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Health and Safety Procedure - Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Manager – Policy Senior Manager, Health and Safety
Review Date 9 November 2025
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) This procedure documents how to comply with the Health and Safety Policy regarding the management and control of hazards that arise from the operational activities by following the hazard identification and risk control process (HIRAC).

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Section 3 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. All staff and students
  2. All contractors
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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key decisions  Role
Where no further risk controls are practicable and the task is viewed as essential, written approval is provided for the task to proceed. Head of School / Division
Escalate intolerable risks to either COO, Provost or SDVC (RI&E). Senior Manager, Health and Safety
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(3) This procedure forms part of the Health and Safety Policy suite which governs its application.

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities

Managers and leaders

(4) Managers and leaders are responsible for:

  1. Identify and document hazards within the areas of responsibility.
  2. Lead and/or support the risk assessment process
  3. Endorse risk control selection and monitor control use
  4. Undertake/support periodic review of risk control efficacy

Health and Safety Team:

  1. Provide oversight and monitor this procedure.
  2. Provide technical and advisory support.
  3. Conduct or participate in HIRAC as required.
  4. Ensure periodic review for risk control efficacy is undertaken.
  5. Communicate the risk control methods, broader trends and deeper insights to the University community.

Staff, students and contractors

  1. Identify and report hazards that can arise across university settings and activities.
  2. Participate in risk assessment as required.
  3. Activate/use the risk controls to manage risk as required.
  4. Participate in periodic reviews for risk control efficacy as required.

Part B - Hazard Identification

(5)  hazard is a source of potential harm that can give rise to injury, illness or material damage to a plant, property or the environment and will arise as tasks and activities are undertaken.

(6) There are multiple methods to identify and manage hazards when preparing and undertaking activities. These include:

  1. Safety management plans
  2. Risk assessments
  3. Task safety analyses
  4. Safe work method statements

(7) Hazards are also identified informally through general observation or formally during inspections and audits.

(8) All staff, students and contractors are required to report all hazards through the Incident and Hazard Reporting, which is located on the University intranet.

Part C - Risk Assessment

(9) Risk assessments will be led or supported by managers/leaders and undertaken in small groups through consultative processes. Current templates including the risk matrix are available on the Health & Safety intranet.

(10) When undertaking a risk assessment of the hazard, consideration will be given to the hazard in its context to gain a deeper understanding of the risk:

  1. People – who is involved?
  2. Place – including equipment and the operational context.
  3. Process –is there a current procedure or process?

(11) The risk assessment will be undertaken using the University Risk Matrix to assign a risk rating to the hazard. The risk rating will determine whether the risk is accepted or not, and the priority to which risk controls are developed and assigned.

  1. In situations where the risk rating is intolerable, possible risk controls will be thoroughly examined and suitable risk controls applied before the task commences.
  2. Where no further risk controls are practicable and the task is viewed as essential to University operations, the Head of School/Division will be required to provide written approval for the task to commence.
  3. The Senior Manager, Health and Safety will escalate intolerable risks to either the  Chief Operating Officer, Provost or SDVC(RI&E).

Part D - Risk Control Selection

(12) The hierarchy of control is used to inform the decision of risk control.

  1. Risk control selection will follow the order of the hierarchy commencing with elimination as the first consideration.
  2. Selected risk controls will not introduce new (uncontrolled) risks.
  3. Any new or changed risk controls will be captured on the risk register of the safety management plans and updated accordingly.
  4. Clear responsibilities and timeframes for completion of new risk controls will be established.

(13) Risk control selection will also incorporate layers of control to ensure people, place and process are specifically and adequately addressed to actively control the risk.

Part E - Safety Management Plans

(14) The Health & Safety Team will maintain a Hazard Risk Register for the University utilising safety management plans to: 

  1. Capture hazards for each school / division and quantify the risks. 
  2. Capture and standardise the current controls. 
  3. Strengthen controls or introduce new controls to uplift and continuously improve. 

Part F - Task Safety Analysis (TSA)

(15) Managers/leaders will support the development and implementation of Task Safety Analyses (TSAs) for any non- routine task where hazards are likely. The TSA will be used to ensure:

  1. Tasks are planned
  2. Task assessments follow Hazard identification, Risk assessment and Control (HIRAC)
  3. Awareness is raised of the hazards and risk controls involved in the task
  4. Appropriate risk controls are in place prior to task commencement
  5. Tasks are completed in a safe and controlled manner
  6. Task Safety Analyses will be reviewed annually or when operational changes introduce new hazards
  7. People undertaking the non-routine tasks will review the TSAs when changes are made.

Part G - Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

(16) Managers/leaders will support the development and implementation of Safe Work Method Statements for any high-risk work. The SWMS will be used to ensure:

  1. High-risk work is planned
  2. Assessment of the high-risk tasks follow HIRAC
  3. Awareness is raised of the hazards and risk controls involving high-risk tasks
  4. Appropriate risk controls are in place prior to starting high-risk work
  5. Tasks are completed in a safe and controlled manner.

(17) Demonstrating an understanding of the SWMS will occur as follows:

  1. People assigned to the activity will sign off the SWMS indicating their understanding of the hazards and risk controls prior to commencing work.
  2. Managers/leaders will review the SWMS on each occasion before work commences and whenever additional hazards are introduced to the task.
  3. People assigned to the activity will review and sign off the SWMS whenever changes are made.

Part H - Safe Operating Procedures (SOP)

(18) The SOP will be used to ensure:

  1. Routine tasks with higher risk are planned
  2. Tasks utilising plant, equipment or routine tasks with higher risk can be performed safely
  3. Assessment for the SOP follows HIRAC
  4. Appropriate risk controls are in place prior to using the plant, equipment or undertaking the routine task
  5. Tasks are completed in a safe and controlled manner.

(19) Safe Operating Procedures will be reviewed annually or when operational changes introduce new hazards.

(20) People using the plant, equipment or undertaking the routine tasks will review the SOP when changes are made.

Part I - Monitoring and Evaluation

(21) The Health and Safety Team will monitor and evaluate the risk assessments and risk controls for quality and efficacy.

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Section 7 - Definitions

(22) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Hazard: A source of potential harm to people or a situation that can cause injury, illness and /or material loss to plant, property or the environment.
  2. Hazard identification: the process of identifying all situations or events that could give rise to injury, illness or damage to plant or property.
  3. Hazard Risk Assessment: A systematic approach to assessing hazards which provides an objective measure of the hazard and allows hazards to be prioritised and compar
  4. Hierarchy of Control: Is the established priority order for the types of measures to be used to control risks.
  5. HIRAC: Hazard identification, Risk assessment and Control
  6. Risk: A function of the probability of an adverse event occurring and the potential consequence of that event. 
  7. SOP: Safe Operating Procedure.
  8. SWMS: Safe Work Method Statement.
  9. TSA: Task Safety Analysis.
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Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(23) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(24) Associated information includes:

  1. Health and Safety (intranet)