Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Safety management

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

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AS/NZS/ISO 45001:2018; "Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements with guidance for use" is an international standard. It specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OHS) management system, and gives guidance for its use, to enable organisations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its OHS performance.

Beginning in 2020, The University is in the process of upgrading our Safety Management System to align with AS/NZS/ISO 45001.

This works with UWA’s Mission and its 6 Strategic Pillars by:

  1. Reinforcing UWA’s OHS Responsibilities and Accountabilities
  2. Strengthening our Safety Management System
  3. Enhancing UWA’s OHS Committees Framework
  4. Embedding OHS Positive Performance Indicators; and
  5. Implementing and Embedding a UWA Internal and External OHS Audit Program

The standard is available through the University Library SAI Global subscription.

Update on harmonisation of work health and safety laws

The Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 was passed as the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) and assented to by the Governor on 10 November 2020. This will replace the current Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) (OSH Act);

The new laws will offer greater protection to WA workers, capturing modern employment relationships not just the classic employer/employee relationship. In particular, they will introduce the term ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU). The Bill contains the majority of the provisions contained in the national model WHS legislation.

Meaning of 'worker'

The WHS Bill adopts a broad definition of ‘worker’ to recognise the changing nature of employment relationships and to ensure that the protections in the legislation extend to all types of workers. It sets out a non-exhaustive list of persons who would meet the definition of ‘worker’, including employees, contractors/sub-contractors, labour hire company employees, apprentices, work experience students and volunteers.

A 'person conduction a business or undertaking' (PCBU)

The term ‘employer’ in existing WA safety laws will be replaced with the broader ‘person carrying on a business or undertaking,’ (PCBU) encompassing all types of organisations including those without employees. A PCBU can be an individual including a member of a partnership and a sole trader but will typically apply to companies and other entities. PCBU’s will owe a new ‘primary duty of care’ to ensure the health and safety of workers and others affected by the work. The duties imposed by the WHS Bill mirror the duties imposed by the current law, such as ensuring the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out; the provision and maintenance of a work environment without health and safety risks; and the provision and maintenance of safe structures and plant etc.

Due Diligence Self Assessment

The self assessment guide below list key aspects of "due diligence" with respect to work health and safety. It is intended to be used by those who are in positions providing strategic leadership, direction, control and oversight in terms of influencing the implementation of the UWA Work Health and Safety Policy. Senate, Senior Executive, Heads of School, Directors and Associate Directors need to be able to assess their own knowledge of the status of work health and safety within their areas of accountability.