Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Safety awards 2011

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 2011 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 21 October by Winthrop Professor Bill Louden, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

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

Nomination for group award

The School of Physics

The School of Physics has consistently been striving to maintain a high quality of safety as well as to inculcate an awareness of safety across the School. This has been accomplished through a combination of sterling individual efforts as well as collective efforts by the School Safety Committee, Research Group Leaders, Teaching and Learning Staff and Professional Staff.

Notable activities have included:

  • Major changes made to the School of Physics Safety Manual and also the School of Physics Workshop Safety Manual
  • Implementation of improved machinery safety standards for machine guarding and emergency stop switches in the main and student workshops in 2011
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prepared for every piece of machinery in the Physics workshops
  • Preparation by John Moore of method statements for University wide distribution particularly in the areas of safe handling, decanting and transportation of liquid cryogens including liquid helium and liquid nitrogen
  • Implementation of extensive tagging and testing of electrical equipment in student and research laboratories
  • Safety inductions presentation (PowerPoint available) that can be delivered to new staff and students by any member of the research group
  • New PhD student are required to complete a safety induction in order to obtain special School funding for their studies. This has ensured a 100% completion rate for safety inductions for new PhD students within the first months of their candidacy
  • The School along with Audio Visual drove a pilot program to have the Ross and Clews Lecture Theatres connected so that a lecturer could simultaneously address 500 students, instead of the 200+ capacity of each of those individual theatres.  This has had a significant positive impact on the mental wellbeing of lecturers and reduced the workload and strain considerably
  • Comprehensive safety briefings to all users of the Ross and Clews theatres (including disciplines other than Physics) in the first few days of semester, developed by Lance Maschmedt have also been benchmarked and carried through. Staff and students are informed about the need for rapid but ordered response to fire alarms, alternative evacuation routes and muster points
  • Initiated a proper database of all safety training undertaken by their staff and students.

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Nominations for individual awards

The five nominees were Mr John Moore (Physics), Mr Lance Maschmedt (Physics), Mr John Malley (Facilities Management), Mr Tom Rufford (Mechanical and Chemical Engineering) and Mr Ray Scott (Natural and Agricultural Sciences).

Mr John Moore (Physics)

John has served for many years as a Safety and Health Representative, Building Warden, First Aid Officer and ChemAlert Administrator in the School of Physics.  He has also served on the main University Safety Committee since June 2009. He has demonstrated great leadership in the following:

  • Conducted a major update of the School Safety Handbook
  • Development and implementation of a new Physics Workshop Safety Manual and Standard Operating Procedures to help improve workshop safety
  • Implementation of improved machinery safety standards for machine guarding and emergency stop switches in Main and Student Workshops, 'After hours' log book and policy for workshops and conducts safety inductions of new staff to workshops
  • Implementation of accurate record keeping for workshop staff training and competencies and maintains accurate records of persons trained in the Student Workshop Course (records dating back 25 years)
  • Conducts laboratory and workshop safety inspections
  • Trains the lecturers of Student Workshop course especially in relation to potential dangers and the need to stress all relevant Safety concerns
  • Assisting UWA Safety and Health and others with policy input, harmonisation implementation, building inspections, workshop safety, dangerous goods requirements and method statements for liquid cryogens.

Mr Lance Maschmedt (Physics)

Lance has worked at UWA for 46 years and has been nominated on two grounds:

  • Ongoing vigilance and effort to maintain high standards of safety in the Ross and Clews lecture theatres and the undergraduate teaching labs
  • Individual efforts for improved access to the Physics building for the disabled.

Lance has made significant efforts to address overcrowding in the Ross and Clews lecture theatres through active enforcement of maximum seating capacity and initiatives to increase the seating capacity of the theatres.  As the Warden for this area he is also extremely diligent in providing a comprehensive safety briefing to all users (including disciplines other than Physics) in the first few days of semester. Both staff and students are informed about the need for rapid but ordered response to fire alarms, alternative evacuation routes, and muster points. He always ensures timely evacuation of the theatres during fire drills, including special provision for any disabled students.

Lance has always placed access by disabled students to the lecture theatres as one of his priorities. When he is aware that a disabled student is present in a class, he always makes a point of meeting with the student and showing them how to access the theatres and ensuring that the student knows of alternative evacuation routes in the case of emergency. He also assists with access to lifts, adjustable height laboratory benches, portable writing tablet and shows them options for accessible toilet facilities. He has successfully campaigned for an access ramp (soon to be constructed) from the north side of the Physics building to the lecture bench level of the Ross lecture theatre. Lance provides comprehensive training on safe use of demonstrations to the demonstrators, and begins every session with a comprehensive briefing for the students participating. He maintains his vigilance throughout the session.  He also serves as a First Aid Officer.

