Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Safety awards 2013

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 2013 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 31 October by Winthrop Professor Alec Cameron, Acting 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. Certificate of Appreciation
  8. Finalists
  9. Acknowledgements

Nomination for group award

Oral Health Centre of Western Australia (OHCWA)

The Oral Health Centre/School of Dentistry is a state-of-the-art dental teaching and learning facility offering tertiary training in dentistry within an oral health care clinic. They employ over 150 FTEs, training 224 dentistry students and treating over 15,000 patients annually through a contract with the WA Department of Health.

Notable activities have included:

  • Active OHS Committee which meets every 2 months
  • Good culture of incident reporting, investigation and actions close out
  • Thorough follow up, monitoring and regular reporting of sharps injuries by the Infection Control Dental Care Assistant (DCA)
  • On line health and safety induction compulsory for all new staff
  • 60% staff completion rate of on line health and safety induction
  • Workplace inspections conducted quarterly
  • Recent introduction of a full laboratory safety induction program for students which will now be included in the annual student induction program
  • Staff actively participate in Fire Extinguisher training
  • This year saw the introduction of Bunsen Burner Safety awareness in the dental laboratories to help reduce the incidents of accidental burns

Financial Services

Financial Services provides a financial management and advisory service, including training and support for the University's finance system. They have over 70 FTEs with most staff located in the central administration building and others located in Faculties.

As the Director of Financial Services contemplated the approach of the harmonised work health laws it was apparent that this was a great opportunity to further demonstrate Financial Services commitment to health and safety by conducting an audit on current practices; internal polices; documentation; appropriate resources; Health and Safety Representatives and the dissemination of health and safety information.

This resulted in the following:

  • Formation of a Health and Safety Committee which meets quarterly
  • Increased Health and Safety Representatives, Wardens and First Aid personnel
  • Improved management of workplace hazards
  • Review of Financial Services Health and Safety Manual
  • Improved health and safety information and signage
  • Review of Financial Services Health and Safety Induction
  • Purchase of further safety related equipment
  • Improved document control – use of EDM TRIM
  • New staff ergonomic assessment

The success of Financial Services in striving for best practice in health and safety is a result of embracing the requirements and ensuring an active awareness of how health and safety benefits the working environment. Financial Services Health and Safety Representatives enjoy having an active role, creating a culture of safety awareness as they seek to continuously improve.

University Club

The University Club of Western Australia was established in 2005 to provide members, corporate clients and the university community with a first class conference and event facility. The Club catering includes for members and guests (Café, Bar, Restaurant, Lounge), conferences, events, University Hall and the Business School Café. The Club employs around 90 FTEs.

Over the past year the Club has continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to Safety and Health through best practice systems and continuous improvement.

Some of the new initiatives undertaken include:

  • Monthly Safety Committee meetings
  • Monthly workplace inspection of all outlets (including new additions)
  • Appointment of 2 new Health and Safety Representatives, 5 new Wardens and 7 new First Aiders
  • Risk Management Assessments of all areas/functions
  • Centralised coordination of documentation (MSDS, First Aid etc.), updated documentation control process and health and safety documentation now available in hardcopy for all staff to access
  • Standard Operating Procedures and Method Statements for all activities/equipment
  • Manual handling training conducted
  • Proactive approach to incident investigation and return to work plans
  • Health and safety highlighted as agenda item at all meetings
  • Business Continuity Planning underway
  • Risk Assessment of whole business operation in progress
  • Topic of the Month Initiative recommenced

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Nominations for individual awards

The seven nominees were Mr Alex Scholz (Facilities Management), Mr Andrew Wilson (Animal Care Services), Mrs Brenda Riley (Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle Hospital Unit), Mr George Anderson (Facilities Management),  Mr Mark Dickinson (Physics), Mr Shaofu Li  (Women's and Infants Health, King Edward Memorial Hospital) and Ms Vicki White (Energy and Minerals Institute)

Mr Alex Scholz (Facilities Management)

Mr Alex Scholz commenced in June 2012 as the Safety Officer, Facilities Operations, Facilities Management (FM). His health and safety actions since then have included:

