Health and safety risk management standard


All organisations face a range of risks that can affect strategic initiatives, operational activities, processes and projects. Health and safety risk is inherent in all University activities be they academic, administrative or commercial in nature, so the University community are, whether aware of it or not, dealing with these risks and making decisions about them every day.

The University takes its health and safety responsibilities to stakeholders, staff members and students seriously, and recognises that it is obliged to manage systematically and review regularly its work-related health and safety risk profile at strategic, operational and individual levels. It appreciates that one of its core risks is compliance with its statutory work-related health and safety obligations.

It is committed not only to identifying these obligations, but also managing and monitoring compliance within the institution. This is achieved through the University’s work-related health and safety risk management and compliance framework that determines the process and identifies the tools for realising its objectives.


All staff members and students at the University.


To provide the basis for all faculties, schools, departments and services to identify and assess risks, implement control measures and check progress as part of the broader health and safety management system.


1. A clearly defined work-related Health and Safety Risk Management and Compliance Framework is to be used that is aligned to the Health and Safety Management System.

2. Each faculty/service division is to:

  • set out its health and safety objectives and actions in its annual plan
  • allocate appropriate resourcing to these health and safety objectives, and
  • monitor progress through its reporting and decision-making processes. 

Risk Register

3. Deans and service division directors will ensure that risks are recorded on a risk register in the following circumstances:

a. Risk assessments with a high residual risk score (6 or above)

b. Risk assessments with an extreme inherent risk score where exposure is controlled by procedure, training, supervision and personal protection, regardless of assessed residual risk – i.e. engineering or more effective solutions are not achievable

c. Activities performed regularly, repeatedly or periodically under a Permit-to-work required due to the nature or complexity of the risk to be controlled. The number and nature of these activities should be recorded

d. The three most commonly reported causes of injury, illness or concern in the faculty or service division in the previous year.

4. Risk registers should be reviewed regularly by:

a. The faculty/service division health and safety committee, including the status of any outstanding corrective actions related to each entry

b. The faculty/service division leadership team in formulating its annual plan and allocating resources.

Risk Assessment

5. Faculties/service divisions must implement the University’s health and safety risk assessment process for all tasks where significant hazards are present in the location or introduced by the work activity.

6. Risk assessments must be carried out by a competent person.

7. The main findings of the risk assessment must be recorded in the prescribed format and the activity and risk assessment authorised at an appropriate level. Activities with residual risks assessed as high (score of 6 or above) must cease immediately. The manager/academic leader responsible must report this to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service for further consideration and assistance in planning corrective actions. The activity must not recommence until corrective actions have been implemented and resumption of the activity is authorised by the dean/director.

8. Activities with residual risks assessed as extreme (score of 12 or above) must cease immediately. The dean or director responsible must report this to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service for further consideration and assistance in planning corrective actions. The activity must not recommence until corrective actions have been implemented and resumption of the activity is authorised by the Vice-Chancellor or a member of the University Executive with delegated authority. 

9. Risk assessments become invalid and must be reviewed in the following circumstances:

a. The nature of the hazards changes

b. New hazards are introduced

c. Change of personnel or people exposed or affected

d. Changes to the capability of people involved with the task, including temporary changes and changes in health or condition

e. Change to the competency level required or available

f. A change in applicable legislation, code of practice, published guidance or best practice standard

g. There is reason to suspect the risk assessment is no longer valid, for example following an incident investigation.

10. All risk assessments should be reviewed and revalidated annually to verify that they are still valid and none of the above changes at 9a-g apply

11. All risk assessments must be reviewed and formally re-authorised at faculty/service division level every four years or at the start of a new phase of a project – whichever occurs sooner.


For definitions that apply to this document, please visit our definitions page.

Key relevant documents

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: June 2021
Next Review: June 2024
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing