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Off-campus safety

This section places obligations on managers in faculties, including those managers who are academic staff.

Overseas travel

Staff considering overseas travel for University purposes must consult the travel advice on the Facilities Services Division website, which refers users to government travel warnings, travel insurance and a risk assessment form, among other things.

Field work

Field work must be assessed for health and safety risks, and the risks addressed, in advance, by the staff member organising the activity. The staff member must review the Fieldwork Preparatory Checklist (PDF, 28.3 KB) , and complete a Fieldwork Project Safety Plan. The staff member must not proceed with the activity if the risks are significant and the training or experience of the participant(s) is insufficient to deal with them.

Before the fieldwork is carried out the (Model) Fieldwork Operational Checklist (DOC, 36.5 KB) or the local version must be also completed. This can be supported by asking participants to complete the Off Campus Activities Questionnaire (PDF, 97.4 KB) .

The following information and checklists may also be useful:

Work placements, Work Integrated Learning and Practicums

Work placements and Work Integrated Learning is controlled by the Student Placement Procedure. In regards to OHS:

The University shares the management of risk with the host organisation. The University will request that the host organisation, or relevant agency or body, notify them of any risks that may impact on the health and wellbeing of a student and follow up with host organisations where required (Section 10). In particular the staff member either arranging or approving the work placement is to:

  • ascertain whether there are any health and safety risks involved.
  • ensure that the student or staff member involved has the appropriate skills and level of understanding to deal with those risks.
  • ensure that the host organisation has an appropriate health and safety management system to manage those risks.
  • ascertain whether the Off Campus Activities Questionnaire is applicable to the placement
  • review the Work Placement Checklist  (PDF, 120.8KB)
  • Before the placement is commenced the (Model) Work Placement Proforma  (DOC, 37.0KB) or the local version must be completed and returned to the staff member who has either arranged or approved the placement.

The University and host organisation share responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of the placement environment. Any threats or incidents that affect a student’s health, safety or wellbeing including in relation to bullying, discrimination and sexual harm, will be managed in accordance with the relevant University policy (Section 11). All host organisations must be aware of and agree to follow the University’s reporting process (in addition to their internal processes).

Before the start of a placement, the University will ensure that the host organisation, the host placement supervisor/s and the student are provided with all relevant information regarding their roles and responsibilities before, during and after the placement. This will include information relating to responsibilities for providing a safe and secure placement environment (Section 12).

Where a student or staff member has identified a work placement that falls outside of the usual Faculty process, the student or staff member must contact the relevant Faculty or Division manager of area. Approval will not be given where a Faculty or Division believes that the person involved would be put at unreasonable risk by undertaking the placement. There may be other reasons why the work placement is not supported.

Work experience

The University is directly responsible for the safety of any person involved in work experience at the University. The work experience person must, as a minimum, be given the same induction as a casual staff member or contractor carrying out the same work.

The person organising the work experience must ascertain with the person or their placing organisation the work experience person's skill level. The work experience person must be given a level of supervision that is proportional to their skills, previous confirmed work experience and the risks involved in the work being undertaken. The staff member must review the Work Experience Checklist  (PDF, 115.2KB) before the program commences.

Teleworking - Working from home

Staff wishing to avail themselves of flexible working arrangements must consult the Flexible Work Arrangements Procedure and discuss it with their manager. This includes working from home. A Teleworking Agreement is required where a staff member is seeking to telework for one or more days per week for a period of more than a month and the teleworking will occur at the staff member’s home or another non-University location. Please consult the Flexible Work Arrangements Procedure for more details.

The Teleworking Agreement will enable the University to ensure that the work site meets OHS standards, and that the staff member working from home is aware of the need to maintain a safe working environment. The completed form is to be reviewed, signed and retained by the manager and a copy given to the staff member.

Where any changes to the home working environment are reported by the staff member, the manager is to consider whether these will impact on the health and safety of the staff member and consider whether any negative impact can be addressed or whether the working from home arrangement should cease.

Meetings with third parties such as research collaborators from other Universities, contractors, students and so on should only be conducted on University premises, unless otherwise specifically agreed to by the University and the home-based staff member.

