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WHS OP001 Document Control Procedure

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The University of New England (UNE) endeavours to implement a document management system complying with the requirements of AS/NZS 4804 and AS/NZS 4801:2001 Occupational Health and Management Systems.

(2) The aim of this Procedure is to specify and communicate the process for the development of documents pertaining to the Workplace Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS).

(3) UNE acknowledges the importance of WHS document control that will facilitate:

  1. accuracy of information being disseminated to all staff and visitors at UNE;
  2. consistency in our approach to mitigating health and safety risks in our business; and
  3. Quality control and continuous improvement.
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Section 2 - Scope

(4) The purpose of this Procedure is to establish, implement and maintain procedures for controlling all relevant documents and data to ensure that:

  1. they are readily located and available;
  2. they are periodically reviewed, revised and approved; and
  3. obsolete documents are removed from all points of issue and points of use.

(5) Documentation and data shall be legible, dated (with dates of revision) and readily identifiable and be maintained in an orderly manner for a specified period, and in accordance with the University's Records Management Rule.

(6) Procedures and responsibilities shall be established and maintained concerning the creation and modification of the various types of documents and data.

(7) Documentation will be reviewed every 3 years or as changes are required.

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Section 3 - Procedure

WHSMS Document Hierarchy

(8) All documents within the WHSMS are developed according to a document hierarchy, (click here for Document Hierarchy).

WHS Document Controller

(9) The WHS Document Controller is responsible for ensuring implementation of this Procedure.

(10) The role of WHS Document Controller is allocated within the resourcing of WHS personnel at the University.

WHS Document Register

(11) WHS F002 Document Register is held and maintained within the WHSMS. It logs each document that facilitates our compliance with the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011, and associated Regulations, Standards and Codes. The register is updated by the WHS Document Controller upon changes to any of the WHSMS documents.

(12) All documents in the WHSMS are identified by the following prefix in the title:

  1. WHS P0XX (Protocols);
  2. WHS OP0XX (Operational Procedures);
  3. WHS G0XX (Guideline); and
  4. WHS F0XX (Form).

Development and Approval of WHS Rule and Protocols

(13) Development of all WHS Rules and Protocols will be according to UNE Governance - Policy Framework Procedures.

(14) Development, approval, consultation, access location, review and currency of rules and protocols are controlled and governed by the UNE Legal and Governance Policy Register.

Development of WHS Forms

(15) All WHS Guidelines and Forms are developed by the WHS Document Controller and in compliance with this Procedure.

Requests for the Development of WHS Forms

(16) All requests for WHS Forms are to be directed to the WHS Document Controller via email, with confirmation of approval and support of the request by the Head of School/Director of the business unit where the request has originated.

(17) Forms will be developed according to priority, determined in consultation with the relevant business unit, WHS Document Controller and People and Culture (HRS).

Forms Template

(18) Each document is identified by:

  1. Name (including the acronym WHS, and numerical reference);
  2. Version;
  3. Effective from date;
  4. Review date;
  5. Page number; and
  6. Validity when printed.

Consultation and Approval of WHS Documents

(19) The Director People and Culture will determine the nature of consultation before final approval, where this is not specified by UNE Governance - Policy Framework Procedures. Consultation may occur via work groups, the WHS Advisory group, subject matter experts and/or staff who have made the request.

(20) Rules and Protocols of the University are required to be issued for University-wide consultation according to UNE Governance rules. WHS operational Procedures and Guidelines are not required to be included in this process however, are able to be 'housed' in the Policy Register. WHS Forms will not be included in the Policy Register, they will be managed by the WHS Document Controller.

(21) All documents submitted in to the UNE WHSMS shall be approved by the Director People and Culture. Approval shall be logged and dated in WHS F002 Document Register.

(22) Consultation notes shall be logged in WHS F002 Document Register.

WHSMS Document Review

(23) Documents in the WHSMS shall be reviewed for currency at intervals of no greater than three years. Documents may be reviewed at more regular intervals should the need arise.

Version Control

(24) Version numbers are applied to all documents in the WHSMS.

(25) Whole numerical values are allocated for new documents (eg. Version 1.0) and increase in single increments for reviews which are significant and wholesale in nature and when the document is reviewed according to the three yearly review schedule.

(26) Increments to version numbers to the value of point one (.1), are to reflect insignificant changes such as cross referencing, format, grammar, contact details or other changes that do not have operational impact.

(27) Version changes that are applied in increments of point one (.1) do not require consultation or approval from Director People and Culture The WHS Document Controller is responsible for administering these updates.

(28) All versions of every document within the WHSMS shall be archived by the WHS Document Controller utilising the functionality in TRIM for recording consecutive versions of a document.

Currency and Access to UNE WHSMS

(29) Safety Hub is the location on the UNE web site where all UNE WHSMS documents are published and TRIM is the system where all UNE WHSMS documents are recorded.

(30) Safety Hub publishes all WHS Rules, Protocols and Procedures via links to the UNE Policy Register.

(31) Where there is a requirement to print documents from Safety Hub (e.g. to complete a form manually), each document shall include a date stamp to ensure a period of validity of no longer than 28 days from the date of printing.

(32) Where there is a requirement for WHS forms to be available in word format (eg. accessibility needs), a request can be forwarded to the WHS Document Controller via email. No changes are permitted to be made to the content or formatting of WHS forms in the event that they have been provided for use in Word format.

Interim Documents

(33) Interim documents have been included in the current WHSMS and have evolved from previous safety systems at UNE. No material changes to content have been made but allow continuity in the short term until the WHSMS is developed and these procedures are superseded.

(34) Interim documents are identified as such by including this classification in the title of the document as follows: '(Interim)'.

(35) Inclusion of interim documents in the WHSMS shall be according to this Procedure.

(36) The approval of the Director People and Culture is required for all interim documents to be included in the WHSMS. Consultation is not required for interim documents as no material changes to content are included.

Use of Resources outside the UNE WHSMS

(37) Where there is a requirement for resources or forms that do not currently exist in the WHSMS, a request for development of the appropriate resource must be forwarded to the WHS Document Controller as per Clause (15) above.

(38) In circumstances where the operational need requires appropriate documentation before the development process within the UNE WHSMS can occur, other resources may be utilised with the approval from People and Culture's.

(39) Alternative resources shall be identified as fit for purpose and meeting industry standards.

Authority and Compliance

(40) The Rule Administrator, the Director People and Culture, pursuant to the University's Work Health and Safety Rule, makes these Procedures.

(41) UNE Representatives must observe these Procedures in relation to University matters.

(42) These Procedures operate as and from the Effective Date.

(43) Previous Procedures relating to document control are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Procedure.

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Section 4 - Definitions

For the purposes of this document the following definitions apply.

(44) Work Health Safety Management System (WHSMS) means the suite of documents and other resources and tools that are systematically implemented and utilised for the effective management of workplace risk to personnel.