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Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy and its associated procedures set out Charles Sturt University's (the University) commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of all people within the University community, and ensures compliance with:

  1. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (NSW) and Commonwealth, state and/or territory work, health and safety (WHS) legislation, and
  2. relevant codes of practice and Australian standards.


(2) This policy applies to:

  1. all workers of the University (as defined in the Glossary) and members of the University community (including Council members, students, and associates), and
  2. all University campuses, sites, entities and research areas.
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Section 2 - Policy

Policy principles

(3) The following four key principles apply to all WHS duties under the WHS legislation:

  1. WHS duties are not transferable.
  2. A person can have more than one duty.
  3. More than one person can have the same duty.
  4. A duty imposed on a person to ensure health and safety means a duty to eliminate or minimise risks as far as reasonably practicable.

(4) The University is committed to:

  1. the health, safety and wellbeing of its workers, including staff, students and visitors while undertaking activities at or for the University
  2. implementing and maintaining an accessible health and safety management system that, so far as reasonably practicable, identifies and eliminates or reduces risk of injury, illness or harm to people associated with the University's operations
  3. developing and maintaining a culture that encourages all personnel to actively manage health, safety and wellbeing risks
  4. complying with all relevant health and safety legislation, policies and procedures
  5. providing appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to all workers and visitors to ensure activities are carried out safely
  6. maintaining effective communication and consultation with workers, students, contractors, and other key stakeholders on matters relating to workplace health and safety
  7. actively identifying and managing health and safety risks through the systematic identification of hazards, evaluation of risks and implementation of effective controls
  8. promptly reporting hazards, incidents and injuries; investigating where appropriate; and implementing control measures to eliminate or minimise the risk of recurrence
  9. investigating, monitoring and reporting health and safety performance (both good and bad) and recognising those who contribute positively to improvement
  10. planning, reviewing and assessing health and safety performance against measurable targets and industry best practice to drive continuous improvement.

Due diligence principles

(5) An officer of the University will exercise due diligence with regard to their health and safety obligations. Due diligence will be demonstrated, as appropriate to their position, through:

  1. complying with applicable health and safety legislation and relevant industry standards, codes of practice or Australian standards
  2. establishing, monitoring and reviewing health and safety programs
  3. implementing an effective hazard reporting system and maintaining effective mechanisms to manage identified hazards
  4. providing employees with ongoing WHS training and support
  5. communicating safety initiatives, objectives and key performance indicators
  6. facilitating systematic WHS consultation through established forums such as safety committee(s) and elected health and safety representatives (HSR)
  7. making safety a prominent agenda item at board and management meetings
  8. developing, implementing and promoting initiatives for the improved health and wellbeing of workers and students
  9. identifying and acting with urgency and agility to protect workers from anything that could cause psychological harm to someone’s mental health
  10. effective injury management aimed at the early and safe return to work of injured employees, in accordance with its legislative obligations.

Roles and responsibilities

Officers of the University

(6) An officer, in the context of the University (where the University is a person conducting a business or undertaking), means a person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the University, or a person who has the capacity to affect significantly the University's financial standing. 

(7) For the University an ‘officer’ includes:

  1. a member of the University Council
  2. a University leader Band 7 or above under the Delegations and Authorisations Policy, and
  3. any person appointed as a director or officer of University related corporations (this will include any person appointed as a director of Charles Sturt Campus Services Limited (CSCS); and any person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of CSCS; or who has the capacity to affect significantly the financial standing of CSCS; or in accordance with whose instructions or wishes the directors of CSCS are accustomed to act (excluding advice given by the person in the proper performance of functions)).

(8) Other University leaders may be found to be an ‘officer’ of the University on a case by case basis. They may include:

  1. a Band 6 leader under the Delegations and Authorisations Policy, for the unit they oversee
  2. a chief or principal investigator for the research activity that they oversee.

(9) The above examples are not exhaustive. Any person who has influence over decisions that affect the business or undertaking of the University, including any person who makes significant financial decisions, might be an officer for the purposes of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), in which case they will have work health and safety duties and responsibilities under that Act.

