing to avoid accumulated fatigue. Work environment issues such as lighting, noise, ventilation and temperature are all part of the broad list of aspects to ergonomics in the workplace. Cognitive ergonomics relates to our ability to remain alert and to accurately respond to information and alarms. Safe work practices that minimise the health effects of fatigue and ensure that safe procedures are always followed at all times are the primary goal. The Department requires strict controls prior to purchasing any equipment with a potential source of radiation for DCS staff, contractors, visitors or offenders. This includes the selection of computer monitors and other appliances such as microwave ovens. Another more common source for health effects is through prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Consequently, the OIC should ensure that all staff and offenders with prolonged sun exposure are provided access to: o Sunscreen o Lightly woven clothing o Wide brimmed hat o Access to shaded area

12 Managing Plant Safety in the Workplace The majority of DCS staff are not exposed to plant/machinery as part of their daily activities. The exceptions are those for example who work within industries, maintenance or stores. Where machinery is used, all the safety devices such as guarding and safety switches should be in place and maintained in good condition. Safe operating instructions should be posted near or on the machinery. All safe operating procedures should be followed by the plant users and any safety hazards identified should be reported immediately to the supervisor or the Office in Charge for immediate action. Only competent and authorised users of machinery or equipment are allowed to operate them. Safe Use of Hazardous Chemicals Each work site must maintain a register detailing all hazardous chemicals that are stored on site. In DCS sites this register is the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) folder. MSDS folders are stored around the site in proximity to where the substances are located. MSDS are provided by manufacturers to inform users of any health or safety strategies that are required in relation to the product. MSDS can also be found on the DCS intranet site under Staff Services, Staff Health Services, Injury Prevention (OHS). The risk assessment process is used to assess the risks associated with the hazardous substances located on the site. The aim is to identify if the substances can be removed completely, substituted with substances that are less hazardous, or stored in smaller quantities. Safe storage and handling procedures should be part of the training and induction process for any person required to utilise the substances. The OHS Committee will inspect the storage and use of hazardous chemicals as part of the workplace inspection program. MSDS should be reviewed for currency with the manufacturer [MSDS should not be more than 5 years old]

13 Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Bullying and Harassment In May 2004 DCS introduced an Employee Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy. The principles of the policy are: 1. Prohibited drugs are not permitted in any DCS workplace. 2. Alcohol is not permitted in any DCS workplace unless officially approved (e.g. for official functions). 3. An employee must not be adversely affected by the use of alcohol or prohibited drugs in any DCS workplace. The policy applies to all places where employees carry out any work on behalf of the Department, including vehicles and off-site areas. Target testing is undertaken when verified intelligence or compelling circumstantial evidence suggests an employee has an AOD problem Random testing may be carried out on employees on duty in a DCS workplace at any time. Testing may also be carried out after a critical incident or where an employee on duty appears to be affected by alcohol. The AOD policy outlines the procedures for breath and urine testing and what happens when positive tests are returned. A test is considered positive if any illegal drugs are detected or if a blood alcohol reading of 0.02 or higher is returned. Staff taking prescribed medications should declare they are using such substances prior to taking a test. The Department offers counselling and support services to staff seeking assistance for an AOD problem. 23. Supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring that the work environment is free from bullying and harassment and employees have a responsibility to treat each other in a way that will not cause distress. Harassment includes behaviour that is not wanted nor asked for, that humiliates, intimidates or offends someone. Bullying is aggressive behaviour intended to physically or psychologically hurt another person. It is an abuse of power and may occur in a covert way, unobserved by others. The Department has a Managing Work-related Bullying and Harassment Policy that provides information and procedures to be followed if bullying and harassment occurs. The policy includes guidelines on identifying harassment and bullying behaviour and how to distinguish between lawful directions and bullying. Staff should report instances of bullying and harassment to a senior manager. However, staff may also seek support from a union representative or trusted manager to act on their behalf. When harassment and bullying is identified, it is the responsibility of the senior manager to deal with it immediately in an impartial, fair and confidential manner. It may be possible to deal with the issue locally under the Grievance Management Policy. However, if the allegation is considered to be serious misconduct the Management of Professional Conduct Policy will be followed. These policies are found on the intranet under Policies and Procedures. Managers can also report the effects of bullying and harassment using the Hazard Identification Report form. 24.

14 First Aid Facilities Conclusion First aid is provided to all staff, offenders and visitors. In correctional centres primary first aid is provided by Justice Health, with Quick Response kits available in each officers station. First aid kits are provided in all other DCS work sites and DCS vehicles. Qualified First Aid Officers are located at each site. First Aid training for staff is available from the Brush Farm Corrective Services Academy. This handbook has been developed by the Department s Staff Health Services Unit to provide practical guidance for staff to understand their OHS responsibilities. If you have any questions or are interested in becoming further involved in OHS at your workplace, contact your supervisor or refer to the OHS Manual for further information. The OHS Manual and other relevant health and safety information are available on the DCS intranet under Staff Services, Staff Health Services. Technical advice on OHS issues is available from the Staff Health Services Injury Prevention section on Advice on OHS training is available from the OHS trainers on or Regional OHS&IM Coordinators also offer advice and assistance on OHS and Injury Management issues

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