Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Systems Audit

Version Number

3.0

Implementation Date

9/07/2012

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​The Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) recognises that the safety of our learning and working environments, and the health of our people, are integral to delivering our vision of a clever, skilled and creative Queensland. To realise this, the department is committed to the establishment and evaluation of health, safety and wellbeing targets, and a culture of continuous improvement. This is achieved through the implementation of a Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Systems (HSWMS) audit process as outlined in this procedure.

Overview

​This document sets out the processes for implementing Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Systems Audits. The outcomes will provide senior management with fact-based information that can be used to review the effectiveness of the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Systems in place and plan changes that will ensure continual system improvements.

The HSWMS audit is a key management tool to strengthen internal governance structures by systematically examining departmental processes to:

  • determine compliance with current statutory, regulatory and departmental requirements for workplace health, safety and wellbeing
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the current health, safety and wellbeing management systems
  • identify areas for potential improvement in the health, safety and wellbeing management systems.

The HSWMS audit process encompasses:

  • an audit of the documented health, safety and wellbeing systems in place
  • interviews with senior management, individual personnel with health and safety roles or responsibilities, selected line managers and other personnel
  • a limited physical inspection of the work environment.

Responsibilities

Deputy Directors-General:

  • ensure the HSWMS audit process is established and implemented in order to be effective in meeting the department’s objectives for continual improvement
  • review the HSWMS audit process to ensure the program and outcomes are aligned to the department’s strategic plan.

Officers in Charge of a Workplace (includes Regional Directors/Institute Directors/Chief Executive Officers):

  • establish and implement an annual audit program in accordance with the HSWMS Audit guideline
  • appoint a HSWMS auditor within the institute or region to conduct the annual audit and/or negotiate with the Director, Organisational Health Unit (OHU) to appoint a member of the OHU to conduct the annual audit (triennial audits must be conducted by a member of the OHU)
  • ensure that all necessary assistance is provided to the auditor/s during the course of a HSWMS audit and that staff, and where relevant other personnel at the workplace, cooperate with the audit process
  • provide the auditor/s with evidence of current system and procedural practices in response to audit questions
  • review the audit findings, in conjunction with the region/institute Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee, to determine the actions for implementing the audit recommendations within an established timeframe in the improvement action plan and report the improvement action plan to the DETE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee and the auditor/s
  • ensure the actions documented in the improvement action plan are implemented within the established timeframe
  • provide half-yearly reports to the DETE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee on the progress of implementation of the improvement action plan
  • ensure the appointed HSWMS auditor/s are appropriately trained.

Supervisors/Managers (includes Principals/Directors/Program Managers):

  • ensure that all necessary assistance is provided to the auditor/s during the course of an audit and that staff, and where relevant other personnel at the workplace, cooperate with the audit process
  • provide the auditor/s with evidence of current system and procedural practices in response to audit questions
  • promote HSWMS audit compliance practices and consult with staff and other stakeholders on significant audit issues that could have a potential impact on those staff or stakeholders
  • where required, implement corrective actions to improve the health, safety and wellbeing management systems and general workplace safety, including:
    • assigning staff to complete the corrective actions
    • setting relevant timeframes
    • assuring adequate resources are available
    • monitoring, reviewing and reporting the implementation activities to the ‘Officer in Charge of a Workplace’.

Health and Safety Consultants in Institutes/Regions/Organisational Health Unit:

  • where required, complete the appropriate HSWMS auditor training
  • when directed, plan and conduct audits, in accordance with the HSWMS Audit guideline including:
    • communicating and clarifying audit requirements with auditees
    • identifying and assessing qualitative and quantitative information, records or statements of facts, procedures and processes relating to defined health, safety and wellbeing management systems
    • conducting interviews with relevant staff members
    • documenting observations and findings throughout the audit
    • being objective and free from bias and influences.
  • provide a written report on audit findings and recommendations to the ‘Officers in Charge of a Workplace’ on completion of the audit
  • assist business units to apply recommendations and corrective actions to management systems or identified procedural deficiencies.

Workplace Health and Safety Officers:

  • cooperate with the audit process and assist in coordinating staff, and where relevant other personnel at the workplace, to be interviewed
  • provide all requested records and associated documentation to the auditor/s
  • where possible, accompany auditor/s on the workplace inspection
  • where required, assist in rectifying corrective actions to improve the health, safety and wellbeing management systems and general workplace safety.

Workplace Health and Safety Representatives:

  • cooperate with the audit process and where necessary assist in coordinating staff, and where relevant other personnel at the workplace, to be interviewed
  • where possible, accompany auditor/s on the workplace inspection
  • notify the auditor/s of any staff health, safety and wellbeing concerns.

All DETE Staff:

  • comply with the audit process and provide the auditor/s with evidence of current system and procedural practices in response to audit questions
  • assist in rectifying corrective actions as directed by supervisors and managers.

Institute/Regional Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committees:

  • review the audit findings and assist the ‘Officers in Charge of a Workplace’ to determine the actions for implementing the audit recommendations in an agreed timeframe in the improvement action plan
  • where required, assist in rectifying corrective actions to improve the health, safety and wellbeing management systems and general workplace safety
  • when requested, assist ‘Officers in Charge of a Workplace’ to develop half-yearly reports for the DETE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee, on the progress of implementation of the improvement action plan.

DETE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee:

  • oversee the HSWMS audit program and ensure that audits are performed based upon the gaps or key issues identified
  • report the outcomes of the HSWMS audit program to the Executive Management Group and the Deputy Directors-General
  • monitor ‘Officers in Charge of a Workplace’ responses to audit recommendations and the implementation of outcomes in the improvement action plan.

Director, Organisational Health Unit:

  • develop, monitor and review the audit procedure and program and provide advice, information and feedback on the effectiveness of the audit program to the DETE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee
  • liaise with ‘Officers in Charge of a Workplace’ regarding the implementation of the audit program
  • manage the delivery of appropriate training for all HSWMS auditors
  • develop, maintain and review resources to assist staff in managing the audit program, including maintaining records of audit programs, in accordance with departmental requirements.

Process

​Details of the step by step process for health, safety and wellbeing management systems audits can be accessed in the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Systems Audit guideline.

Online Resources

Review Date

23/11/2012
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC

Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Systems
That part of the overall management system which includes organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing policy, and so managing the risks associated with the business of the department.

Health, safety and wellbeing targets
A detailed performance requirement, quantified wherever practicable and pertaining to the department, that arises from the health, safety and wellbeing objectives, and that needs to be met in order to achieve those objectives.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management System (HSWMS) audit
A systematic examination against defined criteria to determine whether activities and related results comply with planned arrangements, and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve the department’s policy and objectives.

Other departmental workplaces
Any departmental workplace where work is performed by a departmental staff member that is not under the ultimate control of the Deputy Director-General, Training and Tertiary Education Queensland and DETE Regional Operations, for example:

  • Corporate Services
  • Infrastructure Services
  • Early Childhood Education and Care 
  • Skills Queensland.