Health safety and injury management


DATE OF APPROVAL: 16 December 1991, C-12/91-59.1

AMENDMENTS: March 1992; February 2001; November 2001; June 2002; October 2003; May 2007; March 2010 (Endorsed by SMG & OHSW&IM Committee); October 2012 (Endorsed by SMG & OHSW&IM Committee); July 2015 to reflect change in legislation; October 2015 (Council 2015/6/8); October 2016; 17 January 2020 (Executive Director: People, Talent & Culture).



Policy statement 

The University of South Australia aims to protect the health and safety of all people who work, study, visit our campuses or have the potential to be affected by our activities. Our people are invaluable, therefore maintaining or enhancing their health and safety is a high priority and integral to our core business.

The university is committed to:

  • continually improving its systems and meeting requirements of the Work Health & Safety (WHS) Act 2012 (SA), Return to Work Act 2014, supporting regulations, other relevant legislation and the Return to Work SA Code of Conduct for Self-insured Employers.
  • providing adequate human and financial resources including internal or external expertise as required.
  • integrating health and safety into core business activities through strategic and local action planning.
  • implementing a risk management program to address hazards associated with university activities.
  • consulting and communicating with staff, students, visitors, contractors, volunteers and others (including other duty holders who have a duty in relation to the same matter) in a manner that is easy to understand and takes into account cultural and linguistic diversity.
  • providing instruction, training and education in various formats to suit business requirements.
  • supporting injured or ill employees through the provision of high quality injury management practices, including equitable worker’s compensation, effective rehabilitation and return to work practices and allowing them to be supported by a person of their choice as required.
  • applying effective communication strategies to minimise duration of injury and achieve a timely return to work.
  • supporting students and others with injury management requirements where the injury has occurred as a result of university business.
  • providing a variety of opportunities to enhance staff and student wellbeing.



Council, Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Vice Chancellor ensure:

  • adequate human and financial resources are provided including external expertise.
  • effective health safety and injury management systems are in place.
  • oversight of the system and monitoring of its effectiveness is provided at a strategic level.
  • knowledge of due diligence obligations as Officers under the WHS Act is maintained.

All senior staff ensure:

  • hazards associated with core business are systematically identified, risks assessed, controls implemented and effectiveness reviewed.
  • tasks are allocated to suitable staff and costs are planned for in annual budgets.
  • consultation with staff and students occurs to enable them to contribute to risk management decisions.
  • staff and students understand the process for reporting hazards and incidents.
  • university local action planning is endorsed and implemented.
  • information, training and instruction is provided to students, staff and others where relevant
  • employee wellbeing activities are supported.
  • return to work plans are implemented and suitable duties are provided for injured employees.

Managers, Principal Researchers, Academic and Technical Supervisors ensure:

  • hazards associated with work tasks are recognised and risk management practices are applied utilising the services of the WHS consultants for advice.
  • training needs of students and staff are identified and appropriate opportunities are provided to improve knowledge and skill.
  • consultation and communication occurs with students and staff on health and safety matters in their area of responsibility and work is supervised in accordance with their level of experience and capability.
  • hazards and incidents are reported, investigated and corrective actions implemented.
  • injury management practices are supported to maintain injured workers at work or return them to work at the earliest opportunity.

Employees and Students must follow reasonable instructions and work practices to maintain the health and safety of themselves and others, particularly when conducting experimental or untested activities.

Contractors, visitors and others in university workplaces must take reasonable care of their own health and safety and for that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. They must be aware and comply with applicable university health and safety policies, procedures and practices as advised through induction or other means.

Professional health safety and injury management staff:

  • Analyse identified problems and assist the university to find effective solutions that have an overall goal of eliminating or minimising harm to any person.
  • Produce relevant and practical policy, procedures and tools for use in teaching, learning, research, support services and administrative environments whilst incorporating legal and ethical requirements.
  • Conduct internal audits to measure and evaluate performance, identify and communicate areas of success and consult with workplaces on activities requiring corrective action.
  • Allocate responsibilities and accountabilities detailed in strategic and local plans, position descriptions and procedures and provide education, instruction, guidance and support around implementation.
  • Establish measurable objectives and targets to facilitate continual improvement of health safety and injury management and communicate them to Institutes, Academic and Central Units and Portfolios.
  • Review the system to identify gaps and develop further strategies for improvement.

Further information

Further information on responsibilities, procedures, guidelines and forms is available on the Safety & Wellbeing Website