Health, Safety and Wellbeing - Governing Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Health, Safety and Wellbeing - Governing Policy

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Approval authority
Responsible Executive member
Chief Operating Officer
Designated officer
Director, People and Culture
First approved
2 October 1997
Last amended
16 February 2022
Review date
23 February 2021
Related documents
Superseded documents
  • University Health and Safety - Governing Policy
Related legislation / standards
  • Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
  • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Qld)

1. Purpose of policy

1.1 The University is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors.

1.2 This policy demonstrates the University’s commitment to providing a safe environment for work and study in accordance with the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011 and equivalent legislation in other states and territories where the University undertakes operations.

1.3 This policy sets out the University’s health, safety and wellbeing priorities and gives effect to the University’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) Plan and relevant guidelines.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 This policy applies to all workers and students of the University.

2.2 Any other persons on University premises are obliged to take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and that of others, and to comply with any reasonable instructions provided by University staff, including information and signage.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.

4. Governance

4.1 The University undertakes the following activities to provide an environment that supports the health, safety and wellbeing of our workers and visitors:

  • complies with health and safety legislation as well as other requirements such as codes of practice and Australian Standards
  • develops, implements and maintains a Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) Plan which meets the requirements of this policy
  • implements a health and safety risk management process to ensure workplace hazards are identified, assessed, controlled and reviewed where they are not able to be eliminated
  • provides and disseminate health and safety training and information to workers and visitors
  • support wellbeing initiatives and activities
  • provides a governance structure which facilitates consultation throughout the University
  • reports regularly on HSW matters to Executive and to Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee

4.2 The University will maintain a HSW Plan that details the activities and performance indicators required to provide a work and study environment which is healthy and safe, and which promotes the improved wellbeing of our workers, students and community.

5. Responsibilities

The Vice Chancellor and President holds the ultimate responsibility for providing a safe and healthy workplace as far as is reasonably practicable under the WHS Act 2011.

5.1 Executive staff

In accordance with the WHS Act 2011 section 27, Senior Staff show due diligence by taking reasonable steps to:

  • acquire and keep up to date with HSW matters
  • understand the hazards and risk associated with the University
  • ensure HSW hazards and associated risks are managed in accordance with the Enterprise Risk management and Resilience - Governing Policy
  • ensure the recording and reporting of HSW matters in accordance with legislative requirements
  • ensure that the University complies with its primary duties covered under section 19 of the WHS Act 2011
5.2 Managers and supervisors

Managers and Supervisors are responsible, within the scope of their authority, to ensure:

  • tasks are undertaken in accordance with HSW documentation
  • employees are informed, instructed, trained and appropriately supervised to ensure work is carried out in accordance with HSW documentation
  • plant, substances and work systems used in the workplace meet HSW legislative requirements and are suitable for their intended purpose
  • regular workplace safety inspections, audits, and hazard identification activities are conducted in consultation with workers
  • that within their area of control and authority, identified hazards and risks are eliminated or controlled in accordance with HSW legislative requirements
  • senior management are informed of any urgent and relevant safety issue beyond their scope or ability to implement safety measures
5.3 Workers

Whilst at work, all workers must, as far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that they:

  • carry out tasks and duties in a manner which does not adversely affect their own health and safety, or that of others
  • comply with reasonable HSW instructions to allow the University to conform with legal requirements
  • comply with HSW policies and other relevant HSW documentation
  • undertake HSW training provided by the University, including induction and task specific safety training when required
  • immediately report to their supervisor any incident or health and safety concern
  • correctly use and or wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with the training provided and manufacturer’s specifications
  • refrain from intentionally misusing or recklessly interfering with anything that has been provided for health and safety reasons
  • where practicable and safe to do so, eliminate or control identified hazards

6. HSW Systems

The University provides and maintains the following HSW systems to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, a sustainable safe and healthy community.

6.1 Consultation and communication

The University provides accessible consultation and communication opportunities through which policy and good practice on HSW can be decided and disseminated to the University community. This includes a University-wide HSW committee as well as work-area committees.

6.2 Hazard/risk identification and management

The University continually improves, develops and maintains an integrated HSW risk management system, with the primary objective of positively contributing to the general health, safety and wellbeing of all at the University.

6.3 Reporting and evaluation

A quarterly HSW report is provided to the Vice-Chancellor and President and to Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee detailing HSW initiatives, activities, risk issues, incidents and other information as required. All records are retained in accordance with legislative requirements.

6.4 Training and induction

The University identifies, develops and provides appropriate information, induction and training to equip all workers and students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet their work health and safety responsibilities.

6.5 Health and wellbeing

The University approaches health and wellbeing issues based on the World Health Organisation Healthy Workplace Framework and Model (2010). This includes a focus on:

  • health and safety concerns in the physical work environment
  • health, safety and well-being concerns in the psychosocial work environment including organization of work and workplace culture
  • personal health resources in the workplace
  • ways of participating in the community to improve the health of workers, their families and other members of the community
6.6 Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation

The University complies with Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation legislation. The University provides opportunities for workers to participate in workplace rehabilitation to facilitate a timely and safe return to normal duties. Refer to the Workplace Rehabilitation – Managerial Policy.

7. Authorities/Responsibilities


University Officer

Holds overall responsibility for commitment and adherence to the relevant legislation and this policy.

Vice-Chancellor and President

Supports the Vice-Chancellor and President and all other senior staff to meet their responsibilities.

University Executive

Oversees the monitoring of the University’s health, safety and wellbeing objectives.

University Council

Have responsibility to take reasonable care for their own safety, and the safety of others, and comply with any reasonable instruction, this Policy and all HSW guidelines.

All workers and visitors

Holds responsibility for:

  • advice on health, safety and wellbeing
  • the development, implementation and monitoring of this Policy,
  • the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Plan and all relevant guidelines

Director, People and Culture