The Faculty of Medicine OHS team is here to work with you to protect your health, safety and wellness while you're studying with us. During your training, your safety is our priority, so please check out the following information to ensure your medical education remains safe and incident free.

Please note, immunisations and Blue Card registration are requirements of entry to the MD Program. Please refer to the Program Rules and Getting started pages for more information. 

We support a positive, open and transparent OHS culture and help facilitate compliance with all relevant legislation and national standards. Below we've listed some of the key items you must consider when you're studying at UQ.

Your legal obligations to work safely

All workers (including students and visitors) have obligations to conduct work and study safely, specified in;

  • Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation 2011
  • Relevant Codes of Practice and Standards
  • University of Queensland Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

Students are required to:

Essential UQ OHS procedures and systems that everyone needs to know about

(1) Risk Assessment and Management

Hazard identification and risk assessment and management are core components of any safety management system.

  • Risk assessments document any hazards you may be exposed to when performing a task and will specify the ways in which risks of injury and illness can be minimised and managed.
  • Risk assessments (RA’s) have been completed for your clinical skills workshops.  You must read and understand the RA’s prior to your class.
  • Ensure you read the risk assessments carefully and adhere to the risk control measures, including PPE.
  • Make sure the risk control measures are effective and practical. Notify your supervisor or tutor if you would like to suggest safety enhancements to the assessments or procedures at any time.
  • UQ has a central online risk assessment database here.

(2) Immunisations

Entry into the MD Program is contingent on verification of compliance with the immunisation schedule. You may require additional immunisations if you are travelling overseas for placements or other specific tasks. Please refer to the Travel section below for more information.

More information on Immunisation Requirements: 

(3) First Aid

If you or someone else is injured or ill, you must:

  • Notify your Supervisor/Tutor immediately
  • Seek medical aid from the nearest first aider identified on the local Emergency Procedures Card.
  • UQ Security can also be contacted on 3365 3333 in a medical emergency (the SafeZone app (below) will be useful here)
  • For contaminated Sharps Injuries: The Faculty of Medicine has a post-contaminated sharps injury procedure which must be followed in the event of staff, visitors or students sustaining a contaminated sharps injury. Post exposure care from the treating doctor or nurse will include a risk assessment to determine the appropriate testing schedule.

(4) UQ Safe - Incident Reporting System

  • All work-related injuries, illnesses, potential hazards, accidents, near misses and incidents must be reported through the UQ Safe - Incident Reporting System once medical attention has been given and the situation stabilised. If you're at a non-UQ site you will be required to notify the local supervisor and complete the relevant local reports as well.

Provision of Health, Safety and Wellness information during the Program

From commencement of the program, you’ll be given health, Safety and Wellness information at various stages of the course and you are expected to understand and comply with the requirements stipulated in the training and information sessions.

  1. Orientation Week OHS Presentation: Provides a general overview of the important safety systems and practices we have in place at the University and the Faculty of Medicine Clinical Units. This is a brief introduction only and you must ensure that all relevant local OHS procedures are followed regardless of your location.
  2. Local Site Building Inductions: Upon arrival at clinical unit sites, you will be given brief site specific building inductions. Please ensure you sign the induction attendance sheet. On completion of the local building induction you will be able to locate the following:
    • Emergency equipment
    • Emergency evacuation diagrams
    • Designated emergency assembly areas
    • Emergency procedure cards containing local information e.g. First Aiders and Fire Wardens
  3. Task specific training: As you progress through your degree, you'll be given opportunities to study in a wide range of environments. It's important that you complete all appropriate task specific training for the work you'll do. For example, if working in the Gross Anatomy Facility (GAF) you will need to complete Code of Conduct for Use of Donated Tissues and the Student Induction for the Gross Anatomy Facility prior to entry to the Facility, both available via Blackboard. It's also essential that you read and adhere to associated risk assessments and safe operating procedures carefully and wear the appropriate Personal Protective equipment for the work you need to do.
  4. Observership information evening: This presentation is given mid Year 1 and the OHS element provides students with general information about safety considerations when arranging observerships; it includes reviewing vaccination requirements, risk assessing the need for post-injury HIV prophylactic medication, arranging local site orientations and managing personal security.
  5. Clinical placement general information module: Course coordinators will reference this Blackboard-based module during the program. Clinical placements present a wide range of challenges to students and this module should be completed by anyone planning to work in a clinical environment. It provides information on a broad range of issues that present in a clinical setting, including professional behaviour and community expectations, safe working procedures and occupational hygiene, guidance on managing difficult patients and emergency procedures.

More information about risk management, vaccinations, post-needlestick injury procedures and incident reporting is available in the ‘Essential UQ OHS procedures and systems that everyone needs to know about’ section above.

Your safety while travelling

Student placements are conducted in accordance with UQ Coursework Placement policy.

Driving to placements is a requirement for many students within the Faculty. Distances travelled can often be significant. The FoM Fatigue Management and Road Safety Guideline is intended to raise awareness of the issues and highlight strategies which could help reduce the risk of a serious accident while travelling. General fatigue management information and guidance is available at the relevant UQ PPL document on Fatigue Management or via Safe Work Australia.

