Case Study Scenario Context – Overview
The Academies Australasia Group of Colleges is owned and managed by Garratt’s Limited, a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange that has been operating for more than 100 years. Public listed status means that apart from having to meet the well regarded, carefully supervised standards of the international education market, Academies Australasia colleges must also comply with the strict financial and reporting regulations of the Australian Stock Exchange.
There are seven colleges, each a separate company with its own licence to operate as an education institution – Academies Australasia College in Singapore and six colleges in Australia:
- Academy of English (ELICOS) [Including Academy of English (Blue Mountains) and Academy of English (Barton)]
- Australian International High School (Senior High School)
- Academy of Social Sciences (Vocational)
- Australian College of Technology (Vocational)
- Clarendon Business College (Vocational) [Including Clarendon Business College (Barton)]
- Supreme Business College (Vocational).
In Australia, Academies Australasia has two campuses in the heart of Sydney, New South Wales (George Street and Pitt Street), just a few minutes’ walk from each other. They also operate in Leura in the Blue Mountains (New South Wales) and in Barton (Australian Capital Territory). It is also considering expanding its operations to include Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. In Singapore, Academies Australasia College is in Middle Road, in the education precinct.
Currently the institution has about 1700 students and the number is growing every year. ACA employs about 30 full time staffs and 60 teachers on a contract basis. Over the past months ACA has been planning to implement various web based technologies, Internet and the Intranet.
Work Health and Safety Issue Details
Academies Australasia [ACA] with the Head Office located in George Street, Sydney. A centralised IT Unit has been established in our George Street office recently, where a Help Desk for the organisation is located.
Previously, private computer specialists from the other organisations serviced all IT needs. ACA Labs now have a staff of 13 members who work in the new IT Unit. They are rostered over a 8-hour period so that the IT Unit can always be accessed.
Being a new unit, with staff who have not operated a Help Desk before, not everyone is aware of possible WHS issues that may arise. Muscular fatigue has appeared very early as an issue of concern. Therefore, one staff member is to be charged with a project to identify the WHS standard that the IT Unit should be working to.
You have working with ACA Labs for 5 years and have joined the IT Helpdesk unit. You have been chosen in the role of WHS officer in the IT Help Desk Unit.
Bibhod Dotel, Manager of the IT Help Desk at ACA Labs, has below brief on your role in the Unit.
Figure 1: I.T. Help Desk Work Environment
Brief 1: WHS management system
As you have a new team, the management is very concerned that you get things right from the outset. You don’t have a sufficiently thorough knowledge of WHS, so you are asked to find out which Australian WHS standards relate to the Help Desk unit. That should then give the criteria that are needed for health and safety performance in the unit.
Brief 2: Assess and report on WHS issues in the workplace
It is imperative that everyone on the team knows what to do when they think there is a WHS problem — how to assess it and to whom they should report it. In this way, all team members can be confident that their input is contributing to a safe and healthy unit.
Brief 3: Provide basic ergonomic advice
Identify all the ergonomic issues present in our work area, and then act upon them, we’ll minimise risks to the team now and in the future. You’ll still have to do your part on the Help Desk roster, but you’ll be given time every day to research, develop and write the WHS report.
Brief 4: Identify an employer’s responsibilities
Staff in the Help Desk section regularly had to deal with aggression from disgruntled clients. This involved being shouted at and abused. A staff member who became increasingly upset asked if procedures could be put in place to deal with this. You will research, develop and write about the WHS management system for the unit.
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
- WorkCover NSW
- Virtual Office
In this assignment, you’ll produce a report on WHS management system for the IT Help Desk. You need to produce a series of documents to demonstrate competency in this unit.
These documents will need to comply with ACA Labs’s standards and procedures and your trainer will verify this. If you have any questions or if you feel unsure of anything, please contact your Trainer.
- Work Health and Safety Policy – details of (or inclusion of) your organisation’s policy [20 marks]
Areas to cover:
- Identify the key focus areas that your organisation would need to be concerned with from a WHS perspective.
- Identify policies and procedures (e.g. posters around the class rooms or in the corridors, websites, etc) that have been created by the college or institute the college belongs to, in order to demonstrate and fulfil their commitment to comply with WHS legislation. Separate these policies into logical categories
- What responsibilities for WHS do the employer and employees have as a part of the job.
- WH&S Staff Plan – outlining your team/department’s workplace personnel and their responsibilities regarding WH&S in your organisation [10 marks]
Areas to cover:
- Work with workers and their representatives to set up and maintain participation arrangements according to relevant WHS legislation
- Appropriately resolve issues raised through participation and consultation arrangements according to relevant WHS legislation
- Promptly provide information about the outcomes of participation and consultation to workers and ensure it is easy for them to access and understand
- Risk Assessment – for two potential workplace hazards, using your organisation’s procedure [20 marks]
Areas to cover:
- Develop procedures for ongoing hazard identification, and assessment and control of associated risks
- Include hazard identification at the planning, design and evaluation stages of any change in the workplace to ensure that new hazards are not created by the proposed changes and existing hazards are controlled
- Develop and maintain procedures for selecting and implementing risk controls according to the hierarchy of control and WHS legislative requirements
- Identify inadequacies in existing risk controls according to the hierarchy of control and WHS legislative requirements, and promptly provide resources to enable implementation of new measures
- Identify requirements for expert WHS advice, and request this advice as required
- WH&S Induction and Training Policy – describe your organisation’s WH&S Induction and Training Policy. Discuss what is covered and give details on how the induction and training is/will be carried out [20 marks]
Areas to cover:
- Develop and provide a WHS induction and training program for all workers in a work area as part of the organisation’s training program
- WH&S Record Keeping System – describe how your organisation’s WH&S record keeping system works and include any improvements or upgrades and how there were implemented [20 marks]
Areas to cover:
- Use a system for WHS record keeping to allow identification of patterns of occupational injury and disease in the organisation, and to maintain a record of WHS decisions made, including reasons for the decision
- Analysis of WH&S Legislative Framework – an analysis of how your organisation’s WH&S standards meet the current legislative framework. Outline any recommendations if necessary. [10 marks]
Areas to cover:
- Measure and evaluate the WHSMS in line with the organisation’s quality systems framework
- Develop and implement improvements to the WHSMS to achieve organisational WHS objectives
- Ensure compliance with the WHS legislative framework to achieve, as a minimum, WHS legal requirements
Report Preparation Guideline:
Following are guidelines for the submission of assignment.
- Use size A4 paper and leave at least a 3 cm margin. This is the best format for both marking and photocopying.
- Number each page of the assignment.
- Make a duplicate copy of each assignment. This overcomes any problems should your assignments ever be lost in transit even though this rarely happens.