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Procedure: Working safely away from campus


The purpose of this procedure is to define the safety requirements for working safely away from campus to minimise the risk of injury at the Australian National University (ANU) and to ensure compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth), the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth) and the University’s Work Health & Safety (WHS) Management System. This procedure is linked to the Australian National University’s Work health and safety policy and is one of the Safe Work Procedures within the WHS Management System.


On-campus work is work undertaken at the person's normal workplace on-campus, i.e in a building or structure which is owned or managed by the ANU or recognised as an ANU department where staff and students work or study.

Working away from campus is any work which is not on-campus, and includes:

  • Off-campus work is any work authorised by the University to be undertaken away from a person's normal workplace which is not on-campus, i.e within a building or structure which is not owned or managed by the ANU or recognised as an ANU department. Off-campus work includes attending a conference or conducting research or teaching activities at another University or institution; or any University supervised or coordinated route, travel or excursion to an off-campus location for the purposes of extracurricular activities.
  • Fieldwork is any work authorised by the University to be undertaken at an off-campus location, and is external to a building or structure. Fieldwork includes activities such as an archaeological excavation or marine sampling and involves work in a remote area.
  • Remote area is a location separated from an appropriately resourced urban centre by distance, terrain, access, time and/or available communication links. A remote area is on land or water. A remote area is not necessarily related to the distance from an urban centre. In the event of an emergency, assistance would be delayed, with the possibility of adverse outcomes. Remote areas can apply to off-campus work or fieldwork.

Work party is an individual or group of staff undertaking or assisting in work away from campus.

Authorised officer is a University staff member who is contacted by a work party 24 hours per day seven days per week and is authorised by the local area Director to initiate search and rescue requests. They are the local liaison between the work party and the University. This role is split between people to cover required access times.

Delegated officer is a person invested with authority to carry out the functions, powers and duties of, or to act on behalf of or represent others. A person who occupies an official position at the University, that position having been assigned authorities or powers by the Vice-Chancellor by way of the University’s delegations system.

Local area refers to a College, Research School or Service Division of the University.

Home based work is work that enables the use of flexible work arrangements by staff with the agreement of the University. Refer to the Home based work procedure.

An Emergency is any situation where the potential for injury, threat of life or severe damage to property is imminent, and not currently controlled.



  1. The University has developed this procedure to assist local areas with identifying, evaluating and managing WHS risks associated with working away from campus.


  1. This procedure applies to all University managers, staff and other approved participants organising or taking part in any ANU controlled work away from campus.


  1. This procedure excludes:
    1. home based work, refer to the Home based work procedure for information relating to home based work; and
    2. attending meetings away from a University campus or facility in another organisation’s building, structure or facilities.
  1. Staff working away from campus must not attend work if unwell. If they become unwell when conducting University works, they shall inform their supervisor and then go home or self-isolate with as little personal interaction with others as possible.

Hazard assessment

  1. Before any work away from a University campus is approved or undertaken, a hazard assessment is carried out with members of the work/travelling party (where applicable) to identify hazards and controls required to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury or harm to persons. The hazard assessment is facilitated by persons with relevant competencies and outlines emergency procedures, first aid arrangements (if any) and ensure appropriate permits and licenses are acquired for the planned work/activity as required. Refer to Elements for Consideration in Fieldwork and Off-Campus Work for suggested considerations when undertaking a hazard assessment.
  2. The hazard assessment and the identified controls are available and communicated to all participants and other relevant personnel (such as the approver of work).
  3. It is advised that any work away from a University campus or facility is undertaken in groups of two or more persons where practicable.


  1. The University recognises that travel is often an integral part of the work of staff of the University. The travel policy and associated procedures apply to all domestic and international travel arrangements of travelers on approved University business regardless of the source of funds, the duration of travel, or the purpose of travel.
  2. All travel is pre-approved by a delegated officer prior to ticketing in accordance with the relevant Finance and Human Resource procedures. Travelers can not under any circumstances authorise their own travel. Further information on the travel policy and associated procedures and travel approval is accessed via these links: Travel, travel approval and Travel insurance.