  • Development of FM H&S Manual Local Rules Section for Facilities Operations, Corporate Services, Campus Services and Capital Projects & Planning
  • Development of audit preparation training for senior FM management in relation to the requirements of the AS4801 Audit tool and associated modules
  • Coordination of follow-up corrective actions in relation to the audit findings
    • Facilitation of existing staff undertaking the Online Safety Induction
    • Development of an FM Training Matrix
    • Implementation of a local H&S Risk Assessment Process and establishment of Risk Register
    • Chemical audits and Chemical risk assessments and review of FM ChemAlert organisation
    • Development of an FM H&S performance reporting process
    • Promotion of ergonomics awareness and assessment for all FM Sections
    • Facilitation of hazardous manual handling assessment and training for all FM Sections
    • Promotion of Mental Health & Wellbeing initiatives within FM
    • Promotion of noise management
  • Undertaking an FM OHSMS Gap Analysis – and actioning required items
  • Establishment of the FM H&S Committee and expansion of the FM workplace inspection process to all sections within FM. Notable issues addressed include:
    • Coordinating the Human Movement 13 Lane Pool treatment system corrective works
    • Nedlands Campus void in the garden beds corrective works
    • Driving on the inner campus working party
  • Coordination of the fall risk assessment of the Octagon Theatre and development of scope for fall protection corrective works
  • Working on the Asbestos Management Plan
  • Development of the Work Area Access Permit (in relation to Asbestos) and process flowchart
  • Management of works in relation to potential asbestos exposure – i.e. Physics Basement and other rooms, Child Study Centre, Shenton Park FOS, Mechanical & Civil Engineering, Octagon Theatre, Centre for Microscopy tile removal etc.
  • Follow-up control actions in relation to the new Asbestos Materials Register
  • Provision of toolbox training awareness sessions on asbestos and local risk management
  • Response to hazards and incident reported and undertake investigations as required
  • Coordination of the FM Corrective and Preventative Action Register
  • Undertaking the Crawley Campus handrail and balustrade risk assessments

Mr Andrew Wilson (Animal Care Services)

Mr Andrew Wilson is the Coordinator of the Biomedical Research Facility in Animal Care Services. Andy is supportive of the staff working in the facilities and has worked diligently with improving safety in the large animal holding areas and assisting with safety related issues. Andy is always keen to find a solution to a problem and ensures that senior management are kept informed of all relevant issues and outcomes.

Examples of where he has taken a proactive approach in addressing issues includes:

  • Improving the gas handling systems in Animal Care Services by initiating the relocation of compressed gas cylinders to outside of the facility and reticulating the gases in at low pressure. This also initiated similar actions in other research areas.
  • Reducing the risks from manual handling injuries at the Large Animal Facility by reviewing work practices and working with Safety, Health and Wellbeing to introduce suitable processes and assistive equipment

Mrs Brenda Riley (Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle Hospital Unit)

Mrs Brenda Riley is the Senior Administrative Officer in the School of Medicine and Pharmacology at the Fremantle Hospital Unit. Brenda joined the Unit almost 10 years ago following many years working at the main campus. Since then she has been responsible for general inductions for staff and the rotating cohorts of medical students. She has kept all documentation from incidents and accidents as well as implementing recommendations arising from ergonomic assessments.

Over the last 3 years, the safety assessment and risk areas have broadened with an increasing number of research groups working in clinical trials and other clinical areas. This has required enhancing the safety culture to look at risks beyond those of a high risk laboratory setting and to be inclusive of all including casual and part-time staff, students, visitors and community volunteers. Some of these individuals are based in other institutions and come to work or study with members of the School for short periods of time. This has required a major overhaul of documentation and inductions for many groups involved in a variety of working environments.

Brenda’s strength is in working with all parties, applying her knowledge of the University and Hospital systems, to find practical solutions in a short time frame. In addition, she

  • Is an active member of the local Safety Committee
  • Has a positive communication style
  • Engages and consults with all workers
  • Promotes workplace Safety and Health in practical everyday matters
  • Has implemented a management system to remind staff when they need to update or refresh training over a wide range of skills and certifications

Brenda is intending to retire at the end of this year and has set up a system of documentation for monitoring and archiving safety records that will be used by her successors for many years to come.

Mr George Anderson (Facilities Management)

Mr George Anderson commenced work at the University in September 2011 as Associate Director of Operations. In assuming this position he recognised the need to engage a Health and Safety Officer to oversee Facilities Management operations. George has been the Acting Director in Facilities Management since July 2013.

George has demonstrated a keen awareness of the importance of safety and has been instrumental in developing and implementing the following initiatives:

  • The Asbestos Materials Register Audit
  • The Building Conditions Audit
  • Establishment of a $500,000 dedicated asbestos management budget for testing and removal of asbestos
  • Establishment of the UWA Building Fall Protection Audit
  • Establishment of a dedicated Safety Officer in FM
  • Promotion of safety training in asbestos awareness
  • Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Construction safety awareness
  • Instrumental in driving the FM safety audit and follow up actions to meet compliance

George has been very supportive of any new strategies and projects that have been implemented by the FM Safety Officer, Alex Scholz.

