Identifying and Managing WHS Risks

I did a risk assessment of the harm that could result from not doing a risk assessment and decided it wasn’t worth it…

Did you know that UNSW expects all employees to identify and manage WHS risks?

Have you identified the hazards and risks related to your business unit’s undertakings?

Read on for further information.

Identifying and Managing WHS Risks

Risk management is a key element of UNSW’s Health and Safety Management System. It involves a simple iterative process of consulting relevant stakeholders to:

  • Identify hazards (sources of potential harm) and related risks (and compliance obligations)
  • Assess risk
    • Understand risks (i.e. what harm could occur, how, why, where, when and who may be impacted)
    • Identify and understand the effectiveness of existing controls (measures to manage the risk)
    • Rate risk Prioritise based on the combination of potential consequence and the likelihood of the event and related consequence occurring
  • Control risk identify and select additional measures to manage residual risks to a level as low as reasonably practicable, using the hierarchy of controls
  • Monitor and review the effectiveness of controls

Where there are overlapping responsibilities, each area should consult with other relevant stakeholders and business units to ensure that there are no gaps.

It is useful to document this process using UNSW’s platform, SafeSys as this enables the information to be shared with others, including other business units and future employees, and also helps to demonstrate our due diligence. SafeSys can be used to record risk assessments for activities, events and equipment, as well as to document related Standard Operating/Safe Work Procedures if needed.

By completing this simple process, we will be well on our way to protecting people from harm related to UNSW’s undertakings.


  • All staff to familiarise themselves with UNSW’s requirements by reviewing the links below
  • Managers to ask staff in their business unit to identify activities that might result in harm to people, and establish a local plan to address any gaps

Team Talk Questions

  • What activities do we conduct in our business unit that might result in harm to people?
  • How are we going to ensure that the risks related to these activities are effectively managed?
  • Where do we keep our WHS risk management documentation?

Further Information

For further information, see:

Contact the relevant Divisional/Faculty WHS Team contact to discuss any subsequent queries.