Reporting incidents and hazards

  1. All related hazards and incidents are reported immediately as per the WHS incident management procedure.


  1. The University maintains relevant insurance including workers' compensation insurance, travel insurance and compulsory third party motor insurance (CTP). Further information is found via Travel policy documents.

International travel

  1. Before proceeding on any international work, the work party evaluates their personal security and implement recommended practices to minimise any risks. Information is available from: Current recommendations from the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade published under "Consular Travel Advice" at their "Hints for Australian Travellers" website and from Travel to High Risk Destinations.
    Note: Special procedures exist for travel into higher risk countries DFAT travel advisory level 4 countries and Travel to high risk destinations.


  1. All staff comply with the University Code of conduct while representing the University.
  2. Effective communication and emergency strategies, facilities and schedules are in place as identified in the hazard assessment, to allow communication within the work party and in between the work party, the local area's Authorised Officers, and local emergency services.
  3. While working away from campus, the work party communicate with the local area authorised person according to a pre-arranged communication schedule identified in the hazard assessment.
  4. The communication schedule contains an escalation plan with specific responsibilities in the unlikely event that the pre-arranged communications are not being delivered or received.
  5. It is preferable to have multiple forms of communication available but at least one form of reliable electronic communication device is taken when working away from campus. All party members are to be given information and training in the use of the communication devices, including, where appropriate, the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and/or the Personal Locating Beacon (PLB).

Emergency procedures

  1. Emergency procedures are established as part of the hazard assessment and communicated before departure, to allow the local area to respond quickly to any emergency situation. These include:
  • contact procedures/details for relevant local emergency agencies (e.g. police, ambulance, (Flying) Doctor, Park Ranger and embassy or consulate);
  • emergency contact procedures with the Authorised Officer, including a call-out system where the Authorised Officer is informed when a work party is overdue; and
  • work party personal emergency contacts such as a nominated next of kin.
  1. Where emergency beacons are used, appropriate registration details link to the local area contact (Safety Officer or Authorised Officer).
  2. Staff undertaking work away from campus are fit for the proposed activities and fit for travel. Persons over 75 years of age and those with pre-existing medical conditions provide supervisor’s documentation (such as a medical management plan or medical clearance certificate from a doctor) to be approved to participate in related activities, including travel. This is to ensure that tasking is appropriate and triggers first aid/treatment measures are known prior to travel.

First aid requirements

  1. First aid requirements (if any) are determined based on risk via a hazard assessment conducted prior to the work away from campus. Considerations are given to risks associated with the nature of the work, its location and the proximity to medical facilities (i.e in an urban area).
  2. All personal medications are the responsibility of the individual and discussed with the work party supervisor and included in the hazard assessment. The individual shall be responsible for the supply and care of their personal medications and ensure sufficient amounts are available for the duration of the work away from campus and have contingency arrangements in place. Personal medications such as Epi-pens and Ventolin is carried by individuals that require these.
  3. The University's minimum first aid requirements for fieldwork in remote areas are as follows:
  • Fieldwork in remote areas requires training in remote area first aid. At least one work party member (staff) has Remote Area First Aid training/certification. Additional First Aid attendants are required for undergraduate fieldwork classes. Refer to WHS training/general courses webpage for further information on how to complete this training.
  • Remote area first aid kits are provided as per the Provision of first aid services procedure.


Legal and other requirements

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)

Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)

Risk & audit – Policies & claims Travel documents

Australian Government: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and/or the Personal Locating Beacon (PLB).

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Travel:


Printable version (PDF)
Title Working safely away from campus
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000531
Version 13
Purpose To set out the procedure for working safely away from campus
Audience Staff-Academic-Research, Students-Graduate-Research, Staff, Students
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Health, Safety & Environment - Occupational Health & Safety
Effective Date 17 Jul 2020
Review Date 31 Dec 2023
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Delegations 0