University staff at all levels are responsible for ensuring occupational health and safety (OHS).

Staff responsibilities are based on the Work Health and Safety Act (2011) and the Health, Safety and Wellness Policy [2.10.03].

Your specific health and safety responsibilities depend on your role, and should be incorporated into your position description. Any performance criteria should be addressed during day-to-day work discussions as well as in annual recognition and development appraisals.

Responsibilities and performance criteria for particular roles are summarised here. You should refer to the Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety Procedures [2.10.04] for full details on your specific responsibilities. Staff in leadership positions should also read Safety, Health and Wellness Culture: A Guide for UQ Leaders (PDF, 184KB).

Executive deans and senior managers

  • Set clear OHS policy.
  • Allocate responsibility for OHS management and delegation of authority.
  • Establish a faculty, institute or division OHS committee.
  • Allocate sufficient resources for OHS management.
  • Ensure implementation of the risk management program within schools or organisational units.
  • Ensure implementation of a scheme for hazard and accident follow-up.
  • Proactively assist and support University procedures for identifying, processing and managing workers' compensation claims and workplace rehabilitation.
  • Ensure schools or organisational units have effective systems for the provision of OHS information, training and supervision.
  • Ensure schools or organisational units have effective emergency procedures.

See the Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety Procedures [2.10.04] for more detail on fulfilling these responsibilities.

Heads of school and organisational units

  • Set clear OHS procedures.
  • Allocate responsibility for OHS management and delegation of authority.
  • Allocate sufficient resources for OHS management.
  • Implement a risk management program.
  • Implement a scheme for hazard and accident follow-up.
  • Support University procedures for identifying, processing and managing workers' compensation claims and workplace rehabilitation.
  • Ensure provision of OHS information, training and supervision.
  • Establish and disseminate emergency procedures.

See the Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety Procedures [2.10.04] for more detail on fulfilling these responsibilities.

Managers and supervisors

  • Provide OHS information, training and supervision.
  • Undertake risk assessments.
  • Ensure application of appropriate risk control measures.
  • Implement a scheme for hazard and accident follow-up.

See the Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety Procedures [2.10.04] for more detail on fulfilling these responsibilities.

Individual staff and higher degree by research (HDR) students

  • Comply with safe working procedures.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment and safety systems.
  • Assist with the preparation of risk assessments.
  • Report OHS issues.

See the Staff Responsibilities for Occupational Health and Safety Procedures [2.10.04] for more detail on fulfilling these responsibilities.

UQ safety network

You can find safety officers in your organisational unit by checking the UQ safety network contacts.

If you're new to a health and safety role, or your current contact details change, make sure you register your contact details with the HSW Division so you're added to the appropriate mailing lists.

Work Health and Safety Coordinators

Organisational units should consider training and appointing Work Health and Safety Coordinators (WHSCs) to assist in maintaining health and safety duties as per the Work Health and Safety Co-ordinator Role and Function Procedures [2.10.06].

In areas where the OHS Committee believes there is sufficient risk, a dedicated OHS Manager may be appointed. The OHS Manager performs the same duties as a WHSC along with the specific duties of an OHS Manager. See the Occupational Health and Safety Manager Role and Function Procedures [2.10.09].

Find resources for health and safety coordinators and representatives.

Appointing WHSCs and OHS Managers provides support in maintaining workplace health and safety, but it doesn't relinquish staff of HSW responsibilities.

Health and Safety Representatives

From 1 July 2018, Health and Safety Representatives must attend training within 6 months of being elected to the role. Refresher training should be taken every 3 years. See the Work Health and Safety Representative Role and Function Procedures [2.10.05] for more information.

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are not compulsory in UQ workplaces, but they can be requested by a work group. UQ must establish HSRs where there has been a request for representation or an election.

Local areas may encourage the nomination and election of HSRs, but managers should not nominate or appoint them. Workers are entitled to nominate or elect HSRs.

The HSR role is open to any staff member nominated by their work group. You don't need previous experience or special qualifications.

For more information about the powers and functions of the role and the election process, see the Work Health and Safety Representative Role and Function Procedures [2.10.05].

Find resources for health and safety coordinators and representatives.

First Aid Officers

First Aid Officers are appointed by management, subject to risk assessment. To find out more, see:

Drug and Poisons Officers

Drugs and Poisons Officers are appointed by management. They are responsible for ensuring that scheduled drugs and poisons are obtained, issued, used and stored in accordance with legislative requirements. See the Drugs and Poisons Policy [2.70.13] for more information.

Radiation Safety Officers

Radiation Safety Officers are appointed by management to oversee legislative compliance and worker safety associated with possession and use of radioactive substances. See the Radiation Safety Guidelines [2.80.01] for more information.

OHS Committees

OHS Committees provide a forum to facilitate effective communication and consultation between management and workers on workplace matters that may impact on health and safety. For more information, see: