Read about our key Health & Safety achievements in 2023

16 Feb 2024
A group of students walk along a path outside

Dedicated efforts by students and staff are ensuring a safe and secure environment at UNSW.

In 2023, our Health & Safety strategy was fully embedded across the University. We can see it demonstrated in the way we think and do safety, and in the positive feedback in the Staff Insight Survey. 

Safer Communities was established at the end of 2023 to enhance our efforts in Gendered Violence, Respect at Work, Psychosocial Safety and Staff Wellbeing within prevention. It continued to foster a collaborative approach, through active formal engagement with students and staff. The work of the Safer Communities team is built upon three core pillars: early intervention, prevention and response. 

Our commitment to a positive safety culture is evident in our achievements in 2023, which set the scene for continued improvements focusing everyone’s physical and psychosocial safety at UNSW.

Safety systems and specialists in 2023

Our achievements in 2023 included:

  • implementation of Salus, our new safety management software
  • implementation of enhanced reporting capabilities, which resulted in an increase in injury reporting, timely investigations and effective corrective actions
  • completion of key assurance activities, including extensive audits in Radiation Waste Management, Work Health and Safety, Chemical Management and Estate Management Safety
  • commencement of amendments to procedures and guidelines, while streamlining and consolidating procedures 
  • University-wide health and safety campaigns on the importance of risk management 
  • recruitment and onboarding of a Policy and Engagement Officer, Radiation Specialist, Chemical Safety Specialist and Systems lead
  • regular health and safety committee meetings to lead the strategic direction of safety at UNSW, discuss key safety matters and support faculties and divisions 
  • continued execution of compliance activities, adherence to regulations and positive engagement with regulators
  • continued delivery of the workstation assessment program for early intervention injury prevention
  • positive outcomes of SafeWork NSW investigations and audits.

Safety partnerships in 2023

Our achievements in 2023 included:

  • implementation of faculty and division Work Health and Safety Plans 
  • development of a psychosocial risk assessment to identify, assess and manage psychosocial hazards and enable early intervention
  • creation and distribution of a Psychosocial Quick Guide to assist supervisors in having supportive conversations
  • continued focus on a proactive risk management culture by identifying critical risks and ensuring each faculty and division base their risk registers around the critical risks
  • communication of regular safety alerts based on high-risk areas, including details on known causes of incidents and promotion of ways to prevent further incidents
  • introduction of new Health and Safety awareness modules 
  • recruitment and onboarding of the Safer Communities team
  • coordination and high levels of engagement at a range of webinars, interactive events and information sessions for Health, Safety and Wellbeing Month 2023
  • continued support provided by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • a positive increase in hazard and injury reporting
  • completion of internal audits and gap analysis, facilitating the creation of a clear safety plan and strategy for 2024.  

New safety programs and strategies

We embedded health and safety in operations and decision-making. To do this, we implemented several safety programs and strategies including:

  • a new refined strategy and safety motto “Think Safe, Be Safe, Home Safe.”
  • safety training refreshers
  • "Speak up for Safety” program
  • introduction of psychosocial risk, including the development of a Psychosocial Risk Assessment
  • Safety Recognition program
  • introduction of safety in “myCareer” conversations
  • safety brief card
  • new Safety website
  • Black Dog ‘Managing for Team Wellbeing’ training for University Leadershi Team (ULT).
  • Part 1 of “Be Safe” program and poster.