Outdoor work activities

Managers of staff working outdoors will, where possible:

  • move outdoor tasks indoors or under shelter or shade, particularly between 11am and 4pm in summer
  • ensure an indoor area or other shelter or shade is available for scheduled breaks
  • use budget centre funds to supply appropriate eye protection, sunscreen, lip balm and hats (with 10–12 cm brims or protective flaps)
  • direct staff to use the above items when working outdoors
  • when the temperature reaches 30°C, relocate staff to cooler areas
  • when the temperature reaches 35°C, relocate staff indoors
  • read for yourself and display for staff the WorkSafe guidance note on sun protection for outdoor workers.

Field work or other outdoor University activities involving students should be arranged so that students are not exposed for long periods to direct sunlight between 11am and 4pm in hot weather, or are not outdoors when the temperature is 30°C or more.

Staff organising sporting or other similarly physically demanding outdoor activities on behalf of the University or on University premises must conduct a risk assessment. The Australian Football League's "Risk Management for Football Clubs" provides a useful example. For further information see the Sport Medicine Australia's Hot Weather Guidelines. The activity should not proceed until the outcome of the risk assessment has been provided to the head of the organisational area and their approval obtained.


Event and visit management

Consideration of risk management must be included in event management preparations.

For all events attracting significant numbers of guests or where potential hazards may arise, an Event Risk Management Assessment must be carried out. The Assessment may need the involvement of Campus Services (Security, Parking) and Facilities Services (Construction, building or electrical works). Advice can also be sought from Health Wellbeing and Safety.

When setting up for events, it is critical that nothing impede access to or visibility of emergency exits, fire doors, emergency equipment or emergency instructions. If those coordinating the event are unfamiliar with the venue/ facility or campus be sure to make time ahead of the function in which to become familiar with the emergency exits, evacuation routes and procedures.  For external venues, arrange an inspection and raise these safety and emergency management issues with the venue manager. If special arrangements have to be made or negotiated always obtain these in writing.

If the set up and operation of the event requires the engagement of casual staff or contractors, they must be inducted. For contractors that carry out trades or construction work they must be inducted onto the campus by the University’s Facilities Management Services Division. This may include electrical work, construction of stands and so on. All contractors go through this process to ensure they are familiar with the regulations and protocols of working on campus and to ensure they will operate in a safe and compliant manner. The induction of other contractors and casual staff is the responsibility of the faculty or other area organising the event.

Where the event is being organised for third parties, for example, potential employers of our students, the faculty or other area organising the event must ensure the safety of all involved. This means providing a basic induction to these third parties to ensure they are familiar with the emergency arrangements in the area. This means also making arrangements to manage people attending and provide for their safety and comfort.

All University facilities and non University commercial properties will have a maximum limit (the venue capacity) as part of the building occupancy permit. To plan a safe event it is important that consideration be given to the venue’s (legal) capacity.

The Following documents include templates and additional information

Motor vehicle safety

A motor vehicle being used for work purposes is a workplace regardless of whether the vehicle is owned and maintained by the University or owned by the staff member.

The Director Logistics is responsible for purchasing and maintaining a safe and roadworthy fleet. In practice this means defining and meeting safety criteria in the purchase and maintenance of vehicles and consulting with health and safety representatives and staff on those criteria. Managers and supervisors are required to:

  • ensure staff, students or contractors under their direct control that drive vehicles have the relevant appropriate driver licences
  • ensure staff, students or contractors that are required to use special vehicles such as four-wheel drives, minibuses or tow trailers etc. have the appropriate skills and experience
  • reduce where practical the amount of driving through the sharing of vehicles, use of conferencing technology, use of public transport and the scheduling of appointments
  • schedule work to account for speed limits and fatigue. This may mean allowing for regular breaks, minimising night driving and providing overnight accommodation.

Staff, contractors and students using University vehicles must:

  • hold a current, valid driver's licence
  • not use hand held mobile phones while driving and minimise the use of hands-free phones
  • abide by all road rules including being considerate of, and courteous to other road users
  • refrain from driving if impaired by tiredness or medication
  • report any accidents, incidents or vehicle defects promptly
  • carry out any routine vehicle checks required by the University (this includes refuelling, replenishing windscreen wiper water, and maintaining tyre pressure).

Where a privately owned vehicle is used, the relevant manager is responsible for ensuring the vehicle meets commonly accepted safety standards.

Further information is provided by the Use of University Vehicles Guidelines and WorkSafe documents on vehicle selection and safe driving.

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