Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/9.2 Environmental protection

Contact Officer

Executive Director, Health, Safety and Environment

Approval Date

20/08/2015

Approval Authority

Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar

Date of Next Review

01/09/2018

9.2.1 Purpose
9.2.2 Application
9.2.3 Roles and responsibilities
9.2.4 Environmental protection
9.2.5 Health, Safety and Environmental Management System
9.2.6 Environmental risk assessment
9.2.7 Environmental licenses
9.2.8 Monitoring and management
9.2.9 Reporting of incidents
Related Documents
Modification History

9.2.1 Purpose

QUT is committed to the effective management of environmental risk (environmental protection) and prevention of environmental harm.

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9.2.2 Application

This policy applies to all QUT community members (staff and students; QUT's contractors or subcontractors and their employees; employees of a labour hire company assigned to work at QUT; outworkers; apprentices or trainees; those gaining work experience at QUT; and volunteers).

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9.2.3 Roles and responsibilities

All QUT community members have a general duty of care established by the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (EP Act) to prevent and minimise harm to environmental values. In line with this, the University requires that all members act with due diligence in the prevention of environmental harm, particularly those in supervisory roles and those with stated obligations under permits, licences and authorities issued by state or federal jurisdictions.

Position
Responsibility

Vice-Chancellor and President

  • provides overall responsibility for ensuring the prevention of environmental harm by QUT in relation to its business undertakings and taking all reasonable steps to ensure protection of the environment in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994

Principal Officers (Deputy Vice-Chancellors, executive directors, the Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar and other senior officers (e.g. Executive Deans)

  • ensure the prevention of environmental harm by QUT in relation to QUT business activities within their areas of responsibility
Director, Department of Health, Safety and Environment
  • manages QUT’s environmental protection initiatives within the framework of state and federal government Acts, regulations and codes and relevant Australian standards
  • administers the Health, Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS)
Executive Director, Facilities Management
  • implements sustainability programs and initiatives, including design of "green" buildings, implementation of energy saving initiatives, water use reduction strategies, provision of sustainable transport services, promotion of QUT wide sustainability programs and administration of waste management and recycling programs, amongst other responsibilities
University Health, Safety and Environment Committee (UHSEC)
  • monitors and reviews environmental protection initiatives and the implementation of environmental risk management systems and programs across the University
  • makes recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and President on policies, procedures and programs to improve environmental protection
Local area Health, Safety and Environment Committees
  • monitors and reviews environmental protection initiatives and the implementation of environmental risk management procedures at the Faculty, Institute and Division level
Health, Safety and Environment Professionals
  • develop, review and implement QUT Health, Safety and Environment policies, procedures and guidelines
  • provide support to local area Health, Safety and Environment committees
  • lead workplace inspections, report and respond to environmental hazards
  • investigate environmental incidents
  • complete internal Health, Safety and Environment audits and assist with external Health, Safety and Environment audits
  • provide advice and support to the Health, Safety and Environment network in relation to environmental protection
Health, Safety and Environment Advisors (HSEA’s)
  • assist staff and students of Faculties, Institutes and Divisions in the interpretation and implementation of Health, Safety and Environment policies, procedures and guidelines
  • assist with workplace inspections, report and respond to environmental hazards
  • assist with the investigation of environmental incidents and completion of Health, Safety and Environment audits
  • provide advice to managers and supervisors on a day-to-day basis on aspects of health, safety and environment in their local area
QUT supervisors
  • ensure that activities under their control are undertaken with the exercise of proper diligence for the protection of environmental values, within the limits of their authority
  • ensure that all staff / students under their control are briefed on environmental hazards and QUT procedures relevant to the situation and that these procedures are adhered to and that any environmental risk is remedied or reported
  • ensure that permits, licenses and authorities are obtained for any activities under their supervision which require such approvals
QUT Staff
  • ensure that, on becoming aware of environmental hazards and incidents, report to the Department of Health, Safety and Environment or responsible officers (QUT Register of Compliance Obligations) (QUT staff access only)
Other members of the university community
  • take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise any environmental harm
  • comply, so far as they are reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction given by QUT to allow them to comply with environmental legislation
  • co-operate with any QUT policy or procedure relating to environmental management of which they have been made aware

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9.2.4 Environmental protection

QUT is committed to meeting its environmental protection obligations under Queensland and Australian legislation, relevant codes and Australian standards. In meeting these obligations, the University will:

  • identify and address environmental risk
  • promote and encourage environmental awareness and training to ensure all community members are aware of their environmental responsibilities
  • implement and maintain a University-wide Health, Safety and Environment Management System that allows significant environmental aspects and significant impacts to be identified and managed so as to meet QUT’s general environmental duty
  • ensure all community members are informed and aware of their general environmental duty.

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9.2.5 Health, Safety and Environmental Management System

The QUT Health, Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS) provides a framework to ensure that the University's practices are examined regularly with a view to environmental protection. The Department of Health, Safety and Environment is responsible for implementing and updating the Health, Safety and Environmental Management System.

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9.2.6 Environmental risk assessment

There are a wide range of activities conducted by QUT which have the potential to cause environmental harm. To minimise environmental risk associated with QUT operations, a risk assessment should be conducted before the commencement of any activity which has the potential to result in environmental harm.

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9.2.7 Environmental licences

QUT will obtain the required environmental licence, permit or registration before commencing activities which have the potential to cause environmental harm. Where QUT holds a licence, permit or registration (QUT staff access only) for an activity that has an environmental aspect the licence holder will be advised before the commencement of the activity.

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9.2.8 Monitoring and management

In order to achieve continual improvement of environmental performance, QUT monitors and reviews key characteristics of its operations and activities. Continual improvement of environmental performance will be demonstrated through achievement of objectives and targets, protection with operational controls and the effective implementation of environmental operational procedures. Compliance with the Health, Safety and Environmental Management System, statutory and other obligations will be monitored by the Department of Health, Safety and Environment team through audits and inspections and through a system of self-assessment and review.

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9.2.9 Reporting of incidents

There is a responsibility to report environmental incidents to the regulator in some circumstances. Information on Reporting Notifiable Incidents at QUT (QUT staff access only) is provided on the Health, Safety and Environment pages in the Digital Workplace.

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Related Documents

MOPP A/2.5 Risk management

QUT Blueprint

QUT Risk Management Framework (QUT staff access only)

Environmental Protection Act 1994

Environmental Protection Regulation 1998

National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
06.03.17 All Registrar Policy simplification
20.08.15 All Registrar New policy

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