Safety and Security Culture Transformed at Central Queensland University

Operating across five states, with 25 distinct campuses and sites including both rural and urban locations, Central Queensland University is Australia’s truly national university. Its footprint has grown significantly over the last decade and SafeZone has played a key role in allowing that expansion to be managed safely. Having previously used separate systems for mass communications, lone worker protection and emergency calls, CQU turned to SafeZone as a multi-platform service alternative. SafeZone’s unified approach offers better value, and the technology is also helping to drive-up efficiency at CQU by enabling closer collaboration between departments, including occupational health & safety, security, internal and external communications and IT.

SafeZone Solution

The SafeZone service was introduced at CQU to be operated jointly by the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) team, run by manager Sean Peckover, and the security department – security officers provide the first response to calls for assistance, with the OHS team monitoring events, keeping track of safety issues and providing back-up response during Central Queensland University busy periods. SafeZone provides detailed, geographically precise situational awareness for CQU first responders, improving their command and control capability and allowing officers to be dispatched to incidents much more quickly.  

The CQU comms team also has access to SafeZone, giving them an efficient new way to push out targeted notifications to students and staff. SafeZone has improved safety for vulnerable students, including those with disabilities, says Sean Peckover. The system is integral to CQU’s PEEPs evacuation planning, and it has proved its value in medical emergencies, most recently with rapid help given to a user incapacitated by an epileptic seizure. 

SafeZone is also now central to CQU’s contingency planning, with major incident drills at each campus involving university response teams, students and emergency services. SafeZone not only allows these drills to be coordinated more efficiently, it allows detailed performance reviews following each exercise – all of which is boosting CQU’s preparedness.    

And with this year’s bushfires making Australia aware, more than ever, of the dangers of extreme weather events, the ability to communicate emergency messages to users at sites across the country is now seen as crucial. 

CQUniversity is serious about the health, safety and welfare of our more than 30,000 students and 2,000 staff and because of this we identified a strong need to find a solution that would allow us to connect with them quickly and easily during an emergency, such a severe weather event or critical incident.
SCOTT BOWMAN, Vice-Chancellor, CQUniversity

Benefits and outcomes

SafeZone has helped the CQU OHS and security teams to drive a major cultural change towards safety and security, with the university
now regularly praised for engaging with students and staff and taking proactive measures to keep them safe. Solution benefits include:

  • Major cost-savings on disparate systems, yet improved functionality
  • Transformed safety and security culture across
    all sites
  • Improved protection for staff and students working between locations
  • Rapid implementation and ease of scalability with no extra cost
  • Better monitoring and response for at risk groups, including lone workers after-hours
  • Advanced situational awareness, command and control during incidents
  • Improved collaboration with emergency services and other agencies
Working with SafeZone is now recognised as the most important thing my health & safety unit does. The service has given us huge benefits and has contributed to a major culture change across all our campuses.
SEAN PECKOVER, National OHS Manager, Central Queensland University

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