We strongly encourage all travellers to review the UQ policy on off campus work and complete the appropriate work off campus and fieldwork approvals if relevant to the program.

If you are planning to undertake an elective or placement overseas, you must contact the FoM placement team. They will provide assistance for access to the following resources and the formal approval and placement arrangement processes. There is a considerable body of detailed information, including information about working off campus requirements here.

Consult a travel medical expert: This is particularly important if travelling to a developing country with immunisation requirements. Visit the UQ Health Service or your preferred private practice. Be aware that immunisation protection may require your first injection up to two months prior to leaving Australia.

Tuberculosis (TB): Students planning to work in areas with a risk of exposure to TB must have Mantoux testing, with BCG vaccination if negative, before leaving. UQ Health Service can provide Yellow Fever vaccinations but cannot provide Mantoux testing with BCG immunisations. TB screening can be arranged by contacting Metro South Clinical TB Service. The University Health Service can as an alternative to Mantoux screening, arrange a Quantiferon TB Gold assay blood test but this will incur a cost.

Malaria: Seek advice about the most appropriate prophylaxis, especially if you are travelling to or working in a Chloroquine-resistant area. Currently, Doxycycline (100 mg/day) will protect you against Chloroquine-resistant strains in all countries of the world; but some 5% of individuals have unacceptable side-effects from this regimen.  Experienced medical advice is imperative in this context. If you have been exposed to malaria, you may need a curative course of Primaquine and/or Chloroquine and/or Quinine, on your return to Australia.  This in turn requires prior genetic testing for G6PD deficiency.  Prior professional advice before travelling or working in a malarious region is essential.

HIV, hepatitis and other blood borne viruses: If you are undertaking an elective in a region or countries where there is no immediate access to anti-viral prophylactic drug therapy, you must travel with a "Starter Pack" of two anti-viral drugs.  These are supplied on prescription, after counselling, by Queensland Health.  Students are required to purchase an individual personal starter pack, the cost of which is approximately $171.  Approval will not be given for clinical apprenticeships in circumstances where anti-viral therapy is not available under emergency circumstances, unless a pre-elective counselling session has been attended and a starter pack has been purchased. Students should get a referral from Student Health Services or a GP.  The referral should be written and faxed to the relevant numbers as follows:

Infectious Diseases Department PAH - South Health Centre Referral Hub - Phone 1300 364 155, Fax 1300 364 248)

Infectious Diseases Department RBWH - Metro North Central Patient Intake - Phone 1300 364 938, Fax 1300 364 952)

Alternatively you may book an appointment with Dr Deb DeMills at

Visit the Australian Government's Smart Traveller site: This will ensure you understand the risks associated with travel in the country of your choice. Some parts of Central Africa, Papua New Guinea, and the Middle East are currently dangerous for travel and for work. Our students have been victims of assaults and murders in countries around the world. Road trauma and interpersonal violence also pose significant risks to travellers. The need for prudent behaviour, personal safety and security is crucially important.

Register your next of kin: Please ensure you have registered your current address, and at least one telephone contact number, on mySI-net. This is also essential for any next of kin contacts which Faculty of Medicine may require in an emergency situation whilst you are undertaking your elective program.

Embassy contacts: Please research and print the details of the nearest Australian Consulate/Embassy before you leave at

Travel insurance

Once approval is given for you to undertake an elective outside Queensland, UQ will cover you with conditional personal and professional indemnity insurance

Note: The University will not be responsible for your personal private health insurance or failed travel arrangements of any type. Faculty of Medicine recommends you seek coverage for your personal or private health insurance and for travel insurance for travel outside of the elective dates. 

The University of Queensland carries a Travel Insurance policy which covers students of the University who are on approved placements. This covers any approved trip exceeding 50 kms from the traveler's normal place of residence. Coverage shall apply only while the student is engaged in a trip taken for academic purposes (subject to terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations as specified in the policy).

Important contacts while travelling

  • Local Emergency Numbers: Make note of the local emergency number of the country in which you will be undertaking your elective. 112 is the international emergency number and will work from most mobile phones in more than 90 countries.  
  • ISOS Travel provides global emergency assistance and contact details must be carried with you when travelling. In an emergency, advise ISOS that you are covered under The University of Queensland Student Travel Insurance Policy. 
  • University of Queensland Security Emergency T: +61 7 3365 3333 Non-Emergency 3365 1234
  • Australian Embassy: Visit
    Please research and print the details of the nearest Australian Consulate/Embassy before you leave.
  • 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre: Australia (local call cost):  1300 555 135  Overseas: +61 2 6261 3305
  • Lifeline 24 Hour Counselling: T: 13 11 14

Some useful apps and websites

UQ SafeZone is a free smartphone app that connects staff and students with Security and emergency services during a first-aid or emergency situation on UQ campuses and sites. 

UQnav is a free mobile application that contains searchable Maps of UQ’s campuses. Students can use UQnav to help find lecture theatres, laboratories, school and faculty offices.

UQ Safety Bus is a bus that operates on the St Lucia campus for limited periods after hours. It is recommended as a safe and secure way to move around the campus outside normal hours. More details, including the timetable, are listed here.

For more OHS infomation refer to the FoM Intranet and the UQ HSW Website.

Faculty OHS Contacts


FoM OHS contacts