Case study

Overview of the NFSA’s OH&S policy responsibilities

Under the relevant Acts that NFSA must adhere to there are two sets of responsibilities: those of the employer and those of the employee.

  • Employers should implement all measures that are reasonably practical to protect the workers in relation to their health, safety and welfare, in Australia this “duty of care” is required by law. To do this employers need to assess their workplace for any potential hazards and take steps to eliminate them.
  • Employees have an obligation to take responsible care for the health and safety of persons who are at their work place. Employees should cooperate with the employer to ensure that requirements for health and safety at work are complied with.

Policy evaluation and review

Occupational health and safety standards and practices need constant evaluation and review for improvement. This process has the best possible outcome when there is joint involvement and cooperation between all levels of management, employees and unions.

Information provision

NFSA supports the provision of information on OH&S policies and practices to all NFSA staff. Health and Safety representatives assist in the process of making information available and accessible. The Health and Safety representatives are employees who have been elected by a work group or committee.


Co-operation incorporates an equitable consultative process with employees, in regards to all areas of OH&S issues. Employees are consulted before the introduction of significant proposed changes to equipment, processes or work practices.

Education and training

The NFSA policy requires that all staff receive proper training to handle or process archival materials. Skills are identified according to accepted international archival practice.

Policy development areas for NFSA

Occupational health and safety policies for the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia need to address several areas of concern:

  • Manual handling winding policy
  • Safe use of screen based equipment (SBE)
  • Noise management and hearing conservation
  • Protective clothing and equipment
  • First aid
  • Near miss and hazardous incidents and accident investigation
  • Report of notifiable accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences
  • Rehabilitation
  • Safe working with chemicals and hazardous substances