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Health and Safety Policy

Category Health and Safety
Type Policy
Approved by University Council
Date Policy Took Effect 1 May 2008
Last approved revision 11 October 2016
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible officer Head, Health and Safety Compliance


The health, safety and welfare of workers and students is of prime importance at the University of Otago, and it is the University's intention to meet the legislative requirements, to strive for excellence in health and safety management and to be a national leader within the tertiary sector.

Organisational scope

All University of Otago workplaces, workers, students, visitors, and members of the public lawfully on University sites.


  1. It is the policy of the University, so far as is reasonably practicable, to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers, students, and people on site; and to act in compliance with our legal obligations, including New Zealand standards and codes of practice relevant to the University.
  2. Within the general policy, the University aims to effectively manage hazards and risks arising from its facilities or activities, and in particular the University will:
    1. provide and maintain a safe working environment, plant and systems for workers, students and visitors that is safe and without risk to health;
    2. provide such information, instruction, training, and supervision as is necessary, to ensure that health and safety hazards and risks are identified, understood and managed effectively;
    3. establish health and safety objectives which will be reviewed each year through the internal audit process and performance review processes to ensure continuous improvement in health and safety management;
    4. support workers through the provision of resources to achieve the required health and safety objective outcomes;
    5. require accurate reporting, notification and investigation of all injuries and incidents;
    6. provide prompt, effective work based rehabilitation for all work related injuries, and non-work injuries where appropriate and possible;
    7. provide the training and information necessary to the University’s leaders to ensure an appropriate level of competency in health and safety related matters;
    8. foster and encourage education in safe working practices for students who in turn will become workers when they leave the University;
    9. provide adequate consultation processes for health and safety matters, and actively encourage participation of students, and workers and their representatives including union representation;
    10. provide a comprehensive occupational health and safety management system.
  3. All University of Otago workers have responsibilities under the legislation requiring that no action, or inaction by the worker, causes harm to themselves or any others in the workplace. In particular, the University of Otago requires all workers to:
    1. report all incidents and injuries as soon as practical after the event;
    2. participate in the health and safety management systems in operation within the University, including the wearing of safety equipment provided;
    3. report to relevant health and safety staff any identified risks to health and safety of staff, students or visitors; 
    4. actively participate in rehabilitation for work related injuries/illnesses.
  4. The University’s health and safety performance will be monitored and reviewed by:
    1. Quarterly reports to Council and the Vice Chancellor's Advisory Group from the Head, Health and Safety Compliance on health and safety performance;
    2. the annual health and safety performance report including goal setting and achievements, policy reviews, significant events, corrective actions and auditing results;
    3. external audits including the annual ACC audit process.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Andrea McMillan
Head of Health and Safety Compliance
Tel +64 3 479 7380