HSW responsibilities

(10) University roles and health and safety responsibilities are set out in the following table. See also the HSW Schedule: Responsibilities and Accountabilities for further information:

Officer/body HSW responsibilities
University Council Accountable for compliance with all health and safety obligations.
Vice-Chancellor Ultimate responsibility for the implementation and review of this policy, the delegation of health and safety management responsibilities and the allocation of appropriate resources.
Audit and Risk Committee Oversight of governance, risk and compliance frameworks including policies, procedures, information systems and systems of internal control surrounding key health, safety and wellbeing and operational processes.
Executive Leadership Team Exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with this policy and associated legislation.
Portfolio and executive leaders
Ensure the University complies with its health and safety legislative obligations within the area of their responsibility.
Champion the adoption and implementation of health, safety and wellbeing practices across all areas of the University.
Division of Safety, Security and Wellbeing Through Health, Safety and Wellbeing, provide overall direction, coordination and advice to the University on health, safety and wellbeing matters to support management of health and safety risks and minimise injury and illness.
Managers and supervisors Ensure the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of an effective system for managing work health, safety and wellbeing within their local areas of responsibility.
All staff Carry out all duties within a safe manner, as well as adhering to all reasonable directions, policies and procedures relating to their safety and the safety of others.

HSW RACI table

Faculty/ division executive, ELT 
Site/ campus responsible manager 
School/ team manager 
Lead by modelling safe behaviour and getting personally involved in managing health and safety performance  
A / R 
R / I 
Set a health and safety vision, targets, goals and expectations, and positively reinforce good behaviours and performance   
Provide resources and support needed to implement this policy, and hold people accountable for implementing it  
Lead the establishment and maintenance of a robust and user-friendly Health and Safety Management System and ensure it is integrated into everyday business   
Ensure that Charles Sturt University complies with all legislation covering people at work  
Ensure that agreed consultation arrangements are in place to resolve issues and involve people in improving health and safety performance   
Keep performance under constant review and intervene whenever necessary to provide further resources and direction, and to hold people accountable for performance and outcomes  
Give priority to the health and safety of people in all decisions and directions and proactively identify, assess and treat health and safety risks  
Respond quickly to reported problems, including hazards, incidents and injuries, to protect and promote people’s health and safety  
Take reasonable care of themselves and others, be cooperative and participate constructively in consultation and training and in the resolution of health and safety issues   
Provide appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to all workers and visitors to ensure activities are carried out safely  
Responsible (R)
Accountable (A) 
Consulted (C)
Informed (I)
Person that performs all or part of the standard tasks. 
Can be more than one segmented task or procedure. 
Person that will be held accountable for performance. 
Only ONE person allowed. 
Normally the most senior appropriate person. 
Person(s) that need to be consulted as part of completing the task. 
Person(s) that need to be informed. 

Monitoring and review

(11) This policy will be regularly reviewed in accordance with the Policy Framework Policy.

(12) Managers and supervisors will monitor and review their operational activities, risks and controls to ensure effective health and safety management, and to improve compliance and performance.

(13) The Division of Safety, Security and Wellbeing will monitor and review the compliance practices and health and safety management performance across the University to ensure ongoing effectiveness of relevant controls including policies and procedures.

(14) The Work Health and Safety Committee has been established to monitor and assist with the implementation of this policy, function as the emergency planning committee, and provide consultative processes and advice for the Vice-Chancellor and University on health and safety matters.

(15) The University values the views of workers and takes these into account when making decisions affecting health, safety and wellbeing.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(16) The following procedures support this policy:

  1. First Aid Procedure
  2. HSW Procedure - Incident Reporting and Investigation 
  3. HSW Procedure – Induction and Training
  4. HSW Procedure - Inspections, Plans, Audits and Reviews
  5. HSW Procedure - Risk and Hazard Management
  6. Injury Management and Return to Work Program Procedure
  7. Psychosocial Risk Management Procedure [approval pending]
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Section 4 - Guidelines and other resources

(17) The following guidelines and resources support this policy:

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Section 5 - Glossary

(18) Consistent with the terminology used by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), other relevant WHS legislation and Australian standards, the following terms are used:

  1. Health and safety management system – means the interrelated or interacting elements of the University that establish the health and safety policy and objectives, and all of the processes and systems in place to achieve those objectives, with the intended outcome of preventing injury and ill health to workers and provide safe and healthy workplaces (AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018).
  2. Officer – see the ‘Officers of the University’ heading in this policy.
  3. Reasonably practicable – means what can reasonably be done in the circumstances when complying with duties to ensure health and safety under legislation.
  4. Visitor - means any person who visits the University and is not defined as a worker, including:
    1. students
    2. family/friends of workers or students
    3. community visitors, including prospective students, parents and collaborators
    4. conference and function attendees, and
    5. commercial clients or customers using the University's services and facilities such as the health, dental and veterinary clinics, winery, accommodation, etc.
  5. Worker – means any person that carries out work for the University, including:
    1. employees
    2. trainees
    3. volunteers and affiliates, including visiting and honorary appointments
    4. out workers
    5. apprentices
    6. work experience students
    7. contractors and sub-contractors and their employees, and
    8. employees of labour-hire companies.
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Section 6 - Document context

Compliance drivers Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017
Review requirements As per Policy Framework Policy
Document class Management