HSWO Operations Manual

A guide to your role within key HSW processes

The aim of this manual is to provide clear guidance on the role of the HSW officer/adviser within key HSW processes at the University of Adelaide.

This guide should also be useful to those who supervise HSW officers/advisers in terms of providing clarity regarding the expectations of their role.

Note: This guide is not exhaustive and is not a substitute for a position description.

Role of the HSW officers/advisers

The role of a HSW officer/adviser is to:
  • provide sound and well considered advice to supervisors and staff to allow them to effectively implement HSW within their activities and operations;
  • monitor that HSW activities are being effectively implemented especially in relation to inherently high or very high risk activities;
  • investigate incidents or accidents in an unbiased, comprehensive manner to both inform of system failures and to ensure appropriate corrective actions; and
  • support accurate and effective reporting that discloses rather than hides HSW issues to ensure that Officers  (e.g. Senior Management such as the Executive Deans), have quality information on which to base their due diligence and meet their Legislative responsibilities under the WHS Act.

Each HSW officer/adviser should operate as part of a Faculty HSW Team, or directly with their line manager in Divisions, to:

  • ensure a consistent approach;
  • facilitate learning across the team;
  • provide back up to cover absences or staff turnover. 

Each HSW Team is managed by a senior manager whose role includes oversight of healthy, safety and wellbeing support services for the Faculty/Branch.

It is important to note that the HSW officers/advisers do not report to the Director HSW.  You will take direction from your senior manager in relation to your day-to-day activities and in meeting your HSW responsibilities.

Where a HSW officer/adviser is uncertain of a HSW process it is recommended that you:
  • check the HSW Handbook, and then
  • consult with your HSW team members or your senior manager (line manager).

Where the Faculty/Branch HSW team, including your senior manager are unable to determine a course of action or an answer to the question then they should consult with one of the two Senior HSW Advisors in the central HSW Team.


Guidance for HSW officers/advisers

Below are some resources providing clarity around workplace monitoring, how to use UniSafe effectively and some links to legislation.

Workplace monitoring

Workplace monitoring is the process or processes by which the University ensures that the workplace is and remains a safe working environment.

Using UniSafe

Tips & guides for HSW officers/advisers: UniSafe is the system used to manage information related to University of Adelaide incidents and safety issues.

HSW legislation

The objective of the WHS Legislation is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our workers and others (i.e. the University community) by requiring safe systems of work to eliminate, or minimise the risks to health and safety.

Further information

Please contact your local HSW team.