Mr John Malley (Facilities Management)

John has a proactive approach to safety and health and in particular in:

  • Assisting organising emergency evacuation training
  • Operating the Fire Indicator Panel and assessing fire related systems during evacuation exercises
  • Follow-up of faults found during evacuation exercises and reporting on these
  • Developed a programme for identifying, collating locations, determining current compliance and documenting of University cranes
  • Following up on the inspection and maintenance of cranes
  • Developed procedures for access and maintenance for fume cupboards with particular respect to hazardous exposure of workers and decontamination of equipment and ducts
  • Reporting on hazards in laboratories and related plant rooms with respect to laboratory equipment, air conditioning and gases in use
  • Assisting with safety and health investigations particularly with air quality and contamination.

Associate Professor Tom Rufford (Mechanical and Chemical Engineering)

Tom joined the School in June 2010 and has already made a significant contribution to safety operations, both as an advisor and an as active participant.  The School’s research directions have moved into areas such as fuels and alternative energy sources, low CO2 emission processes, Chemical and Process Engineering.  These all have their own unique set of hazards and the requirement for specialist knowledge. Tom has both research and industry experience in these areas as well as the willingness to take on the challenge of extra workload by contributing his time to the safety area.  He serves as the School Safety Officer (Gas Processing) and willingly provides specialist knowledge and insight into these high tech developments to support the safety decision making process and adequately manage the hazards.

Tom brings specialist skill and knowledge relevant to future and on-going areas of research and development including:

  • gas processing and utilisation
  • safety in process design
  • high temperature and pressure hydrogen adsorption techniques
  • process safety features including sizing emergency relief valves and depressurising valves
  • process safety features including set-points and process control loops
  • nanotechnology
  • laboratory safety including chemical handling
  • storage and disposal
  • risk assessment and HAZOP.

Tom’s well-informed, sensible and balanced judgement is respected by those who work with him. In particular, his critical thinking and willingness to review all proposed new safety management systems at both Faculty and School level and his active input into their finalisation.

Mr Ray Scott (Natural and Agricultural Sciences)

Ray has been responsible for designing and manufacturing some innovate safety solutions to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries. This has included a pot handling gantry and stabilised trolley for transporting liquid nitrogen dewars.

Large heavy pots and tubs require frequent weighing as the plants grow. This required awkward lifting and turning onto a set of scales each time for watering. Ray made a gantry frame to straddle benches and which enables the pots to be slightly lifted and weighed, thus reducing the need to manually handle the heavy pots.

A staff member was required to wheel empty dewars across campus to refill, sometimes twice in one day. They were experiencing back and shoulder pain as the trolley was difficult to balance and push on uneven ground. Ray made a dolly frame to provide a third wheel (castor) and extended handle bar. This stabilised the trolley so the only effort required was to push rather than try to maintain balance as well. The dolly frame is removable for storage once back in the lab.

Ray has also been very responsive towards improving safety within the workshop with the Workshop Compliance Inspections and has been a leader in improving safety within University workshops.

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Group safety award

This was awarded to the School of Physics for their active Safety Committee and personnel in planning, implementing and monitoring their high quality safety programs. They received a framed certificate and gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop.

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Individual safety award

This was awarded to Assistant Professor Thomas Rufford for his specialised knowledge and high safety standards which he willingly provides for gas and chemical processing research and development. He received a framed certificate, gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop and a UWA Centenary book (100 Treasures from UWA).

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Safety leadership award

This was awarded to John Moore for his highly valued service as a Safety and Health Representative, Building Warden and First Aid Officer. John has also developed and implemented a new Physics Workshop Safety Manual and Standard Operating Procedures to help improve workshop safety. At the time of the awards ceremony, John was engaged on an Endeavour Executive Award at Observatoire de Haute-Provence in the south of France. He received a framed certificate, gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop and a UWA Centenary book (100 Treasures from UWA).

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Safety recognition award

This was awarded jointly to three of the nominees and each received a framed certificate, gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop and a UWA Centenary book (100 Treasures from UWA). The recipients were:

  • John Malley for his leadership and commitment to regular emergency evacuation exercises, mechanical services and air quality, fume cupboards and crane compliance programs at the University.
  • Lance Maschmedt for his highly valued service as a Warden and First Aid Officer, his ongoing vigilance of the Physics lecture theatres and undergraduate teaching laboratories and his efforts for improved disabled access to the Physics building.
  • Ray Scott for his innovate safety solutions to reduce manual handling injuries which included a pot handling gantry and stabilised trolley for transporting liquid nitrogen dewars. Ray has also been a leader in improving safety within University workshops.

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Acknowledgements

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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Submissions

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