Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Safety awards 2010

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

The University Safety Awards for 2010 acknowledged the contributions made to occupational safety and health at the University and its affiliates by both groups and individuals.

The awards were presented on 29 October by Winthrop Professor Bill Louden, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

  1. Nomination for group award
  2. Nominations for individual awards
  3. Nominations for safety leadership award
  4. Nominations for safety recognition award
  5. Group safety award
  6. Individual safety award
  7. Safety leadership award
  8. Safety recognition award
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Submissions

Nomination for group award

The University Library

On Monday 22 March 2010 the University suffered extensive damage as the result of an extreme hail storm. One of the worst affected areas was the Education Fine Arts and Architecture (EDFAA) Library which was flooded when a glass wall gave way as a result of the build up of water and sand on the outside. The Library’s Disaster Response Plan was immediately activated which also involved:

  • Preparing an area within the Reid Library to temporarily store what could be recovered from the EDFAA Library collection.
  • Arranging the necessary personnel, equipment, procedures and logistics for the recovery.
  • Ensuring the EDFAA Library could be safely entered following water drainage, structural assessment and securing of furniture and equipment.
  • Dealing with hazards such as broken glass, wet books, upturned and broken furniture, natural lighting only available (area needed to be electrically isolated), removal of wet sand and mud (covering all areas of the floor), manual handling of equipment and books (the lift was not available), heat and humidity (the air conditioning was not available), mould growth and mosquitoes.
  • Controlling access to the EDFAA Library recovery site of staff, contractors and visitors.
  • Ensuring personnel were informed about safety and health requirements, followed safe work procedures, wore personal protective equipment (PPE), took adequate rest breaks and that any new hazards were reported and dealt with.

It is a great credit to all staff that the recovery operations were completed without injury or near miss. The only injury sustained occurred before the recovery operation commenced when a staff member sustained a slight cut to his finger when activating an old-style break glass door release during the evacuation of the library. The EDFAA Reserve collection of some 500 items was re-established and available to students in the Reid Library by Friday 26th March, less than two days after the site had been declared safe to enter. The main collections of some 80,000 items were re-established and available to readers within three weeks of the flood. This was in addition to keeping the remaining five library sites open and operational during the busy first weeks of semester. The University Library is commended for its thorough planning, preparation, response and recovery following the extreme hail storm on Monday 22nd March 2010 and for maintaining high safety and health standards during and following this event.

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Nominations for individual awards

The five nominees were Mr David Thatcher (Administrative Officer, University Library), Mr Kael Driscoll (Librarian, University Library), Mr Graham Wright (Technical Officer - Electrical, Facilities Management), Ms Jessica Brunner (Project Officer, School of Humanities), Mr Graham Morrison (Senior Security Officer, Security)

Mr David Thatcher (University Library)

David is the Library’s Safety Officer. Fire alarms in all of the University’s libraries apart from the Reid Library were activated due to water ingress during the hail storm on 22nd March 2010. David managed calls from each Library site and advised on whether or not to evacuate. He also placed tubs in the Reid roof space to collect water entering through the roof. His actions to aid recovery of the EDFAA Library collection included:

  • Recruiting and supervising student casuals to clear furniture in the Reid Library.
  • Reported for work on Wednesday 24th March with a range of tools including shovels and rakes in his utility. He also purchased insect sprays and additional torches to aid with the clean up.
  • Identified safety and health risks and took action to eliminate or manage them.
  • He recognised that help from Facilities Management would not be immediate but that immediate action on the part of the Library to a number of issues was necessary in order that as much of the collection as possible could be retrieved.
  • He was personally involved with the recovery of the EFDAA collections and with Site Safety Officer Kael Driscoll supervised staff, contractors and visitors.
  • Purchased lengths of steel for bracing shelving in the Reid Library to receive the EDFAA collection and had the whole of the shelving braced in half a day.
  • At all times during the disaster response David thought ahead, undertaking innumerable tasks that are outside of his position description and did so in a manner that ensured his personal safety and that of others too.
  • At all times his response was wholehearted, working tirelessly and cheering others with his good humour throughout the disaster response.
  • It is to his credit that there were no reported injuries or near misses throughout the whole disaster response.

Mr Kael Driscoll (University Library)

Kael was the Disaster Recovery Safety Officer and based at the EDFAA Library for the recovery. It is to Kael’s credit that the recovery operation involving Library staff was concluded successfully and without injury.

