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After Hours Access and Safety Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The Western Sydney University is committed to the health and safety of its staff, students and visitors.

(2) The Work Health and Safety Policy sets out the University's commitment to health and safety, and its obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. That policy also sets out the distinct responsibilities of staff holding certain positions, and other staff, students and visitors.

(3) The University recognises that staff and students may require access to campus and facilities after hours. This document sets out the University's policy on after-hours access, and the procedures to be followed.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. After hours - is defined as when boom gates or normal facilities are closed. 'After hours' may be defined specifically by each operational unit. After hours may vary during teaching and non-teaching periods.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) It is the policy of the University to establish a safe place of work, safe working methods and to provide safe plant, machinery and equipment and adequate training and support systems. All members of the University community are required to consider the safety, health factors and risk of all the activities they are involved in at the University and will plan such activities in such a manner as to reduce the risk of accidents. Managers, supervisors and lecturers at all levels will ensure that prompt action is taken to correct unsafe conditions and practices in their area of responsibility and activity.

(6) Students are integral members of the University community and as such are required to consider the safety, health factors and risk of the academic and non-academic activities with which they are involved at the University.

(7) All students are required to observe all rules regarding safe practice and conduct, as well as complying with reasonable requests that are made to ensure their safety and health or that of others.

(8) All staff, students and visitors need to be aware of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to work in a safe manner and to report any hazardous areas or incidents to their direct supervisor.

(9) It is recognised that research postgraduate and honours students may have a requirement to pursue their studies and research outside of the University's normal business hours, during which period the University functions with minimum staffing levels, therefore the procedures for after hours access and safety at each campus must be complied with. Details can be obtained from Campus Safety and Security.

(10) Students who breach this policy may have their after-hours access privileges denied, and action may be taken under the Student Misconduct Rule.

(11) Staff who breach this policy may have their after-hours access privileges denied and disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the relevant staff enterprise agreement.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Access to Buildings After Hours

(12) Staff will be provided with the means to gain after hours access to relevant areas of University premises as authorised by the relevant unit head.

(13) All higher degree research & honours students will be provided with after hours access to relevant areas of University premises as authorised by the relevant unit head (or delegate) on the conditions set out below:

  1. there will be no cost to the student;
  2. where a student loses equipment provided as means of access (such as a key or swipe card), Campus Safety and Security must be notified, and the student must pay for a replacement;
  3. at the completion of study, the student must return the means of access to Campus Safety and Security before departing from the campus; in the case of a student ID card, the electronic coding will be disabled. Failure to do so may make the student a debtor to the University and may affect their graduation.

(14) Undergraduate and coursework postgraduate students will not be issued with means of access to areas after hours, except those facilities that operate after hours as student resources, such as computer laboratories and the Library. In special circumstances, where undergraduate or coursework postgraduates require after hours access, a unit head (or delegate) must provide prior authorisation to Campus Safety and Security. An authorisation form must be filled out.

After Hours Safety on Campus

(15) Each academic and administrative unit must provide their students and staff with a code of practice relating to after hours use. A copy of each code must be supplied to Campus Safety and Security.

(16) Children are not to be in laboratories after hours, except where authorised in the Children on University Premises Policy.

After Hours Access to Laboratories

(17) Normal laboratory (hazardous area) hours are defined as: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Some laboratories may vary from these times, for example during teaching periods. Workshops or laboratories will not be considered to be after hours if they are under the control and supervision of authorised staff.

  1. Staff and students working beyond 10pm Monday to Friday, on Saturday and Sunday, must advise Security on campus and advise: 1) Name, 2) Purpose of access, 3) Location, 4) Duration & 5) Contact details. These will be noted and regular checks carried out until Campus Safety and Security is contacted again and advised that they are leaving campus.
  2. Where a person is working alone in a laboratory or other high risk area:
    1. It is recommended that another person is working in close proximity, or is aware of their location.
    2. they must have access to a phone - whether it be a mobile phone of their own or a landline within the research area.
    3. Staff members should notify their supervisor of any medical condition they have which may result in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.
  3. School and Research Institutes Code of Practice should cover students and staff involved in laboratory and field work.
  4. The recommendations from AS2243.1 Safety in Laboratories, must be followed and interpreted in conjunction with the Code of Practice issued by each School or Research Institute.
  5. All staff and students must ensure that doors are locked behind them when entering or leaving a building after hours. Staff and students must use the designated after hours entrance/exit.
  6. Schools and Research Institutes must identify in their Codes of Practice what are 'significant risks' and what procedures must be used when working in isolation after hours. All tasks to be carried out while working in isolation are subject to a risk assessment. High risk activities are not to be undertaken by staff and students working in isolation. (Refer to High Risk Hazards - Appendix C of AS 2243.1).
  7. Schools and Research Institutes must appoint a 'safety officer' who will ensure that the 'after hours' sign-in book is in place and correctly maintained.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

Laboratory Safety Guidelines

(18) Staff, students and visitors should refer to the University's Laboratory Safety Guidelines and the Work Health and Safety Unit's webpage in relation to laboratory safety.