The University of Newcastle, Australia

Student health and safety

Student health and safety on campus: We're all responsible

Health and safety of students on our UON campuses is extremely important. The following information outlines your roles and legal responsibilities as a students of the University in regard to managing your, and other people's, health and safety.

Health and safety roles and responsibilities on campus

At all times when you are on campus, you should consider the potential for you to harm yourself or others through your actions. Do not place yourself or others at risk.

If there are safety rules in place or instructions provided, you should ensure that you understand them. Ask questions if you don’t, and follow those instructions to avoid harm.

As a student you have a role to take action in response to an emergency.

  1. When an alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building to the assembly point and follow the directions of the Emergency Warden members of staff or Security Services.
  2. If you don’t have full mobility or have any other difficulty in responding to an emergency, you should discuss with your supervisor and if necessary complete a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan).  This can be a useful document in ensuring that your needs can be met and that the appropriate actions can be in place to ensure your safety during and emergency

If there is an immediate risk to the health and safety of a person or people, contact Security Services.

Take whatever action that you can without placing yourself in danger, to warn or avoid people getting hurt, and Security will take over when they arrive. For emergency assistance please call 000. Once the ambulance has been called please also call Security Services who will help direct the ambulance to your location.

  • (02) 4921 5888 (Newcastle campus and City precinct)
  • (02) 8262 6488 (Sydney campus)
  • (02) 4348 4222 (Central Coast campus)
  • 0412 595 054 (Port Macquarie)

It is important to report all injuries, illnesses, hazards and near misses to a member of the University staff. If you notice a hazard or are involved in an incident, please inform a member of University staff so they can log a Health and Safety Incident Report on your behalf. Alternatively, contact the Health and Safety Team directly at or call 4033 9999 and select number 5.

As a student, you are likely to spend a great deal of time in front of a computer and writing reports or assignments. Computer use and other desk activities have a potential to cause a range of injuries. Poor set-up and practices over extended time can cause greater fatigue, muscle and tendon stress and pain.

Learning the appropriate posture and how to set your desk up will go a long way to ensuring you don’t suffer from pain. Use this Ergonomic advice document (PDF, 616KB) to help prevent injuries.

  • Bikes and Skateboards - While the University encourages the use of transport other than cars, riders of bikes and skateboards should exercise caution and slow down on shared paths. University paths are shared and pedestrians have right of way.
  • Risks to your personal security - During the colder months in particular, many students are at the University after dark. Avoid placing yourself at risk by not going into dark or remote areas of car parks and paths if you are alone. Walk in pairs or groups, and where this is not possible Security Services can be contacted to request an escort. There are Security Help Points across the campuses, as well as CCTV cameras at Callaghan. Security Services are able to provide a Safe Walk Service for students from buildings to their vehicles, the bus stop, or train station. For more information visit Safety and Security Services.
  • Spiders, snakes and other animals on campus - A range of wildlife, including mammals, insects and reptiles maker their home on the bushland campuses of the University. Some of these may become protective or aggressive and cause injury if they are disturbed by humans. If you encounter any native creature, avoid making contact with the animal, insect or reptile and if there is a risk that someone could be injured, report the concern to Security Services or a member of University staff.
  • Slips, Trips or Falls – Slips, trips and falls are very common, and can usually be attributed to rushing, not concentrating, wearing the wrong footwear, or adverse weather conditions. Avoid texting on the phone while walking or similar distracting activities and get to where you are going without injury.

Further information can be found on the Health and Safety webpage or you can contact the Health and Safety Team.