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Health and Safety Risk Management Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines the approach taken by the University for the identification, assessment and control of Health and Safety (H&S) hazards and their associated risks in order to create and maintain a safe and healthy work and study environment.


(2) Risk management is a key management and governance practice because it plays a vital role in creating safer and healthier workplaces and helps the University to meet its strategic plans and legislative responsibilities.

(3) Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), Macquarie University has a responsibility to ensure that the workplace is free of hazards that could cause injury or illness to staff, students, visitors and contractors.

(4) Risk management is a process of identifying hazards which have the potential to harm health and safety, assessing the risk associated with those hazards, eliminating or controlling those risks and monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of risk assessment and control activities.

(5) The key principles of the risk management system at Macquarie University include:

  1. determining resources, priorities, objectives, stakeholders and criteria for evaluating risk;
  2. consultation and communication;
  3. training, education and awareness;
  4. identification of hazards;
  5. analysis, assessment and rating of risks;
  6. treatment of risks by developing and implementing appropriate controls;
  7. monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of risk controls; and
  8. documenting and reporting risk activities and results.


(6) This Policy applies to Macquarie University staff and students, contractors, visitors and controlled entities.

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Section 2 - Policy

(7) Macquarie University is committed to identifying, assessing and reducing risk to health and safety on its campuses.

(8) The University will commit resources to:

  1. plan and communicate its risk management activities;
  2. consult with, and seek input from, stakeholders;
  3. provide information and training to improve people’s awareness of risk and their role and responsibility in reducing or eliminating risk;
  4. implement a system for the identification and reporting of all incidents, hazards and risks;
  5. investigate and analyse incidents and hazards;
  6. assess and rate risks;
  7. advise SafeWork NSW immediately, and the University Insurer within 48 hours, of any serious incident of which it is aware;
  8. develop and implement risk management strategies to control, reduce or eliminate risk;
  9. use data collected from investigations to review work practices and procedures and the effectiveness of the risk management system; and
  10. report on risk management activities and results to the Executive, University Council, Executive Deans, Heads of Offices and the Health and Safety Committee.

Specific Hazards

Electrical Safety

(9) The University will ensure electrical equipment is:

  1. University-owned, where practicable;
  2. inspected, tested and tagged by an appropriately qualified person in accordance with AS/NZS 3760:2010 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment; and
  3. registered when inspected, tested and tagged.

Safe Lifting and Carrying

(10) The University will provide adequate resources and equipment to ensure that employees are not required to lift or carry above their safe weight.

Personal Protective Equipment

(11) The University will provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate to ensure employees are adequately protected from hazardous work environments and / or substances.

Working with Animals

(12) The University will put controls in place where work with animals involves risk of physical injury, exposure to disease, allergic reactions or contact with hazardous agents.

Compliance and Breaches

(13) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(14) Refer to the Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(15) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(16) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this Policy.

  1. Hazard means anything with the potential to cause harm to life, health, property or the environment. A hazard can be identified by hazard reports, workplace inspections, direct communication from staff, students, visitors, contractors or suppliers;
  2. Incident means any unplanned event resulting in, or having a potential for, injury, ill health, harm or damage. An incident can be identified by incident reports or direct communication from staff, students, visitors, contractors or suppliers;
  3. Inspection means the process of observing a work environment, work practice, equipment, work posture or reported hazard. This may be done with or without an inspection checklist and may be generic or specific to a particular risk or task;
  4. Monitoring and Review means the ongoing monitoring of identified hazards, risk assessment and risk control processes and reviewing them to make sure controls are working effectively;
  5. Risk means the degree of probability of injury or loss given a defined set of circumstances;
  6. Risk assessment means the overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation. A process of assessing the risks associated with an identified hazard so that appropriate control measures can be implemented based on the probability of the hazard occurring;
  7. Risk Control means the process of identifying and implementing risk control measures having regard to the Hierarchy of Control Principle, legislative provisions, and Australian Standards;
  8. Risk management means the culture, processes and structures that are directed towards hazard identification, risk assessment and risk treatment and control, aimed at providing a safe and healthy environment at Macquarie University;
  9. Serious incident means an incident that results in a person being seriously injured or killed;
  10. Testing means the use of standardised tests to check equipment, plant operation process control, performance and effectiveness;
  11. Threat means an expression of an intention to inflict pain or injury; and
  12. Workplace Inspection means a planned and systematic appraisal of a workplace.