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Work Health and Safety Risk Management Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure outlines Charles Sturt University's methodology, activities and responsibilities for the identification, assessment and control of Work Health and Safety (WHS) hazards and their associated risks. Specifically it outlines the procedure for:

  1. identification of Work Health and Safety (WHS) hazards;
  2. carrying out risk assessments;
  3. development and implementation of risk controls; and
  4. review of effectiveness of risk controls.


(2) This Procedure applies to all workers and visitors at any workplace under the management or control of Charles Sturt University (the University).

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Hazard – means a source or a situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill-health, damage to property, damage to the environment, or a combination of these (AS 4801);
  2. Hazard Identification – is the process of recognising that a hazard exists and defining its characteristics (AS 4801);
  3. Health and Safety Representative (HSR) - is an worker elected by members of a designated work group (DWG) to represent them in health and safety matters. Worker HSRs have powers under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW);
  4. Hierarchy of Risk Control - means the systematic approach used for selecting control measures;
  5. Incident – means any unplanned event resulting in, or having a potential for injury, ill-health, damage or other loss (AS 4801);
  6. Job Safety Analysis (JSA) – is the predecessor to a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS). All job safety analyses should be replaced with Safe Work Method Statements at their next review;
  7. Risk – is the likelihood and consequence of injury or harm occurring (AS 4801);
  8. Risk Avoidance – means reducing the risk to zero. Normally this can only be achieved by eliminating the hazard, not starting or ceasing the activity;
  9. Risk Control – refers to risk reduction and risk avoidance;
  10. Risk Control Plan – is an action plan that sets out how the WHS risks identified in a risk assessment will be eliminated or controlled;
  11. Risk Management – is the coordinated activities that direct and control an organisation with regard to risk;
  12. Risk Reduction – means reducing the likelihood of harm occurring, reducing the consequence if an unwanted event does occur, or sharing/transferring the risk to another organisation (e.g. specialised contractor);
  13. Risk Register – is a list of hazards, associated risks (pre and post-control) and controls, sorted in order of the highest to lowest risk; and
  14. Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) - is a written assessment of a work task or activity that:
    1. identifies the activity;
    2. specifies hazards relating to the activity and risks to health and safety associated with those hazards;
    3. describes measures to control the risks; and
    4. describes how the control measures are to be implemented, monitored and reviewed.
  15. Worker – means any person that carries out work for the University, consistent with the terminology in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW). Workers include:
    1. employees;
    2. trainees;
    3. volunteers and affiliates, including visiting and honorary fellows;
    4. outworkers;
    5. apprentices;
    6. Higher Degree Research (HDR) students;
    7. work experience students;
    8. contractors and sub-contractors and their employees; and
    9. employees of labour hire companies.
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Section 3 - Policy

(4) Refer to the Work Health and Safety Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities 

All Workers

(5) All workers have WHS management responsibilities as described in Part B regarding:

  1. managing WHS risks;
  2. undertaking risk assessments, where required; 
  3. implementing the WHS hierarchy of control; 
  4. using WHS methodology and tools; and
  5. workplace hazard identification and assessment.

Supervisors and Managers

(6) In addition to their responsibility as a worker, supervisors and managers are responsible for: 

  1. supporting and ensuring workers fulfill worker WHS risk management responsibilities; and
  2. Workplace Hazard Identification and Assessment (refer to Part B).

Executive Directors / Executive Dean

(7) In addition to their responsibility as a worker and supervisor/manager, Executive Directors/Executive Deans must ensure:

  1. accurate WHS risk registers (refer to Part B) are maintained for their business area; and
  2. where reasonably practicable, adequate resources are made available to implement WHS risk controls identified in risk assessments (refer to Part B).


(8) All contractors must either have their own WHS risk management procedure or apply this Procedure to their work for the University.

Manager, Health Safety and Wellbeing

(9) the Manager, Health Safety and Wellbeing will:

  1. provide WHS risk management tools (refer to Part B); and
  2. maintain and publish the University-wide WHS risk register (refer to Part B).

Part B - WHS Risk Management 

(10) Risk management is a systematic process of identifying hazards, assessing the risk associated with those hazards, eliminating or controlling those risks and monitoring and reviewing risk control measures.

(11) All workers, including supervisors and managers, and visitors have an obligation to comply with the University's workplace health and safety policies, procedures and instructions to ensure a safe workplace. This means that workers and visitors are required to take corrective action to guard against hazards at work, or report those hazards which cannot be immediately corrected.

Managing WHS Risks

(12) Workers, supervisors/managers, and Executive Directors/Executive Deans must, so far as is reasonably practicable, manage WHS risks. This is done by completing the following steps:

  1. identify WHS hazards, including public safety hazards that are associated with the activities, processes, products and services under the management and control of the University;
  2. assess the WHS risks involved; and
  3. implement suitable control measures to ensure WHS risks are eliminated, or else controlled and monitored, in accordance with the hierarchy of risk control and legal requirements.

Risk Assessments

(13) Risk assessment is a systematic examination of any activity, location or operational system in order to control hazards and manage risk. It is an ongoing process.