  • He personally supervised and ensured the safety of Library staff and site visitors such as Facilities Management, contractors, Risk Management, Public Affairs and various media teams.
  • He briefed all visitors about slip and other hazards, ensured clear passage, ensured that they wore appropriate PPE and that they signed themselves in and out of the site.
  • He convinced all those who worked on collection recovery of the need to follow guidelines and of the need to keep one another safe.
  • From being unwilling to follow safety guidelines staff began to report hazards and to wait for their resolution before proceeding.

Mr Graham Wright (Facilities Management)

Graham has been involved with electrical work at the University for nearly 35 years and for the past five years as Technical Officer (Electrical) in the Infrastructure Section of Facilities Management. He has shown leadership and commitment to improve electrical safety around the campus and has been of invaluable assistance to Safety and Health. He is commended for his leadership, initiative and high safety and health standards, which he sets and maintains for electrical safety. His electrical safety related activities include:

  • Consulting on electrical policy, procedures and guidance material.
  • Advising on the design of electrical aspects of new buildings and refurbishments.
  • Assisting with assessment and measurement of lighting in work areas.
  • Advising on emergency lighting illuminated EXIT signage.
  • Investigating all electrical incidents involving the main electrical infrastructure.
  • Assisting with investigation of incidents involving electrical plant and equipment.

Ms Jessica Brunner (Project Officer, School of Humanities), Mr Graham Morrison (Senior Security Officer, Security)

On Tuesday 22 June 2010 a student was demonstrating signs of breathing difficulties whilst standing in the hallway of the Arts building. As the seriousness of the situation was unknown, Jessica Brunner asked the student to sit down and contacted Security for First Aid. Senior Security Officer Graham Morrison responded to the call and administered oxygen to assist the student’s breathing. Following this an ambulance was called and the student taken to hospital. The student’s mother called the following day advising that her daughter had a blood clot in her heart which required urgent medical attention. She was very grateful for the First Aid support that University staff provided to her daughter. Both Jessica Brunner and Graham Morrison were been nominated for their role in assisting a student with a serious medical condition and for which their first aid assistance was vital for the student’s health and wellbeing.

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Nominations for safety leadership award

The Safety Leadership Award is to recognise heads, managers or supervisors for their efforts to improve or sustain high safety standards either at a Business Unit or at a Corporate level. Two nominations were received for Tracy Taylor (Team Manager, UWA Business School) and Ken Fogden (Workshop Manager, Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics).

Tracy Taylor (UWA Business School)

Noteworthy aspects of Tracy’s nomination include:

  • Provides leadership of the Business School Safety Group which meets monthly and whose role is to develop, implement and communicate safety and health measures at the Business School.
  • Ensures safety issues are on the agenda at Operations and Management staff meetings.
  • Has been Building Warden since moving to the new building in 2008. Has developed evacuation procedures templates for all areas, has identified and found solutions for specific needs cases (including for supported teams), encourages new staff to undertake warden training, conducts fire panel training, challenges wardens (e.g. lockdown exercises) and reviews practice evacuations for improvement.
  • Created a folder on the staff intranet with relevant templates and tools for wardens which are continuously updated, issuing all staff email alerts on essential safety information, ensuring comprehensive safety signage and ensuring Teaching staff are required to inform all students on safety procedures each semester (with signed confirmation).
  • Assists the First Aid program through overseeing first aid training and the provision of first aid kits and the defibrillator at strategic points in the building.
  • Established a safety training register on the staff intranet to ensure training is maintained.
  • Developed Visitor safety information for new staff welcome packs (also used for short and long term visitors).
  • Conducts workplace inspections including monitoring the electrical tagging program – visual inspection tags.
  • Liaison with the Safety and Health for available resources and assistance with hazard identification and resolution including movement of cumbersome boxes during examination times to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries.
  • Has identified and actioned serious hazards including central staircase with handrail on only one side, missing staircase to fire exits from East Wing of the building, the initial car park configuration presented a pedestrian and traffic hazard, slip hazard with ground floor and with the path to the South entrance of the building.
  • Communicated the need for managers to attend Occupational Safety and Health for Managers and Supervisors, and also stressed the value of them attending the Mental Health First Aid courses and the recent seminars on the new OHS legislation.
  • Initiating a wellbeing focus for the safety group activities in 2010, distributing information on physical wellbeing opportunities such as the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) and the UWBS Spring into Wellbeing program, tips for preventing influenza, and support and awareness of the importance of mental health.

