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Health and Safety Hazard Risk Management

ECU has a duty to ensure that as far as practicable, no one is exposed to hazards while at the University. The health and safety (HS) hazard risk management framework provides a consistent approach to identifying and managing health and safety hazards to prevent harm to workers, students, contractors and visitors at ECU. The HS hazard risk management processes provide the scope, nature and timing of hazard risk activities to ensure the ECU is proactive rather than reactive in identifying and managing its health and safety risks

The benefits of managing HS hazards and risks include:

  • Ensuring persons are not exposed to hazards at the University so far as is reasonably practicable
  • Preventing and reducing the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Promoting worker health, wellbeing and capacity to work
  • Fostering innovation, quality and efficiency through continuous improvement.

The Health and Safety Hazard Identification and Risk Management Guideline provides an overview of ECU’s health and safety hazard risk management processes.


The WHS Risk module of ECU’s Riskware online system is used for recording, approving and reviewing Health and Safety Hazard Risk Assessments and Hazard Risk Registers.

Click here to log in to Riskware. Information on how to use Riskware and available training can be found here.

For assistance with conducting health and safety risk assessments, please contact the Safety and Employment Relations team on 2302 or

When do I need to complete a Hazard Risk Assessment?

A Health and Safety Hazard Risk Assessments should be completed:

  • To resolve a specific hazard or health and safety issue
  • When commencing or changing an activity
  • When purchasing new equipment
  • For Travel activities including study tours and fieldwork
  • For events e.g. Open Day
  • For new teaching activities
  • For new projects i.e. research and infrastructure (including those requiring ethics applications, clinical trials and grant applications).

Hazard Risk Registers are a summary of all hazards identified by Schools and Centres, approved by the Executive Dean or Director, and are undertaken by Schools and Centres in consultation with their local Health and Safety Committee and the Safety and Employment Relations Team.

How to conduct a Hazard Risk Assessment

The HS Hazard Risk Assessment Procedure and Hazard Risk Register Procedure provide step by step instructions on how to conduct these assessments. The WHS Risk module of ECU’s Riskware online system is used for recording, approving and reviewing Health and Safety Hazard Risk Assessments and Hazard Risk Registers. The WHS risk module will guide you through the process of conducting a hazard risk assessment following the below steps.

  1. Identifying hazards. If hazards are not identified, the opportunity to analyse, evaluate and control the associated risks is missed.  The Health and Safety Hazard Type Prompt Sheet is a tool that can be used to identify hazards as part of this process.  To report hazards refer to the Hazard Identification and Reporting page.
  2. Identifying current controls already in place to reduce the risk level.  The Hierarchy of Controls is used to categorise controls from most to least effective
  3. Assessing the level of current risk, considering controls in place using ECU’s Risk matrix
  4. Where required, developing and implementing additional proposed controls to further reduce the risk, assigning these to a responsible person with a due date.
  5. Approval.  Risk assessments need to be assigned to and approved by a Supervisor or Line Manager with the appropriate level of authority to approve the risk according to the acceptance criteria on ECU’s Risk matrix.

Throughout all steps of the risk management process it is important to communicate and consult with the people who may be impacted by the hazard.  Risk assessments also require review at regular intervals.

Hazard Risk Register

the Hazard Risk Register is a summary document for the assessment of hazards in Schools or Service Centres. It must be completed and reviewed annually through the local health and safety committees. The Hazard Risk Register can be accessed through the WHS module within Riskware.

Hazard Risk Register Procedure

To help categorise types of hazards, please see the Health and Safety Hazard Type Prompt Sheet

Hazard Risk Management Training

If you would like to complete online Health and Safety (HS) Risk Management training please contact to arrange this training. The online training module will provide you with a basic understanding of the HS risk management process. By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of risk management in preventing and controlling hazards in the workplace;
  • Identify and participate in the key steps in the risk management process;
  • Apply hazard identification techniques;
  • Assess the level of risk associated with hazards;
  • List in order the steps in the Hierarchy of Control (HoC);
  • Understand that you need to use ECU's risk management database - Riskware - to record your HS Hazard Risk Assessment (HRA) or view your School/Centre Hazard Risk Register (HRR).

You should allow approximately 30 minutes to complete this module. At the end of the module you will be asked to undertake an online assessment to check your understanding of the key concepts presented.


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