Major Incidents

Our Approach to Major Incidents

A major incident is an unexpected event on campus which has the potential to require more resources than usual to contain the situation. A major incident is an incident that can cause serious harm to UNSW including but not limited to any one of the following:

  • serious or fatal injuries; 
  • an event that leads to a ceasing or slowing down of our operations and continuity;
  • a financial viability threat;
  • adverse attention by national media or government agencies; and litigation either actual or threatened.

Major incidents are rare, but UNSW has a Major Incident Management Plan ready to be activated when required to ensure the safety of our students, staff, contractors and visitors.

In our Major Incident Management Plan, we are focussed on prioritising the safety of all our students, staff, contractors and visitors. Our Plan ensures that we protect our property, assets and prevent harm to the environment, that we work to maintain or resume normal operations as quickly as possible, and that we carry out effective communication during and after a major incident.

In circumstances where a major incident has an imminent impact to safety and UNSW needs to give its community instructions, UNSW may contact all students and staff with an SMS alert and an email to your student/staff UNSW email address. We may also use our UNSW website as well as our social media channels to communicate key messages. We may also use TV screens located on campus in building foyers or in public areas in the event of a major incident.

If you have your mobile number listed on your myUNSW profile, you will be automatically registered to receive the SMS alert.  We recommend you keep your contact details up to date so we can reach you when we send out a university-wide alert.

Our Plan is activated by our Major Incident Response Team.

Our team consists of key senior management and technical specialists whose focus is on containing a major incident as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of our UNSW community and environment. This team comprises staff across Security; Health, Safety & Environment; Communications; IT and Logistics & Operations. 

Once a Major Incident is contained, our Business Continuity Team takes over. This team maintains and restores services to the UNSW community and communicates this to our key stakeholders.

The team comprises staff across Risk Management; Communications; Human Resources; Facilities Management; IT; Faculties, Schools and Divisions.

Our Recommendations for the UNSW Community

We recommend that all current staff and students are prepared for a major incident by updating their contact information at myUNSW.  

We provide comprehensive safety and security support for our UNSW community. Our phone lines are always open, and our office is staffed 24/7 to assist you with any concern. 

  • General Support 9385 6000. 
  • Emergency Support 9385 6666. 
  • Office - Gate 2, Kensington Campus.   

It is important you know what to do in the unlikely event of a Major Incident at UNSW. We have especially designed an interactive course for all staff and students to do to learn about our Major Incident Management Plan. We recommend you take the time to do this course to be prepared for any major incident in the future.