Workplace Health & Safety

University WHS Policy
Workplace Health and Safety Injury Management (WHSIM)
Emergency Information and Contacts

School of Geosciences WHS Action Plan
Incident Reporting, Injury, Workers Compensation
University Counselling Services and Bullying Policy

School of Geosciences Hazard Register
First Aid Information
Fire Alarms
Fieldwork and Excursions
School Vehicles and Boats/Trailers
Risk Assessments

Office Ergonomics
School WHS Information Guide
WHS Induction
School WHS Forms

WH&S Action Plan 2016

View the Work Health & Safety Action Plan 2016.

University WHS Policy

It is a requirement of employment at the University of Sydney that you are familiar with the location and content of the University WHS policy.

University of Sydney – WHS Policy
Duty of Care – Managers Checklist.

Workplace Health and Safety Injury Management (WHSIM)

WHSIM facilitate the management of WHS risks within the University and arising from University activities. They liaise with Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and Departmental Safety Officers (DSOs), assist with WHS inspections and audits, and handle workers compensation claims.

WHSIM website: A comprehensive resource for University policies and general WHS information.

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)
The University maintains a network of Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) located across the University. The responsibilities of the HSR include representing workers in matters relating to WHS, monitoring measures taken by the University in compliance with the WHS act, investigating complaints from members of the workgroup relating to WHS, and inquiring into risks and hazards as they arise. The HSRs meet regularly and ultimately report to the central WHS committee of the University.

Emergency Information and Contacts

Emergency Contacts Details
NSW Emergency Services Ph: 0 000 (from a University phone) or 112 (from a mobile phone)
After hours Emergency Security / Trade Services Ph: x13487
University Security Ph: x13333
University Health Service Ph: x13484 Wentworth Building, x14095 Holme Building

Emergency Information: WHSIM Emergency Info (Bomb Threats, Personal Safety, Unisafe)

If you are injured at work or while in direct transit to or from your duties, wish to report a hazard, or have a general OHS inquiry then contact your supervisor first, then inform the Schools’

School Workplace Health and Safety Committee

The School of Geosciences has formed a Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) committee to deal with the various WHS issues facing the School. Investigation of incidents, inspections of workplaces, formulation of School WHS policy and responding to WHS related queries are the main purposes of this committee. All staff and postgraduate students are welcome to attend and participate.
This committee reports to the Head of School and to the Faculty Safety Committee meetings held bimonthly.

Contact the

Incident Reporting, Injury, Workers Compensation

All incidents resulting in personal injury, or potential injury MUST be reported.

Incident reports must be submitted to OHSIM within 24 hours of the incident. If all details are not yet available, then the incident report form submitted should still contain as much information as is known at the time. Failure to report within the time frame may result in any resultant claims being refused.


  1. Fill out an online incident report form. You will require your Unikey to access this resource.
  2. Inform the School Safety officer and/or the School Manager.
  3. If required, fill out hardcopy incident report form.
  4. Obtain necessary signatures from HOS, supervisors, SSO.
  5. Fax to OHSIM (9351-5868, attn Matthew Mitchell)
  6. If workers compensation is sought, then sections D and E of the form must be filled out. Otherwise the report should be denoted ‘Incident Only’.

If you are conducting remote area fieldwork, or are otherwise unable to contact immediately, then you should inform your base contact as soon as practical.

School of Geosciences WHS Action Plan

It is a requirement of the University that each academic unit has in place an up to date Workplace Health and Safety Action Plan outlining the WHS goals, timeframes and responsibilities within that School.

Incident Reporting, Injury, Workers Compensation

All incidents resulting in personal injury, or potential injury MUST be reported. Incident reports must be submitted to WHSIM within 24 hours of the incident. If all details are not yet available, then the incident report form submitted should still contain as much information as is known at the time. Failure to report within the time frame may result in any resultant claims being refused.

Inform your supervisor immediately. In the first instance it is the primary responsibility of the supervisor to ensure the incident is reported within the timeframe.

  1. Fill out online incident report form (UPLOAD THIS *). If you are unable to contact your supervisor, then inform the School Manager, DSO or HSR as soon as possible.
  2. Inform your supervisor, the School Safety officer and/or the School Manager by email. These people may be required to follow up on the incident report in order for claims to progress.

If you are conducting remote area fieldwork, or are otherwise unable to contact immediately, then you should inform your base contact as soon as practical. The first instance of contact should be to your immediate supervisor.

If you occupy a supervisory or managerial role, an incident reported by someone in your line of management i.e. student or junior staff will need to be addressed by you in case there any procedures, techniques or controls that can be implemented to prevent a recurrence of the incident. You will receive an email alerting you to the fact there is an outstanding incident that needs to be addressed.

