Workplace Inspections

Workplace Inspections


The Workplace Inspections Procedure establishes the requirements for the conduct of workplace inspections at   Macquarie University.


PurposeTo outline the requirements for the conduct of workplace inspections at Macquarie University.


Workplace inspections are required to ensure a consistent, planned, systematic appraisal of the workplace   to identify hazards, assess and rate risks, and implement and review controls.

Workplace inspections are an integral part of the Risk Management Policy, and ensure that the University is able to:
  • display management commitment to health and   safety
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of   health and safety practices and procedures
  • improve health and safety practices and   procedures
  • measure Health and Safety (H&S)   compliance
  • check new facilities, equipment, processes
  • identify hazardous conditions and review   hazard control measures
  • collect information that identifies potential   new safety initiatives
  • maintain interest in health and safety   through consultation
  • empower   staff to ensure a safe work environment.

Macquarie University Property has specific   responsibility for inspecting building infrastructure, essential services,   grounds and walkways, plant and equipment and security.

This procedure requires actions by the following: The key activities in this procedure are:

Central H&S Committee

Determine the workplace to be inspected according   to the level of risk of the work practices or environment in each area.

Inspections will need to be undertaken prior to commencement of work:
  • where equipment or layout of any work area   is altered and/or increases risk
  • if a new plant or work process is   introduced.

The aim should be to complete a minimum of two inspections per year   per work area (for example, office, laboratory, theatre).

Nominate a H&S Committee Workgroup for each   inspection.


H&S Committee Workgroup

Notify   the Inspection Area
Contact the supervisor of the area to be   inspected and arrange a date and time for the inspection. Request the   presence of the supervisor or management representative and a staff member   familiar with the area.

Form   an Inspection Team
Form an inspection team which includes the following:
  • staff member(s) familiar with the work area
  • management representative or their delegate
  • H&S representative
  • delegate from the   Health and Safety Unit.

At least one of the inspection team must have   received training in the University process for workplace   inspections.


Inspection Team

Obtain Checklists
A range of Workplace   Inspections Checklists is available to assist in the inspection process   by recording information and triggering questions. The Checklists are based   on a hazard register for each area and will have been reviewed by staff in   the relevant area.

Larger   faculties or offices may establish more   than one inspection team to better utilise staff and ensure all inspections   are completed.

Individual   work areas may elect to increase the number of inspections if there is an   identified need or increased risk profile.

Consider the following questions when inspecting:
  • Workplace Design (i.e. the physical   workplace, both internal and external environment)
    • Is the area suited to the work being carried out?
    • Does it provide adequate space for occupants?
    • Does the design meet relevant legislative requirements?
    • Does it comply with Building Code of Australia (BCA)?
    • Does it comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW)
  • Systems   of Work
    • Are policies and procedures available?
    • Is important information available to   workers concerning hazards, for example Hazard Register, Material Safety Data   Sheets?
  • Environment
    • Do levels of noise and lighting meet   legislative requirements?
    • Are ventilation and thermal conditions   acceptable?
    • Does desk/bench design meet ergonomic   requirements?
    • Is storage space available and safely   utilised?
    • Are floor surfaces safe and clear of   obstructions?
    • Are amenities such as toilets and   kitchenette clean?
    • Do seasonal factors impact on activities?
  • Behaviour
    • Are systems effective?
    • Do staff have the knowledge and awareness   of safety systems?
    • Is there evidence of non-compliance, short   cuts, and periods of high workload?
    • Is there a need for training and education   programmes arising from exposure to an identified hazard?
As you carry out a workplace inspection of the area, identify any hazards in the workplace. This involves:
  • an inspection   of the workplace environment
  • observing work practices
  • consultation   with staff
  • a review of   incidents that have occurred in the area
  • conducting safety audits
  • monitoring employee health.
Pay attention to the following hazards:
  • Lifting and carrying weights Employees should only lift and carry weights which are   appropriate and safe for them. A safe weight is assessed by the size and   strength of the person, the weight of the object, the posture used to lift   the object, the workplace conditions (stairs, slippery floor, lighting etc)   and the time spent doing the lifting.
  • Hazardous work environments and/or   substances Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used when   higher-level controls do not provide sufficient protection. Consult with   employees and supervisors to determine if a task requires PPE, and ensure   that the equipment is used whenever employees are exposed to hazards.
  • Electrical   equipment  Employees   should only use University-owned electrical equipment which is on the   register of equipment that has been inspected, tested and tagged in   accordance with Australian   Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 In-service safety inspection and testing of   electrical equipment. Where privately-owned electrical   equipment is used, the owner of the equipment is responsible for it being   inspected, tested and tagged by an appropriately qualified person and that   approval for use has been granted by the relevant Executive Dean/Head of Office.
  • Research   animals  All activities involving   the use of animals or work undertaken in areas that house research animals   must have controls to eliminate the risk of physical injuries, exposure to   diseases, allergic reactions and hazardous agents; and to plan for   "worst case" scenarios and emergencies.
Once a hazard has been identified, assess and rate the risk according to three criteria:
  • its likelihood to cause   harm (Risk Likelihood Matrix)
  • its potential   consequences (Risk Consequences Matrix)
  • the risk level (Risk   Assessment Matrix).

The Risk   Management Procedure outlines how risks are assessed and rated.

Document all risk assessments on the Risk   Register Form and forward this, along with copies of any completed Checklists and/or notes to the following people:
  • Executive   Dean / Head of Office
  • Head   of Department
  • Health   and Safety Unit
  • H&S   Representative
  • Central   H&S Committee
Complete and send a Workplace   Safety Inspection Summary Report to the:
  • Executive Dean/ Head of   Office, for action
  • Central H&S Committee.


Executive Dean/Head of Office

Ensure that workplace   inspections in your areas of responsibility are completed, consistent   with the risk profile of each work area.

Take action to eliminate or control the hazards documented in the   Workplace Safety Inspection Summary Report.

While the most effective action is to eliminate risks, this is not always possible. In these instances control measures are implemented according to the hierarchy of control contained in the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW).

The Risk Management Procedure describes this hierarchy of control.

Controls should be developed in consultation with   staff who undertake the tasks or activities. It   is important that controls do not excessively regulate or complicate the work   process.

Following the identification of risk controls, the   manager of an area is responsible for implementing the controls and liaising   with relevant University departments where issues are not within the   manager’s authority.


Procedure Information

Contact OfficerManager, Health and Safety
Date Approved17 August 2011
Approval Authority

Vice-President, University Services and Strategy

Date of Commencement17 August 2011
Amendment History

9 August 2019 - Updated Approval Authority from Manager, Health and Safety to Vice-President, University Services and Strategy in accordance with responsibilities per Delegations of Authority Register.

Date for Next ReviewAugust 2014
Related Documents

Risk Management Policy /   Procedure

Australian   Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 In-service safety inspection and testing of   electrical equipment

Risk   Register Form
Workplace   Inspections Checklists
Workplace   Safety Inspection Summary Report

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW)
KeywordsWorkplace Inspections
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