Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/9.6 Infectious and communicable diseases

Contact Officer

Executive Director, Health, Safety and Environment

Approval Date

07/04/2020

Approval Authority

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

Date of Next Review

01/04/2023

9.6.1 Purpose
9.6.2 Application
9.6.3 Roles and responsibilities
9.6.4 Vaccination
9.6.5 Communicable diseases in the wider community
9.6.6 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

9.6.1 Purpose

QUT recognises that certain work or study-related activities may increase the risk of contracting an infectious or communicable disease. This includes, but is not limited to, handling biological materials, providing some types of healthcare, exposure to human or animal tissues or body fluids, working with pathogenic organisms, and travelling to certain areas or countries.

The University is committed to ensuring QUT community members (staff, students and authorised visitors) do not put themselves or others at risk of harm. The University actively reduces the risk of exposure to harm by assessing and controlling the risks associated with work and study practices, providing appropriate information to relevant persons, and promoting appropriate vaccination to those at risk.

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9.6.2 Application

This policy applies to QUT community members who, as part of their work or study, may be at risk of exposure to an infectious or communicable disease, and those who have responsibility for supervising these people.

QUT complies with Queensland Health policy which requires all members of the QUT community working in Queensland Health facilities to be appropriately vaccinated.

Under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld) the University is required to disclose contact information to Queensland Health to trace persons at risk and assist to prevent or minimise the spread of a notifiable condition, e.g. measles, whooping cough.

This policy does not address the communicable disease risk and travel immunisation requirements for persons travelling on QUT business overseas. The QUT Travel policy (G/5.5) provides further information.

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9.6.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

  • approves procedures under this policy, including procedures involving notifiable conditions under the Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Executive deans of faculty/institute executive directors/heads of division/deputy vice-chancellors

  • ensure appropriate procedures are in place to conduct and document a risk assessment of work and study practices which may lead to exposure to infectious or communicable diseases
  • ensure appropriate local procedures are developed to manage the advice, certification and documentation process where risk requires the certified vaccination of individuals
  • ensure course information includes advice on possible exposure and the requisite course of vaccination to confer immunity and meet course requirements if applicable
Heads of school/department/independent section
  • inform students well in advance of possible exposure and in sufficient time for the course of vaccination to confer immunity
Managers and supervisors
  • identify work or study activities that have the potential to expose staff or students to an infectious or communicable disease
  • based on assessment of risk
    • implement appropriate control measures to minimise exposure to an infectious or communicable disease
    • inform relevant people of potential exposure risk and controls, including general infection control protocols and, as relevant, vaccination
  • ensure local procedures (including recordkeeping) are established to confirm vaccination and immunity status where the risk assessment recommends vaccination of individuals
Staff or students where immunity is a condition of work or placement in Queensland Health or other healthcare facility
  • must be appropriately vaccinated
  • may be unable to attend Queensland Health or other specified facilities if undertaking processes or procedures which carry disease contamination risks, unless able to produce evidence of vaccination and immunity status prior to first visit
Staff or Higher Degree Research (HDR) students where immunity is a recommended control for undertaking work or a research activity
  • undertake recommended vaccination/s and provide confirmation of immunity prior to undertaking the activity for which this is required

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9.6.4 Vaccination

Infection control procedures available to QUT, as specified by the Department of Health - Australian Immunisation Handbook, consider vaccination a basic precautionary measure for vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccinations are available to QUT staff and students through the QUT Medical Centres.

The organisational unit will meet all costs associated with the vaccination of staff or Higher Degree Research (HDR) students whose positions or program of study/research may place them "at risk".

All other students must meet the costs of vaccination and evidence of immunity themselves, unless otherwise arranged. Course material supplied to students must highlight the requirement for vaccination.

The Health, Safety and Environment webpages provide more information on assessing and managing risks and managing vaccination and immunisation.

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9.6.5 Communicable diseases in the wider community

There will be times when the general public (including the QUT community) may be subject to communicable diseases. Identification and treatment of such diseases is the responsibility of the individual’s medical practitioner or the appropriate unit in Queensland Health.

QUT is required to comply with the advice and directions of the appropriate Public Health Unit of the Queensland Department of Health when certain infectious or communicable diseases are reported to the University. The Public Health Unit’s instructions will determine issues of disclosure, contact with individuals, information for dissemination, and from time to time, may even govern which University activities are permitted or prohibited.

Further information on the management of infectious or communicable diseases including notifiable conditions is provided through the Queensland Health website and Health, Safety and Environment communicable and infectious diseases webpages (QUT staff access only).

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9.6.6 Definitions

Authorised visitors - means genuine visitors that the University may, from time to time, provide with access to facilities to enhance their ability to complete tasks for the University or to liaise with the University. Such visitors may include, but are not limited, to: alumni, external auditors, regulators or consultants, potential clients or business partners, contractors or vendors, volunteers, conference delegates, and students and staff of other universities with reciprocal arrangements.

Infectious diseases are diseases caused by pathogenic agents or microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) when they enter the body. An infectious disease may also be transmissible from person to person or animal to person otherwise known as a communicable disease

Notifiable conditions are diseases that are required to be reported by a health care professional (e.g. doctor) to government authorities.

QUT community means all staff, students and authorised visitors.

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Related Documents


MOPP A/2.5 Risk management

MOPP E/3.3 Preparedness for professional experience

MOPP G/5.5 Travel

Australian Immunisation Handbook - Australian Government, Department of Health

Australian Immunisation Register – Australian Government, Department of Human Services

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) - Australian Government, Department of Health

Communicable and infectious diseases (QUT staff access only)

Blood Borne Virus Procedure (Faculty of Health only found in the Health Hub) (QUT staff access only)

Health, Safety and Environment Risk Register (QUT staff access only)

Communicable and Infectious Diseases Procedure (QUT staff access only)

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Public Health Unit – Queensland Health

Vaccine Agreement/Decline of Offer form (QUT staff access only)

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) (QUT staff access only)

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
07.04.20 All Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar Periodic review - revised policy
06.03.17 All Registrar Simplified policy and minor revisions
10.11.15 All Registrar Revised policy
12.03.14

A/9.6.2

Council Revised policy to reflect approved new department titled Health, Safety and Environment and new appointment of Director, Health, Safety and Environment
18.11.09 All Associate Director, HR Health and Safety Advisory Services Periodic review – minor editorial changes only
10.06.05 All Registrar Policy reviewed (added link to Communicable Disease Protocol)
02.07.04 All Registrar Policy reviewed and re-named (previously A/9.6 Infectious diseases); links updated
23.06.03 All Registrar Updated in accordance with revised health and safety policy
04.02.02 A/9.6.2 Registrar (Chairperson, University Health and Safety Committee)

Revised policy re availability of Hepatitis B vaccination

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