Mr Mark Dickinson (Physics)

Mr Mark Dickinson is the Senior Technician in the School of Physics Australian International Gravitational Research Centre (AIGRC), which is located at Gingin. Mark’s safety and health related achievements have included:

  • Maintains a prominent safety notice-board for staff and students in the vicinity of the main meeting area at the AIGRC which is always kept up-to-date
  • Conducts safety induction of new staff to AIGRC and maintains accurate records of site inductions
  • Provides ongoing education to all staff and researchers about their responsibility and commitment to safety especially within their own work spaces
  • Implementation of the following at AIGRC: Workshop Health and Safety Manual, safety signage, machinery guarding and emergency stop switches, electrical testing and tagging of equipment, laser safety, ChemAlert, chemical storage and disposal, ‘After hours’ log book and regular workplace inspections
  • Liaises with other Workshop Managers, School Managers, Facilities Management and Safety, Health and Wellbeing in regard to safety issues
  • Liaises with external agencies including DEC, DFES and the Gingin Shire Council in an endeavour to assist in fuel reduction and evacuation protocol making the area safer for the summer bush fire season
  • Implementation and modification of AIGRC Emergency Fire Plan
  • Serves as Chief Building/Fire Warden for the AIGRC, oversees biannual building evacuation exercises and ensures all building wardens training is up to date
  • Active member of the School of Physics Safety Committee, which meets quarterly and on demand
  • Maintains constant vigilance site wide in regard to any safety issues or incidents and reporting such incidents or issues through to the appropriate channels

Mark has served in a Safety and Health role alongside his normal duties for the AIGRC site for a number of years. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to this role, and has made a significant impact not only on physical aspects of safety at the site, but also on the culture of safety amongst his colleagues.

Mr Shaofu Li (Women's and Infants' Health, King Edward Memorial Hospital)

Mr Shaofu Li has been employed as a Research Associate/Laboratory Manager, in the School of Women's and Infants' Health at King Edward Memorial Hospital since 2003 and became a Health and Safety Representative in 2006.

In this role he has been heavily involved in supervising laboratory based work with undergraduate and post graduate students, research staff, visiting scientists and academic staff. He has extensive experience in laboratory work, often requiring safe handling and usage of corrosive and hazardous chemicals, biohazardous material and radioactive material in many different scenarios requiring significant consideration of safe work planning and hazard and radiation management. These practical skills in safety management implementation ensure research work is undertaken with the appropriate safeguards considered.

Shaofu has consistently supported the University in providing a safe working environment in his work area through

  • Ensuring the UWA Work Health and Safety Policy is clearly visible, actively communicated through regular safety inductions, reiterated during regular group safety meetings and School meetings and used to assist members in understanding their roles and obligations in safety management
  • New and/or particularly relevant university policies are presented and discussed in forums with a focus on successful implementation
  • Arranging safety management activities such as risk assessments, area inspections and clean-ups are coordinated, actioned and reviewed
  • Ensuring that opportunities are given for members to raise safety issues and the experiences of staff and students are utilised to provide practical solutions as well as serving to enhance awareness of issues throughout the School
  • Ensuring that laboratory users attend the UWA Laboratory Safety Course and have the necessary skills to safely use laboratory based equipment.
  • Providing short videos and colour posters demonstrating safe working procedures and making these available at point of use to complement and reinforce training already given to staff and students
  • Laboratory Safety Manual and laboratory safety files made available as a resource and reference for laboratory users and managers
  • Laboratory rules are on each laboratory wall to allow for easy reference
  • Taking a proactive role in all accident and incident investigations ensuring they are dealt with in a timely manner and using a methodical, investigative approach to reviewing these to ensure root causes are identified and appropriate modifications to systems of work are implemented and documented as required.
  • Documenting and reporting on incidents, including to the final School staff meeting in December each year

Shaofu’s commitment to safety in the workplace is clearly evident by his willingness to be involved at all levels. From consultation and training in the laboratory with staff and students, Shaofu can readily gain an appreciation of issues and draw upon his experience to provide practical solutions. Mindful of the importance of safety related administrative processes, he strives to ensure such processes are achievable, obtain the desired outcome, and satisfy the requirements of health and safety regulations.

Shaofu ensures safety is of paramount consideration in any of the activities undertaken in the Discipline. His personal motto is ‘Protect yourself at workplace means protect mum and baby because we are working in women’s and infants’ hospital’, this is our laboratorial safety goal”.

Ms Vicki White (Energy and Minerals Institute)

Ms Vicki White is the Administrative Officer in the Energy and Minerals Institute. Vicki has worked diligently as a Health and Safety Representative since her appointment. She has applied herself to improving safety at the Energy and Minerals Institute at the Crawley and CBD offices and assisting with safety related issues and ensuring that senior management are kept informed of all relevant issues and outcomes. This has resulted in positive feedback not only through UWA channels, but also through Brookfield Multiplex as the facility manager in the CBD.

