Leadership and responsibilities | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Leadership and responsibilities

UniSC acknowledges that the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) requires that the University take all reasonably practicable steps to protect workers against risks to their health and safety. The WHS Act also provides protection for others, whose health and safety may be impacted by UniSC activities (e.g. students, visitors etc.).

To fulfil the requirements of the WHS Act, everyone at UniSC has a responsibility for health and safety and wellbeing, as outlined below:

UniSC Council and Vice Chancellor and President

UniSC Council holds the ultimate responsibility for providing a safe and healthy workplace as far as is reasonably practicable under the WHS Act. The Council effects this through the Vice Chancellor and President (VCP) who ensures compliance through the UniSC Work Health and Safety Management System (USC WHSMS). The VCP is responsible for providing governance oversight of the WHS framework and may delegate its powers to an appropriately qualified member of the university’s staff.


Accountable for ensuring that their portfolios are adequately resourced and act in a manner which is consistent with the requirements of the WHS Act 2011 and the USC WHSMS.

Director of People and Culture

The VCP may delegate responsibility to the Director, People and Culture for the strategic development and operational implementation of the overall Work Health and Safety Management System and for monitoring the effectiveness of the system. This is achieved in consultation with the Manager of Health Safety and Wellbeing.

Manager Health Safety and Wellbeing

The Manager of Health Safety and Wellbeing will:

  • provide WHS technical advice, including project design
  • provide support as requested regarding Risk Assessments, Safe Work Procedures (SWPs) development and other Health and Safety documentation
  • mentor and support employees responsible for complying with the various requirements imposed by the UniSC WHSMS
  • develop an annual improvement plan to address safety gaps and improvements in consultation with the Director, People and Culture, management and employee representatives
  • identify and collate information on system performance including incident statistics, hazard, near miss and incident data. Collate information on positive measures undertaken and provide reports to executive management and consultative functions.
  • provide support to and participate in workplace consultative activities (i.e. WHS meetings) and coordinate reviews of their effectiveness
  • have access to scheduled workplace activities including tests (i.e. air and noise monitoring, health surveillance, etc.), inspections and audits
  • coordinate the review of training on a routine basis
  • support the development and delivery of training programs to meet site training needs
  • review effectiveness of training programs both internal and external
  • ensure record keeping requirements are communicated and records are kept.
Managers and supervisors

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

  • tasks are undertaken in accordance with UniSC HSW documentation
  • employees are informed, instructed, trained and appropriately supervised to ensure work is carried out in accordance with UniSC 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
  • respond to issues raised through the consultative process and ensuring appropriate actions are taken when it relates to their area of influence and responsibility
  • senior management are informed of any urgent and relevant safety issue beyond their scope or ability to implement safety measures
  • participating in consultative forums and communicating relevant information to employees
  • ensure contractors comply with the UniSCWHSMS.

Whilst at work, all UniSC 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 UniSC to comply with legal requirements
  • comply with HSW policies and other relevant HSW documentation
  • undertake HSW training provided by UniSC, including induction and task specific safety training when required
  • immediately report to their supervisor and health safety and wellbeing, 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.

Contractors are required to devise and implement such strategies as are necessary to eliminate or control, so far as is reasonably practicable, all unsafe work practices and behaviours by their employees and sub-contractors.

Contractors must comply with the requirements prescribed in the UniSC WHSMS, which may include:

  • complying with all relevant safety legislation
  • being accountable to applicable current Codes of Practice, Australian Standards and Queensland WorkCover Authority guidance material
  • developing and implementing Job Safety Analysis or Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) tailored to the work being undertaken
  • maintaining safe, clean and tidy work areas
  • ensuring all staff are adequately trained to safely and competently carry out contracted tasks
  • possessing all necessary licenses and certificates of competency for contracted works
  • reporting hazards, near misses and incidents to site personnel
  • communicating any safety concerns to site personnel for rectification
  • complying with any induction, site safety rule requirements and Emergency Procedures.
Students, visitors and volunteers

All non-employees must comply with all relevant policies, rules, procedures and other guidelines as prescribed in the UniSC WHSMS.

  • Student, volunteers and visitors must also comply with any reasonable instructions given to them by the UniSC representatives in the workplace.