Ken Fogden (Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics)

In early 2010 Ken Fogden took over the role as Workshop Manager following a major restructure of Schools by the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (FECM). In addition to the demand of taking over a new job with new responsibilities across three large Schools and implementing a workshop cost recover system, Ken also took it upon himself to improve the safety culture and compliance of three large General Workshops, the Electronics Workshop and the Structures Laboratory in the School of Civil and Resource Engineering.

  • Ken has shown commitment and dedication in this challenging task and has demonstrated to his work colleagues a desire to improve workplace safety for everyone. He has used his skill and experience in workshops to gain the endorsement of fellow workers by a series of well conceived and sensible initiatives to achieve his safety objectives.
  • As a manager, Ken has demonstrated management commitment in taking on a tough job, that had it been delegated, would have been far less effective in its implementation.
  • Through planning and consultation with Safety and Health and safety personnel within FEMC, Ken has been able to target specific objectives and move systematically across Schools to address workshop compliance.
  • Using the UWA Workshop Compliance Checklist, Ken has progressively engaged the support of local area supervisors and key staff to identify and manage the principle hazards commonly found in workshop environments. His mechanical background and experience has been invaluable in identifying the scale of hazards and applying the most effective control strategies.
  • Ken has recognised the importance of safety training for staff and students and is currently involved in developing written training material to ensure that common levels of competency exist throughout all workshops in FEMC.
  • To date virtually every piece of plant and equipment in all workshops has a colour, laminated Standard Operating Procedure sign as well as other safety signage according to UWA requirements.
  • Workshops now have a Safety Manual that forms the basis for the workshop safety induction system.
  • Further training material and risk assessments are planned for all plant and equipment along with signoff checklists for records of training.
  • Ken has made valuable contributions in organising and resourcing the Faculty electrical testing and tagging program through in house training of staff in order to reduce expenditure and dependence on former commercial providers of this service.
  • Further to his credit, he has actively supporting the initiate to classify electrical non hostile areas to reduce workload and cost that these areas currently present on at regular intervals.
  • Workshop chemical compliance is another key area that is well advanced. Traditionally, local supervisors have been reluctant to engage in compliant storage and stock holdings of chemical substance due to lack of knowledge and inconvenience. Ken has identified these factors and worked with key staff to implement a common approach across all Schools for the demarcation of chemical substances and the integration of ChemAlert into daily operations.
  • Ken has set an outstanding example in his leadership to deal with the tough issues of safety and safety attitude in some of the toughest areas of UWA and this has gone a long way to raise the safety profile of the workshops. His approach has been balanced and equitable, but at the same time conciliatory in motivating people to make positive change. Ken has made an outstanding contribution to OHS in Faculty workshops during his brief leadership.

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Nominations for safety recognition award

Two nominations were received for Julie Proudfoot (Scientific Officer, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital) and the Health Promotion Unit (Student Services).

Julie Proudfoot (Scientific Officer, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital)

Julie became a Safety and Health Representative in March 2008 whilst working part-time as a scientific officer based in the Medical Research Foundation Building at Royal Perth Hospital.

  • Even when embarking on PhD studies in 2009 Julie continued to press for an improved safety culture and to take positive steps to address new issues.
  • Julie has a positive, can-do attitude to safety issues. She is not perturbed by any lack of enthusiasm by staff for overhauling working conditions, in addition, to tackling the response to specific incidents or accidents. Because of her positive attitude and active implementation of improvements she is known as the go-to person by staff and students.
  • The School Safety Committee audited the Royal Perth site in 2007 and 2010. The number of improvements to working conditions in all areas of the site was marked. Julie demonstrated an excellent knowledge of the conditions of each area and discussed the improvements that had arisen through her suggestions that were heard by research groups and the Executive at that site. Her desire for further incremental change was apparent.
  • Julie identified specific safety goals for her worksite in 2009 and 2010. This involved her active participation since she organised a WorkSafe morning tea with very relevant safety talks in 2009. She has identified uplifting the culture at work as the 2010 goal to promote mental health through encouraging regular social events.
  • She is a participatory and practical person in considering issues that come before the School Safety Committee each month and she shares information to benefit the other sites. A good example being the letter of instruction prepared by Julie for dealing with service issues arising through the hospital management; this has acted as a template for those in similar situations at other sites.
  • Her willingness to listen and improve all aspects of work and study at her site is heartening. The resultant culture of continuous improvement and awareness is a good example for others to follow.

