View Document

Health and Safety Procedure - Inspections, Assessment and Review

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative –Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Manager – Policy Senior Manager, Health and Safety 
Review Date 7 March 2026
Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(1) Inspections, periodic assessment and review are preventative processes that enable focused attention and a methodical approach for checking our facilities, equipment, and providing timely assurance to manage Health and Safety.

(2) The purpose of this Procedure is to outline the types of inspections, assessment, and periodic reviews that will occur across the University.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all La Trobe University controlled facilities. Where space is controlled by another facility, University partner or tenant, inspections will be limited to those areas that are formally used by the University staff and students.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
Ensure that periodic inspections are undertaken and corrective actions completed.     Managers and Leaders
Top of Page

Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) This procedure forms part of the Health and Safety Policy suite which governs its application.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities

Managers and Leaders

(5) Managers and leaders will:

  1. Lead by example and provide visible support for periodic inspections;
  2. Enable periodic inspections as part of hazard management and the local safety management plan;
  3. Ensure that periodic inspections are undertaken by those suitably qualified for specialist areas;
  4. Extend an invitation to the local Health and Safety Representative (HSR); and
  5. Ensure that periodic inspections are undertaken and corrective actions completed and verified.

Health and Safety Team

(6) The Health and Safety Team will:

  1. Provide oversight and monitor this procedure;
  2. Provide guidance and advice for the creation of specific inspection checklists;
  3. Report on inspection performance to the Consultative Committee;
  4. Review the inspection reports and share learnings with the University community;
  5. Undertake periodic deep dives to seek assurance; and
  6. Monitor to ensure any necessary corrective actions are implemented.

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)

(7) Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) will:

  1. Participate in periodic inspections when available;
  2. Participate in a deep dive audit when available; and
  3. Provide oversight that periodic inspections are undertaken and corrective actions are completed.

All Staff

(8) All staff will actively participate in periodic inspections and where invited, deep dive audits.

Part B - General

(9) An inspection is an examination of the workplace to check for hazards and seek assurance that operational safety standards are being maintained. 

(10) An inspection will:

  1. assess the safety of current activities and/or equipment
  2. identify immediate or potential hazards
  3. identify improvement opportunities
  4. provide positive feedback on good safety practices
  5. identify the necessary corrective actions
  6. follow-up on hazard control measures or improvements
  7. demonstrate safety management in action

(11) Inspections can target the entire workplace, a particular area of operations or even a single piece of equipment.
Periodic inspections will be carried out by a small team that includes suitably qualified person/s in specialist areas. The inspection can also involve persons from another area to provide a fresh perspective. Ideally, inspections in specialist areas such as theatres, workshops and laboratories will also involve HDR students or junior post-doctoral staff who can benefit from the experience through raised awareness of hazards and risk control.

(12) Corrective actions will be documented and work requests raised through the Archibus system as appropriate. All corrective actions will be verified by members of the inspection team for completion and efficacy.

(13) A general inspection checklist is available on the University intranet and is suitable for general teaching areas, meeting rooms and offices. Where there are specialised areas or equipment such as in laboratories, separate tools are available within Office of the Provost (OP) or through the Health and Safety team.

Part C - Periodic Inspection

(14) Periodic inspections are an important preventative action to manage hazards across the University. The frequency of inspections - at a minimum - are:

  1. General teaching rooms, theatres, office areas and other common spaces – two per year
  2. Workshops – four per year
  3. Chemical stores – four per year
  4. Plant rooms – two per year
  5. Laboratories – two per year

(15) Periodic inspection records which include the corrective actions taken, will be maintained by the responsible area and be available for assurance and review.

(16) Where the periodic inspections involve laboratories, a summary of the issues identified will be presented to the OP Health & Safety Consultative Committee for planning and oversight.

Part D - Equipment Pre-Operation Checks

(17) Where an area has equipment with inherent hazard risk then the area responsible will develop specific equipment checklists and include a pre-operation check. These will be completed at the start of operation and will include information on corrective actions that were taken. These records will be maintained by the responsible area and be available for assurance and review.

Part E - Specialised Inspections

(18) Specialised inspections include Institutional Biosafety (IBC) and Animal Ethics inspections, Physical Containment (PC) facility inspections, building or refurbishment handovers and contractor operations. Each will have specific instructions and associated processes developed and managed separately.

Part F - Deep Dive Audits

(19) The Health and Safety team will undertake periodic deep dive audits to seek assurance that safety management processes are effective. Each audit will focus on an area of higher inherent hazard risk testing for control efficacy and continuous improvement.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Definitions

(20) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Audit: is the systematic and independent examination of documents or process to ascertain a true and fair view of the risk controls under review.
  2. Assurance: a positive declaration intended to give confidence.
  3. Hazard: is anything with the potential to cause harm. Potential hazards can be identified on the basis of previous experience or from the anticipation of problems that can be reasonably associated with the activity.
  4. IBC: La Trobe Institutional Biosafety Committee.
  5. Inspection: is a careful examination and evaluation to determine the quality or condition meets the expected requirements.
  6. PC: Physical Containment laboratory facilities.
  7. Review: is a formal assessment with the intention of instituting change where necessary.
  8. Risk control: is the allocation of resources or methods to eliminate or to minimise, as far as is reasonably practicable, the risk to safety or health from a hazard.
Top of Page

Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(21) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(22) Associated information includes:

  1. Health and Safety (intranet)