Leadership and responsibilities - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Leadership and responsibilities

All staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors have a shared responsibility for health, safety and wellbeing at USC.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 states that when a duty is imposed on a person to ensure health and safety, the person is required to eliminate risks to health and safety as far as is reasonably practicable, and where not reasonably practicable, to minimise those risks as far as is reasonably practicable.

The University neither expects nor requires its staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors to attempt anything that would be likely to cause them harm.

Health, safety and wellbeing at USC is everyone's responsibility.

USC Council

Members of the Council have an obligation to have a sound understanding of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and demonstrate due diligence in the conduct of the business and delivery of objectives consistent with the objectives of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Vice-Chancellor and President

The Vice-Chancellor and President has ultimate responsibility for health, safety and wellbeing management and compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and USC’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing - Governing policy.

This responsibility includes demonstrating a commitment to health, safety and wellbeing, and ensuring that staff are able to meet their obligations through the provision of adequate budgets, the allocation of resources, availability of policies and procedures and the establishment and functioning of consultation and communication systems with respect to health, safety and wellbeing.


Each member of the Executive has the delegated accountability for assisting the Vice-Chancellor and President in the overall implementation of and compliance with the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and USC’s health, safety and wellbeing governing policy.

Cost centre managers

Cost centre managers are responsible for ensuring that USC's health, safety and wellbeing policies, procedures and guidelines are implemented in their work area and, where necessary, local procedures, guidelines and training etc. are developed, implemented, reviewed, maintained and adhered to within their area of responsibility, to ensure the provision of safe systems of work, instruction, training and supervision, safety equipment and consultation with staff.

Such responsibility includes determining priorities within the cost centre budget. Where a hazard cannot be controlled within that budget and is assessed as presenting a “high risk”, the cost centre manager is responsible for alerting the Executive and recording this risk as required.

Managers and supervisors

Each manager / supervisor has an obligation to take all practical measures to ensure that the work environment under their control is safe and without risk to health.

All managers / supervisors must ensure that the University’s policies, procedures and guidelines relating to health, safety and wellbeing are applied in relation to the responsibilities of their position and that a risk management approach is used to ensure the adequate control of risk.

The manager / supervisor is also responsible for consulting with staff and monitoring the workplace to identify any unsafe or unhealthy conditions or behaviour.

Where they do not have the necessary authority to fix a problem, they must report the matter promptly, together with any recommendations for remedial action to the manager of the relevant cost centre.

Supervisors / managers have obligations to ensure that staff or any contractors under their supervision have completed all compulsory online training modules.


All staff must be aware of the University’s policies, procedures and guidelines relating to health, safety and wellbeing as they apply to their position.

Staff are required to comply with the University's policies, procedures, guidelines, instructions and training to ensure their own health and safety and the health and safety of others at the University.

All staff are also required to take corrective action to eliminate hazards at the workplace, or report those beyond their control, through the University's online reporting system, and to their immediate supervisor.

All staff are required to complete compulsory online work health and safety training.


All contractors and sub-contractors engaged to perform work at or for USC must comply with all relevant Work, Health and Safety legislation and any specified health and safety policies, procedures and guidelines of the University.

Where the University engages contractors, any formal contract must include the requirement that the contractor and their employees complete USC’s compulsory online low risk or high risk contractor induction modules as well as any site-specific safety information.

Contractors carrying out work for the University will be asked to provide relevant documentation, in accordance with the work they are undertaking.

If they are required to submit a safe work plan (SWP), this will list all foreseeable hazards and methods that the contractor will use to manage those hazards, supported as necessary by task specific Risk Assessment (RA) and Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS).

The SWP will also state how the contractor intends to ensure that the safe work plan is supervised.

Students, visitors and volunteers

Students, visitors and volunteers to USC are required to follow instructions and  adhere to the University's policies, procedures and guidelines, as they pertain to them, and take all reasonable care to prevent personal injury or injury to others.

They must report to University staff any incidents and dangerous occurrences which affect or are likely to affect their safety or the safety of others.

It is strongly recommended that students, visitors and volunteers complete the online module HSW for Students, Volunteers and Visitors.