To follow up on an incident, log in to Riskware and select Incident/Hazard register. This lists all the incidents that require your attention. Follow the steps.

In some cases, such as reporting a hazard/incident on behalf of somebody else, a hazard/incident occurring in a common area, or a situation where you don’t actually have a responsibility in terms of line management, an incident can be transferred to another staff member in the University. For the School of Geosciences, this person is the School Safety Officer. Please consult the for further guidance.

University Counselling Services and Bullying Policy

This section is intended to provide information for School members involved in dealing with the following situations; student counselling, staff counselling, stress, students in distress and bullying.

Student Counselling
The University offers short-term individual counselling services for locally enrolled students with a registered psychologist. The service is free of charge and both male and female counsellors are available. Further information and online resources are available here. This service is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students. International students should contact the International Student Support Unit.

Contacts for Student Counselling Details
University Counselling Service Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building G02
ph: 02 8627 8433
International Student Support Unit Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building G02
ph: 02 8627 8437
University Health Service Level 3, Wentworth Building G01
ph: 02 9351 3484

Pamphlets outlining the counselling services for both local and international students are available from the School General Office or from the OHS Officer.

Staff Counselling
The University provides a service for staff to arrange free and confidential counselling for yourself and/or your colleagues for up to 4 sessions per year, as part of the Employee Assistance Program. Refer to the University Counselling quick reference guide for further information or contact one of the numbers below.

Contacts for Staff Counselling Details
Case Management Group ph: 02 9351 5885 or 02 9351 4830
University Employee Assistance Program ph: 1300 361 008

If you have witnessed or been involved in a critical event, please contact the Case Management Group within 12 hours to arrange appropriate assistance.

Stress and its adverse health affects are an all too common feature of the workplace. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms; irritability, moodiness, poor sleep, anxiety, back and neck pain, headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, chronic poor health then you may be suffering from stress. There are a number of strategies available to manage excessive stress including regular exercise, calming techniques and identification of stressors.

For further information from the University website click here. It is also recommended you consult your physician and/or the counselling service.

Contacts for Stress Details
Case Management Group ph: 02 9351 5885 or 02 9351 4830
University Employee Assistance Program ph:1300 361 008

Students in distress
From time to time you may identify a student in distress. This may be indicated by a marked change in academic performance or behaviour, unusual behaviour and appearance, references to life stressors or even suicide. In such situations it is advisable to contact the Counselling service for further advice. However, unless the student has given his/her consent to do so, details should be kept general and identities kept private where possible.

It is possible that an immediate and urgent response is required. If you believe that you or another person is in immediate danger or the student is about to harm his/her self, then the first point of call should be security or the emergency services.

Contacts for Students in Distress Details
University Security Services Emergency: 02 9351-3333
Inquiries: 02 9351-3487
Lifeline Ph: 131 114
Mental Health Access Line Ph: 1800 636 825
Fire/Ambulance/Police Ph: 0-000 (112 for mobile phones)  

Where possible, the Head of School, School Manager and OHS officer should be informed of all details as soon as possible after the incident.

A quick reference guide to supporting students in distress is available from the School General Office.

Workplace Bullying
Incidences of bullying in the workplace are an ever present threat to the health and safety of University employees. As would be expected the University takes a hard line view of such incidences and as such it is important that any incidences of bullying are reported and acted upon promptly.

The University of Sydney is committed to providing a workplace that is free from bullying.
All staff and affiliates have a right to work in an environment free from bullying, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
All staff and affiliates have a responsibility to ensure they do not promote or engage in bullying.

Bullying may be described as repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a person, or a group of people, that creates a risk to health, safety and well-being.
It includes behaviour (generally a pattern of behaviour) that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates another person, including by electronic means such as email, notice boards, blogs and social networking websites.

For the University policy on bullying prevention and resolution procedures click on the following link. Workplace Bullying Prevention policy

For the School of Geosciences, the Head of School or the School Manager should be the first point of contact to raise such issues. In some cases the OHS officer may be the more appropriate contact point, or if you aren’t comfortable with these arrangements, then contact should be made with members from the University Case Management team and the counselling services (see Staff Counselling above).

First Aid Information

Nominated First Aiders in the Madsen Building are listed below. These are staff members who are trained in First Aid and should be your first point of contact in case of injury. Their locations are indicated by a green cross and a fully stocked first aid kit is available. If none are available then assistance can be found at the general office. A first aid kit is also located in the 4th floor tea room.


 Staff trained in First Aid  Location  Ext. No. 
 Tom Savage  Room 305  x13390
 Derek Wyman  Room 464  x12924

There is a list of all First Aid trained staff available in the School Office.