Health Promotion Unit (Student Services)

The UWA “Managing Alcohol at Events: A Toolkit for Students, Staff and External Users” was developed by the Health Promotion Unit to ensure that safe and enjoyable events are conducted on all University premises (including at the Crawley campus and other University sites) by staff, students and external users. It also encompasses events that are organised by the University’s staff and students at external venues.

  • The Toolkit brings together important work being undertaken by various departments and groups within the University to promote health and safety, and minimise alcohol-related harm to students, staff, visitors and the wider community.
  • While the University encourages the delivery of alcohol-free events, it is acknowledged that alcohol has become a regular component of celebration and socialisation in Australian society. While alcohol can initially produce feelings of relaxation and happiness, consuming alcohol in greater amounts and over a short period of time can cause poor health outcomes for the drinker and result in harm to the community through antisocial behaviour, accidents, noise and litter. There are also important workplace safety issues to consider when alcohol is sold, served and consumed on University premises and at external venues.
  • While the University acknowledges the importance of academic, social and sporting events being held on and off campus, there is a need to equip the people responsible for planning and managing these events with information about the University’s event management policies and procedures; particularly in relation to alcohol sale, service and consumption.
  • The Toolkit covers a broad range of alcohol-related event management issues, including the health and social effects of alcohol misuse, the importance of managing alcohol at events held on and off campus, liquor licensing, serving alcohol responsibly and the University’s event management process.
  • The Toolkit also aims to support Event Managers through the provision of relevant University policies, fact sheets, event management forms, and sources of further advice and support.
  • The Health Promotion Unit has also developed a training course designed to consolidate the information presented in this toolkit and provide an opportunity for the practical application of University policies and procedures. Any person planning an event that will involve the sale (which includes supply), service and consumption of alcohol on an unlicensed University premise or at an external venue may attend training in event management and the Responsible Service of Alcohol.
  • The University is committed to offering an equitable and inclusive environment for staff, students and the community. In keeping with this vision, the Toolkit also addresses inclusiveness and provides strategies for Event Managers to consider when planning an event.
  • The University’s Health Promotion Unit has led the development of this comprehensive toolkit and training program. However, this has been a collaborative project that has benefited from the expertise of other University departments, groups and residential colleges, including: Security and Parking; Sport and Recreation; the Guild; the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning; Public Affairs and Safety and Health. The development of this toolkit reflects the cooperation that exists within The University of WA.
  • A number of important partner organisations have also provided advice and support during the development of the toolkit, including the Drug and Alcohol Office, Sexual Assault Resource Centre, Local Drug Action Groups Incorporated and the WA AIDS Council.

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Group safety award

This was awarded to the University Library for their thorough planning, preparation, response and recovery following the extreme hail storm on Monday 22nd March 2010 and for maintaining high safety and health standards during and following this event.

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Individual safety award

This was awarded Graham Wright from Facilities Management for his leadership, initiative and high safety and health standards, which he sets and maintains for electrical safety.

Framed certificates were also presented to David Thatcher and Kael Driscoll for their leadership, initiative and high safety and health standards maintained during the response and recovery following the extreme hail storm on Monday 22nd March 2010. Framed Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Jessica Brunner and Graham Morrison for their role in providing vital First Aid assistance to a student with a serious medical condition on Tuesday 22nd June 2010.

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Safety leadership award

This was awarded to Tracy Taylor for her outstanding leadership, initiative and dedication that has driven the implementation, improvement and sustaining of high safety and health standards within the UWA Business.

A framed certificate was also presented to Ken Fogden in appreciation of his leadership, initiative and dedication that has driven the implementation, improvement and sustaining of high safety and health standards within the workshops at the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics.

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Safety recognition award

This was awarded to the Julie Proudfoot for her leadership, her positive can-do attitude and high safety and health standards which she sets and maintains.

A framed certificate was also presented to Health Promotion Unit for their development of the “UWA Managing Alcohol at Events: A Toolkit for Students, Staff and External Users”, which provides practical advice and support for the responsible conduct of events involving the sale, service and consumption of alcohol.

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All nominees are thanked for their past, current and future efforts to improve the safety and health within their work areas. The UWA safety awards are an opportunity to demonstrate high achievements in safety and health by both groups and individuals and to share these achievements with others. The University greatly appreciates the kind sponsorship provided for the University Safety Awards by the University Co-operative Bookshop.

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