Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/9.1 Health, safety and environment framework

Contact Officer

Executive Director, Health, Safety and Environment

Approval Date


Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review


9.1.1 Purpose
9.1.2 Application
9.1.3 Roles and responsibilities
9.1.4 Recognition of health, safety and environment roles
9.1.5 Health, safety and environment committees
9.1.6 Reporting of incidents
9.1.7 Health Safety and Environment Management System (HSEMS)
9.1.8 Emergency Control Organisations
9.1.9 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

9.1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the QUT governance framework for achieving excellence in health and safety and the protection of the environment in which it operates.


9.1.2 Application

This framework applies to:

  •  QUT staff, students and others. Others includes the Chancellor, Council members, QUT's contractors or subcontractors and their employees; employees of a labour hire company assigned to work at QUT; outworkers; apprentices or trainees; students gaining work experience, engaged in work integrated learning (WIL), or higher degree or research; and volunteers
  • all activities conducted by or on behalf of the University.


9.1.3 Roles and responsibilities

General responsibility of all QUT staff, students and others

Work health, safety and environment (HSE) duties and responsibilities are non-transferable.

All students, staff and others attending QUT campuses or any other places where the University conducts its operations, must take reasonable care in protecting the work health and safety of themselves and others, and the environment.

Health, safety and environment duties and responsibilities include specified HSE appointments as well as HSE duties inherent in all other forms of employment or study within QUT. Health, safety and environment duties and responsibilities must be documented within committee terms of reference or individual position descriptions and contracts of service and provided to people to whom they apply.


Vice-Chancellor and President

  • as the representative of QUT Council, has overall responsibility for ensuring health, safety and environmental protection in QUT work places and in relation to its business undertakings
  • monitors and ensures compliance with legal requirements as far as is reasonably practicable
  • approves the QUT health, safety and environment strategic plan
  • establishes the University Health, Safety and Environment Committee (UHSEC) and approves this policy 

University Officers (see definitions)

  • must manage health, safety and environment risks in partnership with staff and students and others affected by QUT’s operations in accordance with legislation (Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (s19 and s27)). In so doing, they must, as far as is reasonably practicable for their area of control:
    • keep up-to-date knowledge of health, safety and environment matters
    • understand the nature of risks and hazards associated with QUT's operations
    • ensure appropriate resources and processes are employed to eliminate or minimise risks in the work place
    • ensure effective implementation of processes to receive, consider, act on and report information on incidents, hazards and risks
    • ensure suitable consultation with and provision of training for workers
    • establish local health, safety and environment committees
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
  • approves health, safety and environment policies
  • chairs the University Health, Safety and Environment Committee
  • manages the University health, safety and environment strategy and planning
  • administers crisis and pandemic management according to the QUT Business Continuity Management Framework 
Executive Director, Health, Safety and Environment
  • approves health, safety and environment procedures
  • implements health, safety and environment policy and plans at QUT and, provides support to university officers in meeting their due diligence duty under the legislation including management and ongoing review of the Health, Safety and Environment Management System (HSEMS).
Managers and Supervisors (any person who is responsible for supervision, direction or oversight of those covered by this policy; or responsible for QUT activities that may affect the environment , or any person’s health and safety)

For activities under their responsibility (both on and off campus):

  • ensure that activities are undertaken with the exercise of proper diligence for the protection of the environment and health and safety of all people with documented risk assessments where relevant
  • ensure that all staff, students, contractors and others covered under this policy are briefed on hazards and safety procedures relevant to the situation; that these procedures are adhered to
  • ensure that any unsafe act or condition is reported and remedied using Health, Safety and Environment Hub reporting system
  • provide adequate and appropriate training to ensure safety and environmental protection
  • consult and communicate with staff and students (especially new staff and students) where practicable, on health, safety and environment matters and relevant procedures
  • develop plans to improve health, safety and environment systems, and monitor implementation of such plans
  • conduct, or participate in health, safety and environment audits and regular hazard inspections
  • participate in staff post-injury / illness rehabilitation processes
  • ensure sufficient work load and resource allocations for health, safety and environment activities in local work plans
  • ensure prompt reporting and investigation of all accidents, injuries, near misses, dangerous events and environmental harm to the relevant health, safety and environment personnel, and faculty/division/institute senior management
  • nominate sufficient personnel in their workplaces to the Security Manager to fill the various Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) positions, including succession filling of any warden vacancies
QUT research students and staff
  • when planning a research project, must consider the health, safety and environment implications of their proposed study and subject these to a rigorous assessment to determine the level of risk and the appropriate controls to eliminate or minimise the risk in accordance with the Risk management policy (A/2.5)
  • where a project requires ethics clearance (D/6), final clearance will be subject to faculty / institute health, safety and environment clearance, and/or University Biosafety Committee clearance
Health, Safety and Environment Advisors (HSEA)
  • provide advice to managers and supervisors, on a day-to-day basis, on aspects of health, safety and environment in their local area
  • assist their respective managers in the identification and management of risk as well as in health, safety and environment consultation activities
  • carry out low level investigations in their local area as needed and in accordance with relevant procedures
Health and Safety Representatives (HSR)
  • are elected (where a request has been made) by a defined work group to represent and assist work group members with health and safety matters at the local level (staff may request representation by a Health and Safety Representative)
First Aid Officers (FAO) (may be appointed by local areas)
  • hold recognised training certificates, provide first aid, and manage and maintain first aid kits according to First Aid and medical emergency procedures

Further information on the duties and responsibilities associated with statutory and QUT roles are detailed on the Health, Safety and Environment website (QUT staff access only), and in specific health, safety and environment policy and procedures.


