Responsibilities of Area HS Supervisors


Approving authority:

Head of School upon recommendation of OHS Committee

Date of Approval:

1 September 2003

Revision 3

21 September 2004

  Next review
  27 August 2013

  Last Amended:   Revision 4
  27 August 2012

This document has been based on WorkCover OHS Regulation 2001 and developed in compliance with the UNSW Accountability and Responsibility Policy for H&S. An extensive consultation with the staff representatives on the School of Physics HS Committee prior to the adoption has ensured that this document also, wherever possible, accommodates and takes into account the specifics of diverse working environment within the School of Physics.


Appointment of the Area HS Supervisors


Each Area OHS Supervisor is appointed by the Head of School following consultation with the School of Physics HS Committee and its recommendation for appointment. Appointment is based on the selection of best suited Staff member who has been assigned to support specific academic and research activities within a particular laboratory or unit. The selection criteria rely heavily on the candidateÕs intimate knowledge of the activities within a given area and risks associated with experiments, techniques and equipment used.


The current list of the Area OHS Supervisors within the School of Physics is available on http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/safety/area_supervisors.html


Competency Requirements


Upon appointment, the Area OHS Supervisors must undertake the School of Physics Training for Area HS Supervisors. Arrangement can be made through the School of Physics HS Committee.


Upon completion of the training provided by the School of Physics, the Area HS Supervisors must arrange at their convenience but no later than 12 months from the appointment, the completion of the following compulsory training programs provided by the UNSW:


In addition to the compulsory training programs, the Area HS Supervisors need to undertake any other training courses provided by the UNSW which are relevant to the nature of work within their area. Below are some examples of training courses available through the UNSW:


Responsibilities of Area OHS Supervisors


General Duty of Care

Under HS legislation, Area HS Supervisors as any other staff, contractors or students in the School of Physics must exercise a general duty of care to ensure their own safety and health at work; and to avoid adversely affecting the safety or health of any other person through any act or omission at work.  In summary these duties are:


Responsibilities Assigned

Upon appointment, the Area HS Supervisors assume the following additional responsibilities:


To ensure that the UNSW Accountability and Responsibility Policy is applied and implemented in a practical and rational manner, the School of Physics has adopted some of the responsibilities to the specific working environment within the School.




While conducting an induction, Area HS Supervisors must ensure that the following items are covered and understood by the new staff or students:

¥        General instruction about safety in the laboratory or teaching space;

¥        Hazards associated with working in the area and their reporting;

¥        Location of MSDS;

¥        Selection, use, fitting, storage, and maintenance of personal protective equipment;

¥        How to carry out the job in a safe and healthy manner by using Safe Work procedures;

¥        Area familiarisation: location of emergency exits, first aid, fire extinguisher etc.


Area HS Supervisors must ensure that people working in their area receive proper instructions on safety practices before gaining free access to the area.  Area HS Supervisors must keep a record of the completed induction for all staff, students, visitors or contractors.


Hazard Identification and Risk Management


Area HS Supervisors assume the following responsibility in relation to identifying hazards and assessing the risks associated with their area:


Workplace First Aid


Area HS Supervisors must perform an inspection of the First Aid kit located in their area as a part of Quarterly Area Inspection. Any need for replacement, addition or substitution of any item shall be notified to the SchoolÕs First Aid coordinator.


Accident and Incident Investigation and Reporting


In the event of any accident or incident, Area HS Supervisors must ensure the following:


Inspections and Checklists


Area HS Supervisors must compile and keep up-to-date the Area Specific Checklist which should be based on the Register of Activities and Hazard Identification.


Safety inspections of the area must be performed quarterly followed by submission of the Quarterly Area Safety Report to the Chairman of HS Committee. This report must be accompanied by the list of all the items received a ÒpoorÓ mark during inspection. Copies of The Quarterly Area Safety Report must also be distributed to all Academic Staff associated with the area.


The Area HS Supervisors must also assist the School of Physics HS Committee to conduct Annual Workplace Inspection of his/her area.


Training Needs Analysis


The Area HS Supervisors must identify any additional training requirements for every staff, student or visitor working in their area and then instruct them to complete appropriate training course. The training needs for the area must be reflected in the Area Training Register.


Delegation of Duties


Area HS Supervisors may delegate some of their task(s) to other members of staff. However, the responsibility for the completion of task(s) in proper and timely manner remains with the Area HS Supervisors. Should the Area HS Supervisor elect to delegate, it becomes his/her responsibility to ensure that the person is appropriately informed and trained to perform the delegated task(s). During prolonged periods of absence, the Area HS Supervisor must identify, instruct and train a most suitable person to act as an Acting Area HS Supervisor. These arrangements must be communicated to the HS Officer and to the Chairman of HS Committee.




Area HS Supervisors are accountable to the Head of School for carrying out their responsibilities in a diligent and responsible manner. The performance will be reviewed by the School of Physics HS Committee annually following the School of Physics Annual Workplace Inspection.