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Health and Safety Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy establishes the University’s commitment to the principles and practices of workplace health and safety (WHS) in order to protect the health and safety of the University Community and environment.


(2) The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace that supports the proactive identification and management of safety risks in all activities of the Macquarie University Group. This commitment enables the University to achieve its strategic priorities detailed in Our University: A Framing of Futures and in alignment with relevant legal obligations.


(3) This Policy applies to all workers, students, and other persons associated with the University and controlled entities in the course of endorsed activities on and outside the University’s campus. This is collectively identified as the Macquarie University Group. It is acknowledged that controlled entities may require additional policies and procedures for their own needs to reflect the culture, structure and purpose of their organisation. Any such documents will operate in alignment with this Policy.

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Section 2 - Policy

(4) The University is committed to maintaining the health and safety of the University Community.

(5) To enable the Macquarie University Group to provide a healthy and safe workplace, the University will:

  1. ensure effective governance and oversight of the Macquarie University’s Group’s performance in health and safety;
  2. develop and enhance a proactive safety culture and necessary WHS capability;
  3. provide support and guidance through the implementation of a health and safety management system that complies with WHS legislation and adopts the principle of continuous improvement;
  4. establish and monitor measurable objectives for health and safety, targeting continual improvement for eliminating injury and illness;
  5. allocate suitable financial and physical resources to enable the University Community to perform safely and in accordance with legislation and the values of the Macquarie University Group;
  6. establish consultation and communication channels enabling the Macquarie University Group to discuss and resolve health and safety matters;
  7. provide safe and suitable equipment and infrastructure for Macquarie University Group activities; and
  8. implement a return to work program to support staff who have been harmed or injured to return to work in a safe and timely manner.

Roles and Responsibilities

University Officers

(6) The University Officers, as per the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), are responsible for:

  1. maintaining their knowledge of health and safety matters;
  2. ensuring there are appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks;
  3. ensuring there are processes in place to receive information about incidents, hazards and risks in a timely manner;
  4. ensuring processes are in place to comply with a duty within the WHS legislation and associated regulations as they relate to the delivery of academic and professional endorsed activities; and
  5. verifying the provision and resources for the above.


(7) The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for overseeing the performance of the Macquarie University Group regarding WHS and undertaking activities to address due diligence obligations.

Faculty Executive Directors, Heads of Departments and Unit Managers

(8) Faculty Executive Directors, Heads of Departments, and managers within academic and professional units are responsible for the following within their area of management:

  1. promoting safety as central to the area’s culture and a key consideration in daily operational activities;
  2. ensuring that the safety management system of the Macquarie University Group is actively implemented;
  3. ensuring that safety consultation arrangements are established and effective;
  4. ensuring appropriate resourcing for health and safety;
  5. ensuring that worker’s and student’s skills and knowledge are current and adequate given the specific safety risks and competency needs of their work area; and
  6. consulting with University Community members so that health and safety issues are raised, addressed, and resolved in a timely manner.


(9) Supervisors (including academic supervisors) within academic and professional units are responsible for the following within their area of management:

  1. promoting a safe workplace where health and safety matters are resolved in consultation with stakeholders;
  2. encouraging incident reporting, leading incident investigations and implementing control measures;
  3. ensuring that activities, operations, and equipment are safely managed using the University risk management process and that applicable safe working instructions and procedures for hazardous activities are in place;
  4. engaging in the injury management process when a University Community member sustains an injury;
  5. educating and informing the workplace through the distribution of information and training to ensure WHS competency; and
  6. monitoring the workplace to ensure hazards are controlled to eliminate and / or minimise health and safety risks.

Manager – Specialised Safety Risk or Infrastructure

(10) A manager of a specialised safety risk or infrastructure is responsible for: 

  1. ensuring that operations and equipment are safely managed using University risk management processes;
  2. consulting with University Community members to raise and address health and safety issues;
  3. providing information and suitable training to University Community members about health and safety risks and control measures;
  4. contributing to ensure effective development and adoption of relevant policies and procedures in conjunction with the Workplace Health and Safety Unit; and
  5. participating and contributing to incident investigations and assisting with the implementation of corrective actions.

