(1) The Committee is established as a Vice-Chancellor's Committee, and the Committee is delegated a number of functions in relation to Work health and Safety (WHS) matters at the University.
(2) The establishment of this Committee and the delegation of powers to it are actions authorised by the Vice-Chancellor.
(3) This document has been developed in accordance with:
(4) The University WHS Committee contributes to the foundation of WHS consultation in our workplace. Along with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs), distinguished work groups and the WHS Management Group of Senior Executives, the WHS Committee is the linchpin for collaborative and meaningful consultation of health and safety matters at the University.
(5) At least half of the members of the committee must be workers who are not nominated by the person conducting the business or undertaking (S76, WHS Act 2011).
(6) The WHS Committee comprises of:
(7) Members of the WHS Committee are published on Safety Hub.
(8) Where there is nonattendance at three consecutive WHS Committee meetings by a HSR member, the WHS Committee Chair is entitled to request the HSR to resign from their role as Work Group Chair/WHS Committee member.
(9) Where there is nonattendance at three consecutive WHS Committee meetings by a Management Representative, the matter is to be referred to the WHS Management Group and may result in a new Management Representative being appointed to the WHS Committee.
(10) Various University Specialist staff may be invited to attend meetings.
(11) External experts may also be invited to attend meetings as determined by the WHS Committee but will not have voting rights.
(12) Observers are welcome to attend WHS Committee meetings, provided that permission has been sought and approved by the Chair prior to the meeting. Observers may address the WHS Committee and answer questions only on the invitation of the Chair. Observers are not entitled to vote.
(13) If a HSR/Work Group Chair or management representative cannot attend a WHS Committee meeting, their deputy may attend in their place and hold the same voting rights as the absent member.
(14) The Chairperson of the WHS Committee is the WHS Management Group delegate. If the Chairperson is unavailable, they may delegate another member of the Committee to act in their place.
(15) The University is committed to gender equality and, so far as is practicable, it is an objective that the Committee membership should comprise a balance of genders.
(16) The functions of the WHS Committee as per Section 77 of the WHS Act 2011 are (in summary):
(17) Additional to the legislative functions of the WHS Committee, the University charges the WHS Committee with the following duties:
(18) Unlike Officers of the University, HSRs (Deputies and Nominees) are not personally liable for anything done or omitted to be done in good faith. HSRs are a representative 'voice' only and responsibility for health and safety at the University cannot be delegated or transferred to them beyond the responsibilities imposed upon them in the capacity for which they are employed.
(19) The Chair of the Committee will report to the Vice-Chancellor on the business conducted by the Committee. Reports will normally be by email and will include minutes of each meeting.
(20) This committee has delegated authority from the Vice-Chancellor to perform on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor the approval, advice and monitoring functions set out in these terms of reference and all matters ancillary to those functions. The Vice-Chancellor retains the discretion to withdraw, modify or override this delegation at any time.
(21) The WHS Committee is required to meet at least once every three months in accordance with Section 78 of the WHS Act 2011. However, the University WHS Committee will schedule meetings every two months to ensure:
(22) WHS Committee meetings may be convened more often at the request of at least half of the committee members (Section 78 of the WHS Act 2011).
(23) An agenda and any accompanying reports will be circulated at least seven working days before each meeting.
(24) A quorum is achieved where there are at least half of invited attendees present and where the number of management representatives does not exceed half of that number.
(25) For its business papers, meetings and otherwise to conduct its business the Committee and its members may use technology including telephone, video-conferencing, telepresence, email and internet as arranged by the Chair and/or Committee Secretary.
(26) The Committee will operate as a consultative Committee, with the appropriate management representatives delegated the decision maker on all items raised after consultation has been duly exercised. If any item raised, falls outside the authority of the management representatives the Committee will make recommendations directly to the WHS Management Group.
(27) Where the Chair deems that a vote is required to resolve an issue (where recommendations cannot be agreed upon via general consensus, a majority of the attendees must be in favour of a motion for it to be passed (assuming a quorum has been achieved).
(28) WHS Committee meetings are recorded via utilisation of template agenda and minute sheets, provided by the University. These templates include an appendix that specifies the distribution list of the agenda and minutes for each meeting.
(29) Minute records are to be circulated to the following people within seven days of the meeting being held to:
(30) The Secretary is responsible for ensuring all WHS Committee agendas, minutes (once confirmed at the following meeting) and reports are recorded in TRIM.
(31) Disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the Committee should be made via the Chair or Secretary to the Committee.
(32) Once every twelve-month period, the Committee shall devote at least one part of one meeting to the review of its policies, practices and procedures over the preceding 12 months.
(33) A Secretary will be appointed by the Chair.