(14) Supervisors/managers and their workers should create or review risk assessments when changes to equipment, layout or procedures occur in a work area. A risk assessment of a work area is synonymous with a safety audit. A risk assessment enables an individual to:

  1. identify hazards;
  2. understand the likelihood and potential consequences of the hazards (i.e. the risk);
  3. review the current or planned approaches to controlling the risks; and
  4. add new control measures where required.

(15) Supervisors/managers and their workers must conduct WHS risk assessments:

  1. as part of Safe Work Method Statements(SWMS);
  2. before new or altered systems of work are established;
  3. before new plant and equipment or regulated plant is acquired or operated;
  4. before new chemicals and substances are acquired;
  5. before plant and equipment and regulated plant are manufactured;
  6. before buildings are acquired or leased;
  7. before businesses or operational entities are established or acquired;
  8. when hazards are identified in the workplace, including when incidents have occurred;
  9. when the work environment is altered, for example, refurbishment or new building;
  10. when new information about workplace risks becomes available;
  11. when responding to concerns raised by workers, Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) or others at the workplace;
  12. when required by legislation for specific hazards; and
  13. when the nature of an activity changes or differs from initially anticipated.

(16) Risk assessment involves eight basic steps:

  1. determine who should be involved;
  2. identify hazards;
  3. analyse consequences, such as; potential injury or property damage;
  4. assess risk (probability, frequency, severity of injury or loss);
  5. determine action (methods of removing or reducing risk);
  6. implement controls (redesign, removal, new methods, audit);
  7. evaluate controls; and
  8. keep a record of the assessment and review as required by changes to the activity or workplace.

(17) WHS risk assessments should be completed on the University’s WHS risk assessment forms (available in associated documents to this Procedure).

WHS Hierarchy of Risk Control

(18) The hierarchy of risk control is a sequence of risk control categories listed in order of effectiveness. It involves the selection of the most appropriate control measures for the particular hazard and is arranged in three levels:

  1. level 1:
    1. elimination of the hazard or risk.
  2. level 2:
    1. substitution controls;
    2. isolation controls; and
    3. engineering controls.
  3. level 3:
    1. administrative controls; and
    2. personal protective equipment.

(19) Actions resulting from risk assessments should follow the WHS hierarchy of risk control.

(20) When a control measure is being chosen, it is important to begin at the top of the list and work down until the most appropriate control measure is selected. The nearer to the top of the list a control measure is, the more effective it will be. Multiple levels of controls may be implements to reduce risk further.

Methodology and Tools

(21) The WHS risk assessment methodology is detailed in the WHS risk assessment forms (available in associated documents to this Procedure).

(22) The risk matrix used in this methodology can be found at WHS Risk Matrix (Appendix A).

(23) Workers performing WHS risk management must be competent in the use of WHS risk management methodology.

(24) Supervisors/managers and workers must consult with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and affected workers, where reasonably practicable, when carrying out WHS risk management.


(25) The Manager, Health Safety and Wellbeing will develop and publish a suite of WHS risk management tools and forms consistent with the WHS risk management methodology.

(26) WHS risk assessments and risk control plans are documented in:

  1. WHS risk registers;
  2. completed risk assessment forms (including Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS);
  3. incident investigation reports; or
  4. other reports.

WHS Risk Registers

(27) The Manager, Health Safety and Wellbeing is responsible for maintaining and publishing the University-wide WHS risk register.

(28) Executive Directors/Executive Deans must ensure that a WHS risk register is developed and maintained for their business areas including Divisions, Faculties and Offices.

(29) Business area WHS risk registers must incorporate risks identified from workplace risk assessments and relevant risks from the University-wide WHS risk register.

(30) Business area WHS risk registers must record:

  1. the activity being assessed;
  2. any hazards/risks associated with the activity;
  3. inherent risk score risk, assessed before implementation of the WHS risk controls; and
  4. the residual risk score remaining after implementation of WHS risk controls.

Workplace Hazard Identification and Assessment

(31) When undertaking workplace hazard identification:

  1. supervisors/managers must ensure all workers report any hazards they identify;
  2. supervisors/managers must consult with their workers and relevant Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) on hazard identification, risk assessment and control processes; and
  3. all workers must proactively identify hazards in their workplace, including through the use of:
    1. workplace inspections (refer Workplace Inspections and Reports Procedure);
    2. hazard and incident reports;
    3. audit reports (internal or external); and
    4. formal risk assessment reports.

(32) After a hazard has been identified, the supervisor/manager must:

  1. assess the risk in consultation with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and affected University workers; 
  2. develop a WHS risk control plan using the WHS risk assessment forms (available in associated documents to this Procedure). The risk matrix used in this methodology can be found at WHS Risk Matrix (Appendix A);
  3. monitor the effectiveness of implemented WHS risk controls;
  4. ensure that the WHS risk controls implemented are reviewed when any changes to the workplace or work activity occur; and 
  5. ensure that a record of the identification, assessment and control process is maintained.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(33) Nil.