Workers and Students

(11) Workers and students are responsible for:

  1. taking reasonable care for their own health and safety and not adversely impacting the health and safety of others;
  2. following reasonable safety instructions and directions from University Managers or Supervisors; and
  3. reporting health and safety injuries, hazards, and near miss events via the Macquarie University’s Group’s ROAR - Risk Online Active Reporting system.

The Workplace Health and Safety Unit

(12) The Workplace Health and Safety Unit is responsible for:

  1. creating an informed and educated workplace by distributing technical advice regarding health and safety matters;
  2. ensuring strategic focus through the facilitation of health and safety goals determined by the University Council, University Executive Group, and academic and professional units;
  3. developing efficient processes and systems by facilitating training and tools which are embedded into the diverse operations of the Macquarie University Group; and
  4. addressing emerging and upcoming changes by disseminating up to date information regarding changes in health and safety laws, and the Health and Safety Management System.

Health and Safety Committees

(13) The Macquarie University’s Group Health and Safety Committees are responsible for:

  1. discussing, setting, and monitoring health and safety goals;
  2. implementing health and safety initiatives to control health and safety risks within their area of control;
  3. resolving systemic health and safety issues within their area of control (note: individual injuries are not discussed by these committees); and
  4. providing feedback to managers of the relevant Faculty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Office, or controlled entity on matters relating to health and safety processes and systems.

Health and Safety Representatives

(14) Health and Safety Representatives have the following functions within their Work Group:

  1. participating in effective communication strategies between workers in a Work Group and with management;
  2. investigating and consulting the University Community regarding complaints and issues raised in the Work Group; and
  3. initiating health and safety issue resolution procedures and escalating health and safety issues to managers of the relevant Faculty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Office, controlled entity or Health and Safety Committee. A Health and Safety Representative may engage Workplace Health and Safety for additional action or support where necessary.
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Section 3 - Procedures

(15) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(16) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(17) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Hazard means a source of potential harm or injury;
  2. Health and Safety Committees means Committees of the Macquarie University Group that represent and consult with members of the University Community. These committees identify health and safety related matters within their Work Group, devise initiatives, and implement solutions to improve the health and safety of their area;
  3. Health and Safety Management System meams the comprehensive management system that includes organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, procedures, processes, tools and resources to manage health and safety risk for the Macquarie University Group;
  4. Health and Safety Representative means a worker elected by members of a Work Group to represent other workers in matters relating to health and safety;
  5. Manager – Specialised Safety Risk or Infrastructure means an employee in a managerial position who is responsible for a specialised health and safety risk (e.g laser, diving, fieldwork) or infrastructure such as a laboratory or other technical facility;
  6. Near Miss Event means a health and safety incident that occurred where a person could have been injured however, no injury was sustained;
  7. Officer: As defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), the term Officer refers to a director or executive officer of the organisation; or a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part of the organisation; or a person who has the capacity to significantly affect the organisation’s financial standing.
  8. Other persons means conference or event attendees, patrons, patients, members of the public on campus, research participants, guests, delegates, and visiting colleagues from other organisations;
  9. Safety Risk means the possibility that harm (death, injury or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard;
  10. Specialised Safety Risk means a safety risk that includes specialist or scientific principles, for example, but not limited to: chemical, laser, electrical, radiation, biological, diving, fieldwork, etc.;
  11. Student means a person enrolled in a program or unit of study provided by the University including a person in a pathway programme, an undergraduate or postgraduate program, a cotutelle program or a visiting student;
  12. Supervisor means a worker or student appointed in an academic or professional unit to oversee endorsed activities, work performance, and duties undertaken by workers and / or students to ensure they are performed according to the standards and values of the Macquarie University Group;
  13. University Community means workers, students, and other persons associated with Macquarie University Group endorsed activities;
  14. Macquarie University Group or Group means Macquarie University and its Controlled Entities;
  15. Worker means a person associated with the Macquarie University Group as an employee, officer, trainee, volunteer, honorary fellow, appointee to conjoint, adjunct, emeritus, honorary, clinical and visiting academic position, contractor, sub-contractor, apprentice, or in work experience;
  16. Work Group means a group of University Community members that have similar hazards and safety risks within an academic or professional unit;
  17. Workplace means a place where work is carried out for the Macquarie University Group, including a place connected to the Macquarie University Group’s endorsed activities where a worker goes or is likely to go.