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
13 February 2024
Review date
8 January 2029
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Superseded documents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)
  • Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Cth)

1. Purpose

1.1 This policy outlines the University’s commitment to supporting, promoting, and protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of all people undertaking activities associated with the University.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 This policy applies to workers, students, and visitors who undertake activities associated with the University.

2.2 This policy supports both the University’s obligations under relevant work health and safety legislation, codes of practice and standards to provide a safe workplace; as well as the University’s commitment to provide a healthy and safe environment for students, in accordance with relevant standards.

2.3 This policy is supported by the associated Work Health and Safety Management System Framework.

3. Definitions

Refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for definitions as they specifically relate to policy documents.

Worker – As per the meaning given in section 7 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), a worker includes employees, contractors, subcontractors, students gaining work experience, and volunteers in the workplace.

Student – A person enrolled in a formal program of learning in an educational institution. (Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) definition 2011)

Visitor – Any person who visits the University and is not classified as a worker of the University.

4. Policy statement

4.1 The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for workers, students and visitors, who undertake activities within, or for, the University. The University recognises this as essential for achieving a healthy and productive workforce, positive learning outcomes for students, and the safe enjoyment of university facilities by all.

4.2 This policy recognises that health, safety and wellbeing is a shared responsibility. The University commits to both compliance with all health and safety-related statutory requirements, and to creating a culture that considers health, safety, and wellbeing as a fundamental component of the University environment.

5. Principles

5.1 The health, safety and wellbeing of workers, students and staff is of paramount importance to the University.

5.2 The achievement of a safe, and healthy University population is a shared responsibility, and success includes measures that reduce and eliminate physical, environmental, social, and psychological harm to university workers, students, and visitors.

5.3 Commitment from the University toward the health, safety, and wellbeing of the University’s workers, students and visitors is expected and essential.

5.4 Early intervention, planning and timely responses are required to identify and manage risk and improve wellbeing.

5.5 Statutory requirements are best achieved through continual improvement across all levels of planning and governance.

6. Governance

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

(a) complies with health and safety legislation as well as other requirements such as codes of practice and Australian Standards;

(b) develops, implements and maintains a Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) Plan which meets the requirements of this policy;

(c) 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;

(d) provide and disseminate health and safety training and information to workers, students and visitors;

(e) support wellbeing initiatives and activities;

(f) provides a governance structure which facilitates consultation throughout the University; and

(g) reports regularly on health, safety and wellbeing matters to Executive and to Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee.

7. Health Safety and Wellbeing Commitment

7.1 The University cares about the health, safety, and wellbeing of all workers, students and visitors who engage with and attend University campuses, or engage in off-campus work, research, teaching, and service-related activities.

7.2 The University’s commitment to compliance with work health and safety requirements is demonstrated through this policy, the University’s Safety Management System Framework (the SMS Framework) and other relevant governance documents.

7.3 The University recognises that it has a duty of care to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of workers, students, and visitors, including prevention of, and response to, physical, environmental, social and psychological harm.

8. Responsibilities

8.1. The Vice-Chancellor and President (VCP) holds the ultimate responsibility for providing a safe and healthy workplace, as far as is reasonably practicable, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

8.2 While the VCP has ultimate responsibility for the health and safety of all people affected by the University's activities, there are accountabilities and obligations for health and safety by all workers, students, and visitors.

8.3 Council and the University's Executive Group are responsible for exercising due diligence to ensure compliance with health and safety policy and strategy.

8.4 The University requires anyone undertaking activities related to the University, whether on or off-campus, to comply with relevant work health and safety legislation, codes of practice, Australian Standards, as well as University frameworks, policies, procedures, and guidelines.

9. Authorities/Responsibilities

9.1 The following authorities/responsibilities are delegated under this policy:

University Officer


Vice-Chancellor and President (VCP)

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

University Executive members

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

University Council

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

Active duty of exercising due diligence to ensure compliance.

Director, People and Culture

Holds responsibility for:

  • advice on health, safety, and wellbeing
  • the development, implementation, and monitoring of this Policy
  • the establishment of the University Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee
  • all other health, safety and wellbeing governance documents

APPENDIX 1: Work Health and Safety Management System Framework