Vicki has undertaken her role with enthusiasm and professionalism. It is worthwhile noting that the EMI has, in the last 12 months established new offices and meeting rooms for UWA in a commercial tenancy in the CBD, and has relocated its core staff to a new office and single location at Crawley. In both circumstances Vicki has enthusiastically and diligently implemented and documented HSE procedures of a high standard. Vicki demonstrates our commitment to HSE and this attribute reflects very positively for UWA in engagement with their large industry client base.

Some specific initiatives that Vicki has delivered include:

  • Improvements to UWA Vice-Chancellery Health and Safety Traffic Light Reporting (breaking down to areas of relevance)
  • Initiation and development of UWA CBD Health and Safety practices
  • Coordination with UWA Health and Safety (as the tenant) and Brookfield Health and Safety (as the landlord) on H&S practices
  • Set up of Health and Safety Zone, safety lanyards, handouts and signage for evacuations at CBD Office
  • Sharing of information with Brookfield Health and Safety at meetings and assisting with improvements to Brookfield Health and Safety (Fire Warden Muster Point suitability, Heritage Building slip areas)
  • Support to other UWA Health and Safety Representatives with completion of Traffic Light Reporting

Vicki is a valued member of the Energy and Minerals Institute team.

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Group safety award

The 2013 Group Safety Award was awarded to the University Club for its strong commitment to safety and health through best practice systems in relation to leadership, planning, consultation, communication, training, inspections, investigations, return to work plans and documentation.

The University Club received a framed certificate and gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop.

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Individual safety award

The Individual Safety Award is to acknowledge outstanding contributions by individual University employees in establishing and maintaining high standards of occupational safety and health activities and achievements within the University.

The contributions to workplace safety may be at a University, Faculty, School or Section level and have occurred or were maintained since 2012. Evaluation took into account the different circumstances of the work areas.

The 2013 Individual Safety Award was awarded to Mark Dickinson for his outstanding leadership, initiative and dedication that have driven the implementation, improvement and sustaining of safety and health standards within the School of Physics, Australian International Gravitational Research Centre.

Mark received a framed certificate, gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop and a UWA Centenary memento.

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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.

The 2013 Safety Leadership Award was awarded to George Anderson for his leadership, initiative, diligence, support and management achievements, including work in relation to asbestos containing materials, fall protection and construction safety awareness.

George received a framed certificate, gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop and a UWA Centenary memento.

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Safety recognition award

No specific criteria were required for this award and the Selection Panel used its discretion in awarding this based on all nominations received.

The 2013 Safety Recognition Award was awarded to Financial Services for its enthusiastic commitment to the safety and health of its staff by auditing its related information, resources, communications, procedures and practices in order to foster a culture of continuous improvement towards best practice.

Financial Services received a framed certificate, gift voucher sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop.

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Certificate of Appreciation

On 17th September 2013 a UWA staff member on the Crawley campus became acutely unwell and required medical assistance. UWA Security Officer Ben White arrived at the same time as the Ambulance and was called upon to perform CPR, which allowed the Ambulance Officers to perform other tasks which were essential in order to save the staff member’s life. The Ambulance Service communicated their thanks for the assistance provided. Ben ceased employment at the University at the end of September 2013

A Certificate of Appreciation was made to Ben White for maintaining your First Aid skills and using these on others in need of assistance at the University on 17th September 2013. His prompt assistance helped save the life of a staff member.

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The five (5) Individual Finalists each received a framed certificate and a UWA Centenary memento.

Alex Scholz, Facilities Management

Andrew Wilson, Animal Care Services

Brenda Riley, Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle Hospital Unit

Shaofu Li, Women's and Infants' Health, King Edward Memorial Hospital

Vicki White, Energy and Minerals Institute

All nominees were thanked for their past, current and future efforts to improve the health and safety within their work areas.

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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. Congratulations to those nominated for their efforts and achievements.

2013 has been a busy year as we, and other organisations, prepare for the Work Health and Safety Harmonisation where the Commonwealth, State and Territories will have closely aligned OHS legislations. This will require management to be proactively addressing work health and safety. Officers will be required to demonstrate due diligence and will require the assistance of all workers to be safety conscious and actively identifying, assessing and controlling work hazards and be able to demonstrate that this occurs.,

Closing thanks were made to:

  • Winthrop Professor Alec Cameron and the Vice-Chancellery for their ongoing support of the University safety, health and well-being programs
  • The nominees – all of who are very deserving of recognition
  • Safety, Health and Wellbeing for arranging the UWA Safety Awards
  • Peter Carlyon, Safety and Health Adviser, Safety, Health and Wellbeing wo helped identify and encouraged worthy nominations for these awards
  • University Co-operative Bookshop for their ongoing sponsorship of the awards
  • UWA News for their forthcoming article on the awards
  • All who attended

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