Skip navigation

Policy: Work health and safety


This policy is intended to provide a safe workplace as well as deliver the best health, safety and wellbeing outcomes for everyone that the University is responsible for.


The University is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of its workers, students and visitors through the implementation of a documented work health and safety management system. This policy defines the principles of this commitment and University’s approach to the continuous improvement of health and safety in the workplace.


This policy applies to all workers, students and visitors across the University.

Policy statement

  1. The University is committed to the following:
  1. implementing and maintaining an effective work health and safety management system with evaluation and management review for continuous improvement;
  2. implementing a standardised health and safety risk management process, that is consistent with the nature, activities and scale of its operation, to ensure workplace hazards are eliminated or where elimination is not possible, identified, assessed, controlled and reviewed;
  3. complying with all applicable health and safety legislation, approved Codes of Practice, Australian Standards, the National Self Insurer WHS Audit Tool and other requirements;
  4. establishing measurable objectives and targets for health and safety aimed at the elimination of work-related illness, and injury and at continuous system improvements;
  5. providing and disseminating appropriate health and safety information, instruction, training and supervision to workers, students and visitors;
  6. allocating sufficient financial and physical resources to enable the effective implementation of this policy; and
  7. implementing and maintaining a process to engage all workers, so far as reasonably practicable, for consultation and where there is an impact on their health and safety while at work, for decision making.

Leadership and culture

  1. The University promotes excellence in health and safety leadership and a positive culture of health and safety through:
  • ensuring the University’s work health and safety management system is appropriate to the University’s operation and is implemented consistently across all campuses, parts and functions of the University;
  • integrating health, safety and wellbeing risk management into all aspects of its business
  • encouraging and supporting innovative, healthy and safe work practices and systems of work;
  • determining, in consultation with workers, health, safety and wellbeing outcomes;
  • improving the University’s health, safety and wellbeing performance; and
  • ensuring workers have the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve appropriate health, safety and wellbeing outcomes.

Responsibility and authority

  1. Responsibility and authority under this policy operates at three levels of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) as the University;
  • Executive (e.g. Chief Operating Officer): provides leadership to ensure communication of this policy and effective implementation of the University’s work health and safety management system;
  • Senior Managers (Officer of PCBU) (e.g. College Deans, School and Division Directors): implement the University’s work health and safety management system and support managers and supervisors in fulfilling their responsibilities and accountabilities; and
  • Workers (Workers of PCBU) (staff, volunteers and contractors), students and visitors: take reasonable care for their own safety and the safety of others as well as comply with any reasonable instruction, policy or procedure of the University in relation to health and safety.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Work health and safety
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_000432
Purpose This policy is intended to provide a safe workplace as well as deliver the best health, safety and well being outcomes for everyone that the Australian National University is responsible for.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment - Occupational Health & Safety
Effective Date 25 Mar 2024
Next Review Date 24 Mar 2029
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Safety and Wellbeing
Authority: Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2011
Work Health and Safety (Transport and Delivery of Cash) Code of Practice 2011
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
Delegations 271

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.

Related Content

Chemical management
Infectious diseases and immunisation policy for students undertaking clinical placements in health facilities
Risk management
Radiation safety
Rehabilitation and compensation
University services feedback
Safety in animal houses
Health monitoring
Provision of first aid services
Working safely away from campus (Under review)
Electrical safety management
Domestic animals on campus
Painting management
Noise management
Control of access to restricted locations
Confined space safety
Pest management
Personal protective equipment
Rehabilitation and compensation
Sharps handling
Radiation safety
Management of Non-Work Related Injury, Illness and Disability
Emergency response
Fall prevention
Managing fume exhaust system
Nuclear security
Infectious diseases and immunisation for students undertaking clinical placements in health facilities
Work health and safety communication and consultation
Work health and safety planning, objectives, targets and programs
University services feedback
Contractor work health and safety
Gas sensor
Safe use of a fume cupboard
Early intervention assistance
Safe use of wet scrubbers
Duties of Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) members
Application for Payment of Chief Warden Allowance
Pre-employment work environment report
Electrical item certification
Immunisation declaration
Low voltage electrical installation hazard assessment
Safe use of electrical equipment
Confined space hazard assessment and entry permit
Roof top access supporting document