First Aid Training
If you would like to receive First Aid training (St Johns Senior), you will require authorisation from the Head of School and/or your academic supervisor. Except in certain circumstances the School will not be liable for the cost of this course, but can arrange training through the Risk Management Office. Contact the for further information.

University Policy on First Aid

There is a defibrillator located in the Eastern Foyer of the Madsen building. It is designed for use by untrained people and will issue instructions once readied for use.

Fire Alarm Response and Emergency Evacuation Information

Emergency Alarms
The emergency alarm in the Madsen building has two audible stages.

The first phase is a warning pulse at which stage you should prepare to evacuate the building through the nearest exit. Gather up your valuables and keys and take them with you as it is possible the building may be closed for hours or even days if the emergency is serious. At this stage the fire brigade and university security services have already contacted.

The second phase is announced by a change in tone and a verbal prompt to evacuate. At this point you must evacuate the building immediately and make your way to an assembly area (either Eastern Avenue, or City Road carpark). Please do not congregate around the entrances as this may impede the work of the emergency services.

Under no circumstances are the lifts to be used during an emergency evacuation.

Persons found to be ignoring the direction to evacuate will have their location relayed to the fire brigade who will evacuate them by whatever means necessary.

Please read and familiarise yourself with the detailed Madsen Evacuation Procedures. Detailed maps of the building showing emergency exit routes for each floor are located at regular intervals throughout the building.

Emergency Control Organisation
When the alarms are sounding, the building has an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) who will oversee the evacuation of the building and ensure exits are guarded until the all clear has been given by the fire brigades. These wardens (typically wearing red hard hats) are not to be harangued or abused during the course of their duties and any reasonable direction must be followed. Failure to adhere to reasonable direction during an emergency evacuation is illegal may result in further action being taken against you. First Aid facilities will be available at both the rear and Eastern Avenue exits to the building.

If anybody is interested in participating in the ECO or has any specific queries about the emergency systems for the Madsen building, please contact the for the Madsen building.

School of Geosciences Hazard Register

The School of Geosciences attempts where possible to account for all the possible hazards that we may face during the course of our duties, varied as they are. This is necessarily an ongoing enterprise and any suggestions for additions to this register are welcomed. Please contact the This register can be of use when compiling risk assessments for field activities.

School of Geosciences Hazard Register. (UPLOAD)

Fieldwork and Excursions

All School Excursions and Fieldwork must have the signed approval from the Head of School or approved delegate.

Use the Fieldwork, Excursion and Travel Authorisation as a guide to the WHS requirements that may need to be considered before authorisation is granted.

University Fieldwork Safety Guidelines

University Fieldwork Outside Australia – A Supplement to Fieldwork Safety Guidelines

When the fieldwork involves an overnight stay participants are required to read and submit a School Field Excursion Policy. Leave these with a pre-arranged contact in the School. Encourage participants to ensure contact details are up to date in Sydney Student.

Further information on Fieldwork, Travel and Excursions requirements is available on the Schools Field Excursions page.

Risk Assessments
It is a legal requirement (NSW OHS Act 2000) that all activities considered hazardous must have a risk assessment . This risk assessment should be compiled through consultation with those conducting the task, academic supervisors and others with relevant experience (e.g. Safety Officer, Boat Handlers etc). This may take any form provided the various requirements of a risk assessment are addressed, and the School has developed a pro-forma Risk Assessment form for this purpose. An appendix is available to assist with compiling this form by providing extra fields to include hazards and risks.

The Risk Assessment Information document contains additional information to help compile the risk assessment, including risk prioritisation, some typical hazards in School activities and a suggested hierarchy of hazard control. Also consult the School Hazard Register for further information.

Please send a copy of completed Risk Assessments to the Safety Officer. A copy may also be required to be included in fieldwork documentation submitted for approval.

School Vehicles and Boats/Trailers

Toyota Landcruiser – Silver – AP19EU
Toyota Landcruiser
Troop Carrier –White – N/A

To drive any of the vehicles owned by the School, the intended driver/s must be authorised by the Head of School or designated delegate. The Driver Authorisation Form should be filled out and submitted to the General Office.

Use of the School Vehicles must be approved by the Head of School and may require demonstration of aptitude or completion of a suitable driving course. Drivers should also confirm that they have a valid drivers licence appropriate for the vehicle that is to be driven.

Vehicles should receive a pre-departure check and not moved if any aspect of the vehicle is unsafe. Any damage is to be reported to the school manager. For journeys over two hours active fatigue management must be implemented. Upon return ensure that the vehicle logbook has been correctly filled out, there is at least half a tank of fuel, the vehicle is clean and in the condition in which it was taken.

