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24 – Vaccination and Occupational Screening
Vaccination and Occupational Screening
Executive Services
This Policy applies to all employees of Banana Shire Council.
To demonstrate how exposure to illness and injury-causing agents may
be identified and addressed by Council, and to outline the function of
Council’s vaccination and occupational screening programs.
This Policy has been developed in accordance with the following:
Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995
Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997
AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk Management
Hazardous Substances Code of Practice 2003
First Aid Code of Practice 2004
Queensland Public Health Unit
Biological Hazard
Substances which consist of, or which may contain, micro-organisms or non-viable products of
living matter which could create a risk to health. Examples include blood, mouldy hay and animal
skin, which may contain virus pathogens such as Hepatitis or Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Biological Monitoring
Testing for the presence of a hazardous substance, its metabolites, or a biochemical change in a
person’s body tissue, exhaled air or fluid.
Hazardous Substance
A substance with potential to cause harm to persons, property or the environment because of
the chemical, physical or biological properties of the substance. A list of workplace-related
hazardous substances is included in Schedule 6 of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation
The invasion and multiplication of micro-organisms in a person’s body tissues that may or may not
lead to disease.
Infectious Agent/Pathogen
Any substance that can cause disease. Examples are the Hepatitis, HIV and Q-Fever viruses.
Occupational Screening
The monitoring of a person to identify any changes to the person’s health, as a result of exposure
or suspected exposure to either an infectious agent or a hazardous substance.
In a workplace: the chance that an event will occur which will result in personal injury or loss to an
The process of administering a biological substance into the body to induce immunity and thereby
prevent development of the targeted infectious disease.
Banana Shire Council is committed to promoting, maintaining and improving safe working
conditions for all employees, Councillors, volunteers, contractors, customers, and the general
public at all times. In recognition of this commitment, Council has a framework in place to identify
employees who are at risk of being exposed to an illness or injury-causing agent. For instance,
employees such as Animal Control Officers, Sewerage Treatment Plant employees, and First Aid
personnel may, during their course of employment with Council, be exposed to biological hazards,
pathogens, or hazardous substances.
Managers and Supervisors, in conjunction with the Workplace Health and Safety Officer and
Safety Representatives, will be responsible for identifying at-risk employees by conducting risk
assessments using the (I.A.C.) Risk Assessment Calculator Card in “SafePlan 2” Element 2.3.
Where a risk assessment is conducted, hierarchy of control measures shall be implemented to
minimise or remove the risk.
Once an at-risk person has been identified, the Supervisor is responsible for supplying the person
with a copy of the procedure for Infection Control from “Safeplan 2” Element 3.4. This information
will assist the employee with personal hygiene, safe handling procedures and the correct wearing
of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Where PPE is required, the Purchasing Officer is
responsible for sourcing and purchasing the appropriate PPE that complies with all relevant
Australian Standards.
If an employee believes that their work with Council may expose them to an infectious agent or
hazardous substance, they shall advise their Supervisor who will, in conjunction with the
Workplace Health and Safety Officer, investigate the matter accordingly.
Vaccination Program
Where an employee is identified as being at risk of developing an infectious disease for which a
vaccination program exists, the employee will be requested to consent to a vaccination. The
Workplace Health and Safety Officer will provide the employee with the relevant Vaccination
Application Form, and any other relevant information to enable the person to make an informed
decision on whether or not to participate in a vaccination program.
All vaccines will be administered by a doctor or registered nurse and any costs associated with the
administration of these vaccines will be paid by Council.
Occupational Screening Program
If an employee, self-employed person, contractor or a visitor to a Council workplace receives a
skin-penetrating injury from a syringe, Supervisors are obligated to ensure that the person seeks
medical treatment immediately. Council is only obligated to arrange and pay for such treatment if
the person receiving the injury is a Council employee. The affected person should also be offered
use of Council’s counselling program.
In the instance that an employee has been exposed to an infectious agent or a hazardous
substance, the employee will be requested to partake in medical monitoring to identify any
changes to their health. The monitoring will be conducted by an Occupational Medical Clinic, and
may involve medical assessments and biological monitoring.
Consent and Participation
If the employee chooses not to partake in the vaccination or occupational screening program,
Council will ensure that the employee will not be required to perform work in an environment that
contains a foreseeable risk of exposure to infectious agents or hazardous substances. The
employee’s agreement or refusal to partake in the vaccination or occupational screening program
must be properly documented (signed and dated by the employee, their Supervisor and the
Workplace Health and Safety Officer), and captured in the Records Management system.
The Workplace Health and Safety Officer will advise employees of all vaccination/occupational
screening arrangements, with participating employees guaranteed release from work to attend.
Self-employed persons, contractors and visitors to the workplace are responsible under the
Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 for their own vaccination and occupational screening
Further Information
Council’s Workplace Health and Safety Officers are able to provide brochures and pamphlets
containing medical information relating to vaccination and occupational screening programs.
Further information on common infectious diseases and possible prevention/treatment
mechanisms are listed in the Appendix of this Policy. Additional information can also be obtained
from the Queensland Health website,
Executive Management Team, 4 September 2008
Employees at risk of the common infectious diseases listed below can include, but are not
limited to: First Aid Personnel, Sewerage Treatment Plant Workers, Plumbers, Workshop Staff,
Land Protection Officers, Animal Control Officers, toilet-cleaning personnel, wash-down bay
personnel, and rubbish collection/disposal personnel.
An at-risk person may prevent contraction of certain infectious diseases by applying the 'cover-up,
wash and clean' strategy. This strategy requires a person to:
ensure that appropriate Personal Protective Equipment is worn, such as
long, durable gloves and protective eye-wear
ensure that they wash exposed areas thoroughly after working with or near
substances that might harbour infectious agents (such as waste, and
ensure that all Personal Protective Equipment, and other work tools, are
cleaned thoroughly after use, and that the work environment is kept as clean
as possible.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, chemicals, alcohol
consumption, and some medications. There are a number of Hepatitis virus strains which currently
range from Hepatitis A (HAV) through to Hepatitis F.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Twinrix vaccine (normally a three (3) dose course) provides
long lasting protection.
(HIV) is the name of the virus that causes Acquired
Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
There is no vaccine available for HIV.
Leptospirosis (Also known as Weil’s or Canecutters Disease) is a disease caused by the
bacterium leptospira. It is contracted when grazed or cut skin is infected by animal urine or other
animal fluid, or soil or water which is contaminated with urine or other animal fluid.
There is the possibility of implementing animal vaccination
which reduces the shedding of bacteria.
Apply the “cover up, wash and clean” strategy
Q Fever is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium coxiella burnetii. Humans become
infected through direct contact and/or inhalation of dust particles containing farm animal fluids,
such as blood and faeces.
Educate at-risk individuals and ensure respiratory protection
is used. A vaccine is available from the Queensland Public
Health Unit. Apply the “cover up, wash and clean” strategy
Tetanus is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium clostridium tetani. These bacteria are
found in soil, dust and manure and can contaminate wounds, producing a toxin which causes the
symptoms of tetanus.
Vaccination is the best protection and treatment; a booster
may be required at age 50. Apply the “cover up, wash and
clean” strategy.