- Safety-related training 2011
- Death of undergraduate student in Yale University workshop
- Safe use of metal-turning lathes
- Safe use of angle grinders
- Laptop electrical hazard – power plug adaptor
- Developments in safety management
- University Safety Committee
- Occupational Safety and Health training for Managers and Supervisors on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 June (two half-days, 9.30 am – 1 pm each day). Enrol via OSDS.
- Youth Mental Health First Aid (four x 3.5 hours) from Wednesday 27 April. Enrol via OSDS.
- Chem Alert user course – Basic and Advanced sessions (two hours and 1.5 hours, respectively). Monday 18 April.
In the April editorial of Nature, researchers and institutions are asked to question their own attitudes to safety in the laboratory after the death of an undergraduate student in a Yale University workshop.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Michelle Dufault died when her hair became caught in a lathe, a fast-spinning machine, asphyxiating her. While investigations are continuing it appears limited training, working alone, working after hours and under extreme pressure may have been contributing factors.
WorkSafe Victoria has produced a Guidance Note on the Safe Use of Metal Turning Lathes. This is an excellent and practical information sheet with clear drawings, photographs and tables identifying how to control associated hazards.
WorkSafe Victoria has published a guidance note on the safe use of angle grinders.
The main hazards are identified, possible consequences and recommended controls are listed in a table. The most common causes of injury to operators and nearby workers from angle grinders are lacerations from attachments that break and become projectiles, and lacerations from angle grinder kickbacks.
Advice on purchasing angle grinders is also presented.
A recent electrical incident occurred when a student's fingers made contact with the bare pins of a power plug adaptor before the plug was fully removed from the socket. The adaptor was of an old design without partial shielding of the pins. It was also very small, which brought the fingers in closer to the pins.
The pamphlet 'Electrical Safety – A user guide to the safe use of electrical equipment on UWA premises' outlines the following points which are relevant in this incident:
- It is essential to avoid contact with electrical conductors.
- Insulated – pin power plugs are compulsory on all new electrical equipment to prevent possible finger contact with live terminals.
- The electrical safety of private laptop computers is the responsibility of those students, visitors and staff who bring them to UWA.
- Laptops should be visually inspected for damage.
- Leads must not create a trip hazard.
Laptop users with equipment originating in countries other than Australia must check with the manufacturer's requirements regarding the compatibility of plugs, power supplies and adaptors. This equipment must comply with the relevant Australian standards.
For more information on this issue, read our Electrical Safety Pamphlet.