Student Placements FAQs

The purpose of these FAQs is to provide guidance on the health and safety requirements for student placements as part of their course component, and to assist Student Placement organisers, to meet the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and University’s Health and Safety Policy.

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  • What are the health and safety legislative obligations of the host organisation, student and School whilst a student is on placement?

    All parties have specific legislative responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations 2012 (SA).

    As employers, the host organisations are defined as a Person Conducting a Business Undertaking (PCBU) and have a duty to ensure each “worker”, as far as reasonably practicable, is safe from injury and risks to health while at work.

    It is important to note that the definition of a “worker” includes a student on a placement [WHS Act – Section 7(1g)].

    It is also important to note that the duty of the PCBU extends to the activities where they have management or control.  e.g. In a Student Placement arrangement, the host organisation has control of the work activity, directing and supervising what the student does on a day-to-day basis.  The University has no direct involvement in the placement activities on site, however the University has a duty to ensure that when an arrangement is first put in place, that the student and the placement provider are both aware of the WHS legislative safety requirements for each party as follows:

    Host Organisation
    • To provide and maintain a safe working environment
    • To provide safe systems (methods) of work e.g. procedures
    • To provide safe plant, equipment and substances
    • To provide information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure safety in an understandable language and form (including WHS policies and procedures)
    • To manage hazards and provide information on any safety control measures including any personal protective equipment.
    • To consult workers and their representatives about WHS issues.

    For further information, refer to WHS Act – Sections 19, 20 and 21, and WHS Regulations – Chapter 3.

    Student (Worker)
    • To take reasonable care to protect your own health and safety.
    • To not adversely affect the health and safety of others including clients and other workers.
    • To use the equipment provided by the host organisation which is designed to protect your health and safety.
    • To follow reasonable instructions on health and safety.
    • To inform the host organisation’s workplace Supervisor/Placement Co-ordinator and the School Administration Office if involved in any accident, injury or emergency.
    • To report any safety concerns in relation to the organisation you are working for, to your Manager/Supervisor within the Host Organisation and/or health and safety representative (if applicable) and follow the process of the Host Organisation.

    For further information, refer to the WHS Act – Section 28 and WHS Regulation 46.

    Head of School
    (or delegate)
    (Approval can be delegated to School staff (e.g. Student Placement and Internships Officer), however the Head of School has the delegated authority.)
    • To follow the requirements outlined on the University’s Legal and Risk website to ensure an appropriate agreement is in place and health and safety responsibilities are outlined.
    • To approve the student’s participation in a placement.

    Note:  If there is an institutional level agreement in place between the University and the Host Organisation, there is no need to complete the Clinical Placement Agreement form.  Please check with your Placement Co-ordinator.

  • As a student on placement, what types of information and instruction might I expect to receive from the host organisation?

    Students should expect to receive the following health and safety information and instruction.

    • Location of specific safety information relating to the role/activities to be undertaken (e.g. Risk Assessment control measures, Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) or equivalent, infection control procedures) and how to complete the activity safely.
    • How to use any personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety footwear and goggles.
    • The location of Safety Data Sheets (if applicable) or where they are stored electronically.
    • The hazards in the work area where information is considered necessary on commencement.
    • How to raise a health and safety issue, including how to report an injury/illness.
    • The procedure of hearing the fire alarm and other emergency procedures.
    • The procedures for first aid and the location of the first aid kit.
    • The location of the duress alarm(s) where applicable.
    • Security arrangements for the building/area of work (e.g. swipe card access) where applicable.
  • What happens if a student has an injury when they are on a placement?

    The student is provided with Personal Accident Insurance as part of the placement under the University’s insurance where they have followed the process outlined in the Legal and Risk Insurance guides.  (Further details are available on the Legal and Risk website including a copy of the policy.)

  • What insurances are available when on a student placement?

    The student and School should refer to the University’s Legal and Risk website which provides:

Further information

Please contact your local HSW team.