Occupational Health and Safety - Commitments and Responsibilities

Approval Date
28 July 2022
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 July 2024
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

This policy outlines health and safety responsibilities for staff, Formal Leaders, learners, and contractors/subcontractors at Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) to ensure that its workplaces are safe and healthy and that all staff, learners, contractor/subcontractors, and visitors are not harmed. In addition, best practice guidelines and Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) expectations for workplace safety management programmes seek a statement of commitment, such as this policy, regarding the management of safety and health at Otago Polytechnic Limited.


Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, all subsequent amendments, and associated regulations

Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2018, all subsequent amendments, and associated regulations

Smoke-Free Environments and Regulate Products Amendment Act 2020, all subsequent amendmentss and associated regulations

Human Rights Act 1993 and all subsequent amendments

Accident Compensation Act 2001 and all subsequent amendments.


Otago Polytechnic Limited is committed to the provision of a safe and healthy work and learning environment for all staff, learners, contractors/subcontractors, and visitors, and will provide appropriate resources to assist in achieving this.

  1. In meeting this commitment, the Otago Polytechnic Limited Board (Board) and the Chief Executive provide governance and leadership to ensure that:
  • Health and safety resources are made available.
  • Health and safety objectives and performance criteria for all Formal Leaders and work areas are met.
  • Appropriate best practice policies and procedures are implemented and reviewed every two (2) years.
  • Our obligations under legislation, regulations, codes of practice, standards, or industry guidelines are met.
  • Responsibility is given to Formal Leaders, supervisors of staff and learners, and others in positions of responsibility to manage health and safety in their areas.
  1. All staff will share in the commitment to health and safety and meet their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Individuals will:

  • Support the achievement of a healthy and safe work and learning environment.
  • Comply with any reasonable instructions given by the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) (Otago Polytechnic Limited).
  • Take reasonable care for their health and safety; and ensure that their actions or omissions do not adversely affect the health, safety, and wellness of other people.
  • Co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the PCBU.
  • Be familiar with the area/department hazard register.
  • Be proactive in identifying and managing new and existing hazards.
  • Promptly report unsafe conditions or equipment.
  • Always practice safe work methods, and use safety equipment and personal protective equipment as appropriate.
  • Ensure that any action or inaction of theirs does not cause harm to themselves or other persons.
  • Immediately report incidents, accidents, near misses, and occupational illness - these will be investigated with a focus on the identification of hazards and prevention.
  • Be familiar with emergency procedures.
  • Ensure safe escape routes are unobstructed.
  • Complete all necessary safety training and refresher training in a timely manner.
  1. In addition, Formal Leaders will:
  • Ensure that they have up-to-date knowledge of health and safety, including related Otago Polytechnic Limited policies and procedures and relevant industry updates.
  • Promote a system of continuous improvement in health and safety.
  • Support and encourage staff, and union consultation in participation in health and safety.
  • Promote and model best practices in health and safety to staff, learners, and others
  • Identify existing and new hazards (including in new programmes of study/course(s), equipment, plant, or research) and take all practicable steps to eliminate, isolate or minimise exposure to any hazards deemed to be significant.
  • Ensure an up-to-date hazard register is maintained and communicated to staff and learners on a minimum of an annual basis.
  • Insist on safe operating procedures and the use of safety equipment at all times.
  • Provide effective training and supervision for staff and learners as appropriate,
  • Ensure provision of procedures for emergencies.
  • Insist upon the early reporting and investigation of all workplace incidents, accidents, and occupational illness/es. Update hazard registers appropriately.
  • Support injured and disabled staff to return to work safely as early as possible.
  1. Learners will:
  • Be responsible for adhering to health and safety procedures defined in the Polytechnic as a whole and those specific to their own learning areas, including as published electronically on the Otago Polytechnic Ltd website http://www.op.ac.nz/students/important-information/student-rights-and-responsibilities/
  • Follow instructions.
  • Be proactive and report hazards promptly to their Kaiako/lecturer.
  • Report incidents, accidents, and occupational illness promptly to their Kaiako/lecturer.
  • Be familiar with emergency procedures.
  • Ensure safe escape routes are unobstructed.
  • Complete all necessary safety training and refresher training in a timely manner.
Approved by

Dr. Megan Gibbons

Chief Executive

Dated: 28 July 2022


megan gibbons signature

Policy Version: V7: Previously Coded: MP0400.