Occupational Health and Safety - Commitments and Responsibilities

Approval Date
1 May 2018
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
1 May 2020
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

This policy outlines Health and Safety responsibilities for staff, managers, learners, and contractors at Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) to ensure that its workplaces are safe and healthy and that all staff, contractors, learners, and visitors are not harmed. In addition, best practice guidelines and 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 Ltd.


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

1.          In meeting this commitment, the OP Board and the Chief Executive provide governance and leadership to ensure that:

  • resources are made available
  • health and safety objectives and performance criteria for all managers and work areas are met
  • appropriate best practice policies and procedures are implemented and reviewed every two years
  • our obligations under legislation, regulations, codes of practice, standards or industry guidelines are met
  • responsibility is given to managers, supervisors of staff and learners, and others in positions of responsibility to manage health and safety in their areas.

2.          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
  • be familiar with the department hazard register
  • be pro-active in identifying and managing new and existing hazards
  • promptly report unsafe conditions or equipment
  • always practise safe work methods, 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, and occupational illness - these will be investigated with a focus on 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

3.          In addition, Formal Leaders will:

  • ensure that they have up-to-date knowledge of health and safety, including related Otago Polytechnic Ltd policies and procedures and relevant industry updates
  • promote a system of continuous improvement in health and safety
  • support and encourage employee and union consultation and participation in health and safety
  • promote and model best practice in health and safety to staff, learners, and others
  • identify existing and new hazards (including in new programmes, 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
  • ensure safe escape routes are unobstructed
  • ensure a departmental health and safety audit is completed annually which includes a review of the department’s health and safety systems and a physical audit of the work areas
  • insist on safe operating procedures and use of safe 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. Update hazard registers appropriately
  • support injured and disabled staff to return to work safely as early as possible.

4.          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 Learner Rights and Responsibilities document 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 lecturer
  • report incidents, accidents, and occupational illness promptly to their lecturer
  • be familiar with emergency procedures
  • ensure safe escape routes are unobstructed
  • complete all necessary safety training and refresher training in a timely manner.


  • Health and Safety Induction and Training