9.1.4 Recognition of health, safety and environment roles

Staff who volunteer and discharge their duties in formal health, safety and environment roles (Health, Safety and Environment Advisors (HSEAs), Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs), wardens, First Aid Officers (FAOs) and Radiation Safety Officers (RSOs)) are eligible to receive two days, non-accruable, special leave per annum, subject to meeting eligibility requirements.

Workload and resource allocation for people in these roles should be included as part of the staff Performance Planning and Review (PPR) process (B/9).


9.1.5 Health, safety and environment committees

QUT has two levels of health, safety and environment committees. University Health, Safety and Environment Committee (UHSEC) operates according to terms of reference (A/9.9).

Local health, safety and environment committees:

  • develop and carry out measures to ensure health, safety and environmental protection in their work areas, which include establishing priorities, monitoring and reviewing hazards, control measures, incident reports, audits, inspections, training and other matters brought to the committees' attention
  • report to the University Health, Safety and Environment Committee annually
  • may raise issues with the Department of Health, Safety and Environment for advancement to University Health, Safety and Environment Committee as appropriate.


9.1.6 Reporting of incidents

All health, safety and environment hazards, harm, incidents, injuries and illnesses must be reported to the immediate supervisor or local Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or Health Safety and Environment Advisor (HSEA) by the person involved following QUT's incident reporting processes.

If the incident resulted in or had the potential to result in a death, serious injury or illness to a person, a dangerous incident at the workplace, or environmental harm the serious or potentially serious matter should be immediately reported to:


9.1.7 Health, Safety and Environment Management System (HSEMS)

QUT will meet its legislative duties of care using a risk management approach, through the Health, Safety and Environment Management System (HSEMS). This provides the QUT community with specific advice on health, safety and environment procedures and a consistent approach to healthm safety and environment risk management. The HSEMS establishes the University standards for health, safety and environment, and includes procedural guidance, reporting requirements, tools and templates and a commitment to establishing  measurable objectives and targets to ensure continued improvement aimed at elimination of work related injury and illness, or environmental harm. Faculties, institutes and divisions may develop local work instructions that expand on specific requirements or deal with local requirements.


9.1.8 Emergency Control Organisations

Each QUT building is required to have an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) consisting of a chief warden, a deputy chief warden and at least one warden per floor. The actual number of wardens required is determined through a documented risk assessment process conducted by the managers of the organisational areas occupying space within the building.  Emergency Control Organisation duties take precedence over normal duties in the workplace and thus appointees must be released from their usual duties to attend training and to perform the activities of a warden.

Organisational areas are responsible for the issue and replacement of Emergency Control Organisation equipment. Details of Emergency Control Organisation equipment are contained in the Emergency Procedures Manual.

The wardens required for each building, including chief wardens and deputy chief wardens, are appointed by the Security Manager following nominations by workplace managers in each building. Security staff train wardens and audit their performance.


9.1.9 Definitions

Environmental protection is defined in the Environmental protection policy (A/9.2).

Health and safety representative (HSR): a worker who has been elected by a work group to represent them on health and safety issues.

Reasonably practicable means that which is, or was at a particular time, reasonably able to be done in relation to ensuring health and safety, taking into account all relevant matters, including, with respect to the hazard or risk: the likelihood; the degree of harm which might result; what the person knows, or ought reasonably to know about; the availability, suitability and cost of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk.

University Officers under this policy refers to the Vice-Chancellor and President, Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Executive Deans of faculty, heads of division and institute directors.

Work health and safety (health and safety) means all aspects of maintaining a safe workplace, including the management of workplace bullying or verbal abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, physical and environmental health risks and unsafe work practices and conditions.


Related Documents

MOPP A/2.5 Risk management

MOPP A/9 Health, safety and environment

MOPP B/7.6 Workplace health and rehabilitation

MOPP B/9 Performance planning and review

MOPP C/4.4 Work integrated learning

Emergency and crisis management (QUT staff access only)

Health Safety and Environment Management System procedure (QUT staff access only)

Emergency procedures - Staff (QUT staff access only) and Students (QUT staff and student access only)

QUT Blueprint

QUT Health, Safety and Environment commitment statement (QUT staff access only)

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
24.05.17 All Vice-Chancellor Revised and simplified policy to reflect external audit recommendations
01.09.15 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy

A/9.1.4, A/9.1.6, A/9.1.7

Council Revised policy to reflect approved new department titled Health, Safety and Environment and new appointment of Director, Health, Safety and Environment
28.08.12 All Registrar New policy (Replaces former policies A/9.1 Health and safety policy and A/9.2 Health and safety management)