WHS Policy


Date first approved:

Date of effect:

Date last amended:
(refer to Version Control Table)

Date of Next Review:

21 July 1999

21 July 1999

7 November 2017

6 November 2022

First Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Manager, Workplace Health and Safety Unit




Workplace Health and Safety Unit

Responsible Division & Unit:

Human Resources Division

Workplace Health and Safety Unit

Supporting documents, procedures & forms:

Roles and Responsibilities for Workplace Health & Safety

Work Health & Safety Management System

Relevant Legislation & External Documents:

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 (NSW)




1 Purpose of Policy

    1. The University of Wollongong is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its workers, students and visitors. The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Policy defines the principles of this commitment and the University’s approach to the continuous improvement of health and safety in the workplace.

    2. This Policy gives effect to the University’s WHS Management Plan, WHS Management System, procedures and guidelines.

    3. All members of the University community have a collective and individual responsibility to work safely and be engaged in activities to help prevent injuries and illness.

2 Definitions


Definition (with examples if required)


Any person who visits the University and is not classified as a worker of the University. Visitors to the University may include, but are not limited to:

    • Students
    • Conference and function attendees
    • Commercial clients or customers including those visiting UOW Pulse or UOW Enterprises
    • Family and friends of workers or students
    • Tenants
    • Community visitors including prospective students, parents and collaborators.

Work Health and Safety (WHS)

Multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work.


Any person who carries out work for the University which includes:

    • Employees
    • Trainees
    • Volunteers and affiliates including visiting and honorary fellows
    • Outworkers
    • Apprentices
    • Work experience students
    • Contractors or sub-contractors
    • Employees of a contractor or sub-contractor
    • Employees of a labour hire company assigned to work for the University.

3 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions

    4. This Policy applies to all workers of the University of Wollongong as well as students, affiliates and other visitors including the undertaking of university activity on or off campus.

    5. Entities of the University are required to outline their commitment to work health and safety through their own WHS policy and management systems.

4 Policy Principles (if relevant)

  • 1. The University will undertake the following activities in fulfilling its commitment to provide a healthy and safe workplace:

    a. develop, implement and maintain a health and safety management system which includes the requirements of this Policy;

    b. comply with applicable health and safety legislation as well as other requirements such as Codes of Practice or Australian Standards;

    c. implement a health and safety risk management process to ensure workplace hazards are identified, assessed, controlled and reviewed where they are not able to be eliminated;

    d. allocate sufficient financial and physical resources to enable the effective implementation of the WHS Policy;

    e. provide, handle and store equipment, structures, substances and systems of work without risk to health;

    f. provide and disseminate current health and safety training and information to workers, students and visitors via the internet and other suitable delivery methods;

    g. implement arrangements for the consultation of health and safety matters with workers and students;

    h. establish measureable objectives and targets for health and safety aimed at the elimination of work-related illness and injury; and

    i. report on measurements and targets to Council and WHS Committee.

5 Roles & Responsibilities

  • 1. The Vice-Chancellor has responsibility for, and is committed to, the effective implementation of the University WHS Policy.

    2. The Senior Executive will support Executive Deans, Heads of School, Directors, Managers and Supervisors to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities and accountabilities within their area of responsibility.

    3. University Council has the responsibility to oversee the monitoring of the University’s WHS performance against objectives and targets.

    4. All workers, students and visitors have a responsibility to take reasonable care for their own safety and the safety of others and comply with any reasonable instruction, policy, procedures or guidelines of the University in relation to health and safety.

    5. The WHS Unit is available to provide advice regarding specific health and safety matters, update the University on legislative changes and assist with the development, implementation and monitoring of this Policy and the WHS management system.

    6. Further description of WHS responsibilities are outlined in the UOW document “Roles and Responsibilities for Workplace Health and Safety”.

6 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



21 July 1999

Administrative Committee

First Version


4 June 2003


Minor changes to adjust policy to bring it in line with legislative changes


11 October 2005


Minor policy changes following review by WHS Committee


27 May 2008

Administrative Committee

Formatting and minor changes


6 May 2009

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Policy Template as per Policy Directory Refresh


20 August 2010

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Review date changed from May 2011 to May 2012


26 August 2010

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect divisional name change from Personnel Services to Human Resources Division


10 January 2012

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Policy reviewed in accordance with Work Health and Safety Act 2011 NSW


17 August 2012

University Council

Scheduled review, inclusion of University Council responsibilities, inclusion of definitions for new terms workers and visitors.


7 November 2017


Scheduled review, updates to positions and entities including title of policy to reflect current nomenclature and an addition of the definition for ‘Work Health and Safety’.