Managing health and safety risks

To keep all staff, students and visitors healthy and safe while on our campuses and facilities or undertaking University related activities, we use the process of risk management. Risk management involves identifying hazards and then assessing and controlling the risks. It is a proactive approach to preventing accidents.  A risk assessment should be carried out for:

  • research projects
  • teaching activities
  • all other activities that involve an element of risk including events, overseas student placements, site visits or excursions

Risk assessment process

Research, Teaching and Events

If the activity or project you are planning has any associated high risk hazards or risks to health and safety, for example radiation, chemicals or dangerous substances, genetically modified organisms or biological hazards, please email safetyclearance@newcastle.edu.au to enquire about and register in tick@lab, the new safety review system.

If the activity you are planning does not have any high risk hazards or risk to health and safety as mentioned above, please complete a Safety Review form (PDF, 2MB). The risk assessment template (DOC, 151KB) will assist you to identify the hazards and risks. Completing the Risk Management Introduction training module will also help.

Travel

All travel for University business must be assessed to determine the level of risk associated with both the travel destination and the activities being undertaken. As per the Travel Procedure travel is classified as either COMPLEX, SIMPLE or LOCAL. For any travel classified as COMPLEX, based on the following criteria, a Health and Safety Travel Risk Assessment must be completed and submitted to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team at local-safety-review@newcastle.edu.au Please allow adequate time prior to travel for processing.

Travel types

COMPLEX

  • Is not Simple or Local Travel as defined below
  • Multisector international travel
  • Rural or remote environment destination(s)
  • High risk destination, based on risk assessment and safety review
  • High risk activity, based on risk assessment and safety review
  • Includes guests / family members
  • Any traveller aged 80 years or over
  • Ten or more travellers in the group
  • For International travel, duration is six or more consecutive nights
  • Includes private travel component

SIMPLE:

  • Is not Local Travel as define below
  • Involves domestic or international travel with point to point single metropolitan destination
  • Travel is not high-risk, based on an assessment of the destination risk and the activity risk
  • All travellers are travelling in their role as current employees or students
  • Number of travellers (employee and/or student) is nine or less
  • Duration is five nights or less if international travel
  • All travellers are younger than 80 years old
  • There is no private component
  • The travel is to an urban environment with timely access to health care equivalent or better than metropolitan Australia

LOCAL:

  • Is a ‘business as usual’ activity
  • Can be completed in a single day and is within a 50km radius from the travellers’ home campus
  • Does not require any bookable expenditure (i.e. flight, accommodation, car hire)
  • Involves transport by University fleet vehicle, local public transport, or private vehicle, in line with the Private Vehicle Use Procedure

In summary, SIMPLE and LOCAL TRAVEL requests should be reviewed for risks and approved by the relevant supervisor, but do not need to be submitted to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team for review. Below are resources which may be of assistance.

Audits and Inspections

In addition to reporting Health and Safety and Environmental incidents, hazards and near misses, AIMS can be used to develop, schedule and undertake audits and inspection. If you would like more information about or assistance with creating an audit or inspection checklist, please contact your Health and Safety Business Partner.

Should you have any questions about these processes, please contact the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team on 4033 9999 (option #5).

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.