School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

Risk assessment

The University has an internal safety auditing system based on compliance with Australian Standard 4801.

Two important components of the standard are delegated responsibility and risk assessment.

To comply with UWA requirements and Australian Standard 4801, the School of Mechanical Engineering is required to apply these principles to its operation.

The following guidance information introduces the concept of control and responsibility and other elements of the system and how to use it effectively.

Delegated responsibility

The current School Safety and Health Manual, based on the standard UWA format, defines the role and responsibilities of supervisors and other individuals holding positions of responsibility within the School. The key areas of responsibility are further illustrated in the School Organisational Chart in Appendix A.

UWA policy requires that the Head of School design, resource, operate and monitor internal control systems and provide annual assurance to the Executive regarding the extent of its compliance with this policy. It is not practical for this responsibility to fall on one person, so devolved responsibility provides an organisational structure for named persons to assume management control and be responsible for elements of the process.

Authority, control and responsibility

Supervisors have control over particular areas and activities and are, therefore, able to exert a large influence over outcomes. Authority and control imply responsibility in both the legal and moral sense. All supervisors are required to be conversant with risk management concepts and practices and be able to utilise and demonstrate application of these within their areas of control.

Supervisors are regarded as experts in their area of control and are ideally positioned to know who is using the facilities and understand the risks associated with the processes. This places them in the best position both to identify risks and apply the most suitable strategies for controlling the impact of these risks.

Risk assessment

All supervisors are required to carry out risk assessments and manage the risks under their control. This requires conducting regular risk reviews in their areas of responsibility to maintain University Standards and to assess new and evolving risks.

Please view the School's Risk Assessment Policy for further information.

To comply with this policy all supervisors are required to carry out risk assessments at least annually or sooner if new risks are identified. The process must accurately reflect all new and evolving hazards.

A completed Risk Assessment Form needs to be returned annually to the Head of School for record. Copies of Risk Assessments should be held in the laboratory or area to which they apply.

Supervisors should also assume responsibility for risk assessment of all manual handling hazards and implement strategies to reduce the level of risk in their area. This relates to large, heavy experimental rigs that need to be manhandled between locations and extends to purchasing and manufacturing requests.

Risk rating system

Supervisors are required to report the outcomes of risk assessments to the Head of School at least annually. This information will be reviewed by the Safety Committee to identify and prioritise the School's highest risks and provide input to an annual OHS Plan. The risk rating system and subsequent review process will ensure that appropriate control measures are employed.


School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

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Last updated:
Friday, 3 August, 2012 9:01 AM