Contact the for further information.

Risk Assessments - Laboratory and Workshop

As a legal requirement (NSW OHS Act 2000), all activities considered hazardous must have a risk assessment associated. This risk assessment should be compiled through consultation with those conducting the task, academic supervisors and others with relevant experience (ie Safety Officer, Laboratory Manager etc).

Laboratory Work
Any use of the laboratories much first be confirmed by the Laboratory Manager.

Each new laboratory technique must have a completed OHSRM form Part B as well as a standard operating procedure (SOP) document. Ideally these documents should be compiled through consultation with the users and the laboratory supervisor.

The OHSRM Part B describes the various components (equipment, chemicals) of the technique and hazards associated with those components. This allows risk control measures to be applied as required.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document describes the process step by step using information from the OHSRM Part B. Any proposed new methods should be discussed with the laboratory manager and copies of relevant documentation supplied.

The Workshop manager must be consulted prior to the use of any equipment in the workshop (Rm. 201) or the Rock Preparation Area (Rm. 214). An existing piece of equipment must not be used unless a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document has been read, understood and signed as part of a training and induction session on the machine. A copy of this document will be kept handy to the equipment to which it pertains.

Office Ergonomics

One of the more common injury types suffered by workers at the University are those related to poor workstation set-up. Muscle strain and fatigue resulting from poor ergonomic posture are significant contributors to injury in the office environment and it is important that these issues are addressed as soon as they arise to prevent the potential of significant long term harm.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, back ache, neck and shoulder pain, forearm and wrist pain, eye strain or headaches, then it is possible that these are a result of incorrect posture and workstation set-up.

The following resources are available to provide further information regarding ergonomics, guides to setting up and assessing workstation suitability, and some remedial exercises that may help to mitigate the symptoms.

  1. Workstation Assessment Handbook This document provides detailed information about ergonomic injury and a step by step guide to each aspect of workstation design to minimize the potential of injury.
  2. Workstation Self-Assessment Change Checklist. This is simple but fairly comprehensive checklist dealing with each aspect of set-up and posture to be used when setting up a new workstation or rearranging your desk set-up.
  3. Quick ReferenceWorkstation Self-Assessment. For existing work station set-ups, use this quick checklist to check the important points of the ergonomic set-up.
  4. 2 Minute Office Exercises. Some handy quick exercises to help keep the important muscle groups working and mitigate against the effects of poor posture and workstation design. It is recommended that all staff and students incorporate some or all of these exercises into their daily routine.

It is essential that any such incidences of ergonomic related injury are reported to the School via the Front office, your supervisor or the Safety Officer as soon as symptoms are noticed so that remedial action can be promptly taken.
Further information and resources are available through the University WHSIM website.

School WHS Information Guide

The School WHS Information Guide outlines most of the important WHS information for the School of Geosciences.

WHS Induction

It is a requirement for working at the University that all staff, long stay visitors and post-graduate students complete the online University workplace induction module. Failure to do this may result in the withholding of services, access to facilities, access to computers, amongst others.

Go to the Staff and Careers page on the University website, then in the menu on the right hand side of the page, click into CareerPath. After entering your Unikey, choose Browse for Training and click on Work Health and Safety, then scroll down until you see Work Health and Safety Induction. This is the online induction package. Once complete, take a copy of the certificate and send to the School Manager for filing.

For Students, Visitors and Affiliates. Go to the following page. Click on the menu on the right hand side of the page under “Enrol in Health and Safety training” - WHS Induction. Once complete, take a copy of the certificate and send to the School Manager for filing.

For local WHS induction to the School of Geosciences, this WHS Induction form is to be completed as part of the general induction for all new staff, postgraduate students and long stay visitors. When complete please provide a copy to the Safety Officer for filing.

General School induction information

WHS Training

Aside from the mandatory WHS training module for the University referred to in the section above, there are a number of other online WHS training modules recommended. These can be accessed through the same pathway and include Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors, Incident Investigation, Working with Chemicals, Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace among others. It is recommended you complete those courses that have a relevance to your activities and duties whilst here at the University.

The School Training Needs Matrix provides recommendations for training needs for various categories of staff in the School, some of which can be found through Career Path on MyHRonline, and others which will need to be sourced externally to the University.

School WHS Forms

Boat Authorisation Form

Driver Authorisation Form

Evacuation procedure for Madsen Building (F09)

Fieldwork, Excursion and Travel Authorisation Form

Information for Risk Assessment documents

Pro-forma Risk Assessment Template

School Field Excursion Policy Form

School WHS Information Guide

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document

WHSRM Part B Form