Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Newsletter February 2014

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.

Further Information

  • UWA Smoke Free
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  1. Safety Related Training 2014
  2. Call for Nominations for Safety and Health Representatives - closing Friday 28th March 2014
  3. Harmonisation of work health and safety laws update
  4. Safety Compliance Traffic Light Reporting / Health and Safety Committee Annual Reports - due by Wednesday 26th March
  5. Immunisation Guidelines
  6. University-wide Chemical Waste Collection Service
  7. New Video - Set Up Your Office Chair
  8. Mental Health Awareness Training
  9. 'Officer' Fined for Exposing People to Virus
  10. WorkSafe Looks at Labour Hire Workers
  11. Save the date: Employee Benefits and Wellbeing Expo
  12. University Safety Committee
  13. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2014

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Call for Nominations for Safety and Health Representatives - closing Friday 28th March 2014

The annual call for nominations for Safety and Health Representatives in work areas whose SHR's two year term expires or who do not currently have a SHR will be made through an All-staff email soon. The closing date for nominations is Friday 28th March 2014. For further workplace information see: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/staff-support/safety-and-health-representatives  and http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/staff-support/safety-and-health-representatives/nominations  To download a nomination form: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/staff-support/safety-and-health-representatives/nominations/form

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Harmonisation of work health and safety laws updated

Whilst Western Australia has not yet adopted the harmonised work health and safety laws it is committed to the principle of harmonisation and will likely adopt the vast majority of the proposed model laws, including the due diligence duty of care standard for Officers. To ensure that the University is adequately prepared, those in senior management roles need to understand these new legal responsibilities. The Safety Management section of our website provides guidance in the form of:

  • A useful presentation which outlines the duties of Officers and Workers and describes the vital role of work area Health and Safety Committees in achieving legal compliance and meeting good practice.
  • A self-assessment checklist for Officers to highlight key knowledge and information which must be available to them to be able to demonstrate “due diligence”.

www.safety.uwa.edu.au/management

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Safety Compliance Traffic Light Reporting / Health and Safety Committee Annual Reports

The next round of compliance reporting is now under way for:

Officers and senior managers have been informed that both submissions are required by Wednesday 26th March with publication of outcomes following presentation to the University Safety Committee in April 2014.

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Immunisation Guidelines

These guidelines describe responsibilities related to University immunisation requirements for those who are potentially at risk of exposure to vaccine preventable diseases, including those that are caused by the exposure to blood or body fluid products. The information provided has been reviewed and includes updates to ensure accordance with the WA Department of Health Operational Directive, Health Care Worker Immunisation Policy. The References section has also been updated with additional useful links. For further information see www.safety.uwa.edu.au/health-wellbeing/health/medical/immunisation-policy .

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University-wide Chemical Waste Collection Service

UWA Safety, Health & Wellbeing will be organising another University-wide chemical waste collection. This service is for areas that have hazardous chemicals that must not be disposed of by users to the environment, and will allow the call-out cost of disposal to be shared by a large number of areas.

The next collection will be in May 2014. The exact collection date(s) will be arranged when all manifests have been submitted. To be involved in this collection you should submit a manifest of your waste chemicals by 11th April 2014. Further instructions are available at: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/about_chemical_safety/chemical_waste_collection . Please pass on this information to anyone else who you think might be interested in this service. If you have any queries please contact Laurton McGurk (laurton.mcgurk@uwa.edu.au).

If you have surplus chemicals you may also be interested in the mailing list for recycling unwanted or surplus chemicals. By advertising directly to other subscribed members of staff the likelihood of finding a new home for your surplus chemicals will be greatly increased. For further details, and to subscribe to the mailing list, go to: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/topics/chemical/surplus .

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New Video - Set Up Your Office Chair

A new video has been developed, by Safety Health and Wellbeing, to provide instruction on correctly setting up your office chair. This resource has been added to the webpage covering computer workstation ergonomics, and has been added to the popular ‘Workstation Setup’ poster. http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/topics/physical/ergonomics/workstation

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Mental Health Awareness Training

In order to help people to understand common mental health conditions and provide initial support for someone with a mental health problem, a Mental Health Awareness training one–day course is offered to all staff at the University. The course provides an overview of the signs and symptoms of, and management strategies for frequently occurring mental health conditions (including depression, anxiety, suicide, psychosis, and substance misuse). Participants learn a five step process for how to assist someone showing signs or symptoms. The course also covers internal and external resources available for support and more information.

The course is recommended for all staff, however it is particularly relevant for staff who are a first point of contact regarding staffing and students matters such as Faculty Advisers and Equity and Diversity Advisers and for health and safety matters such as Health and Safety Representatives and First Aid Officers.

The course is running from 9.00am-4.00pm on the following dates in 2014:

  • Workshop 1: Monday 14 April
  • Workshop 2: Thursday 26 June
  • Workshop 3: Friday 22 August
  • Workshop 4: Friday 26 September
  • Workshop 5: Wednesday 19 November.

For more detail and to register visit the OSDS web page: www.hr.uwa.edu.au/development/workshops/health/mental-health

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'Officer' Fined for Exposing People to Virus

The owner of the Australian Tropical Research Foundation in Queensland (an Officer under Queensland's mirror WHS Act) has been placed on a $10,000, 12-month good behaviour bond, after potentially exposing workers and members of the public to a deadly bat virus.

The court found the officer allowed workers and visitors to interact with and feed bats, exposing them to the risk of being scratched and bitten, and contracting the Australian bat lyssavirus which is "invariably fatal". The Officer failed to:

  • Warn workers or others of the risk of exposure to the virus
  • Provide advice on guarding against the risk
  • Advise workers or others to immediately seek medical advice if they were bitten or scratched by bats

Workplace Health and Safety said bats should only be handled by workers with a current rabies vaccination who are properly trained and wear suitable PPE.

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WorkSafe Looks at Labour Hire Workers

WorkSafe will conduct an inspection program to look at the safety and health of labour hire workers in WA workplaces. “Whenever an inspector visits a WA workplace for any reason, the employer will be asked if they host any workers under labour hire arrangements,” Mr McCulloch (WorkSafe Commsioner) said. “If they do, the inspector will run through a checklist to ensure that the safety and health of the workers is being protected.” For both host employers and labour hire agents, the areas inspectors will look at include:

  • Information, instruction, training and supervision of labour hire workers
  • Hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control
  • Reporting of injuries and investigation of injuries and reported hazards
  • Consultation with labour hire workers and with the labour hire agent
  • Personal protective clothing and equipment
  • Providing a safe working environment for labour hire workers

Useful information and a Host Employer checklist can be found at this site: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/PDF/Infokits/Labour_hire.pdf

Safety, Health and Wellbeing has prepared guidance on the management of shared PCBU responsibilities which is available at: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/management/multiplePCBU

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Save the date: Employee Benefits and Wellbeing Expo

Are you getting the most out of working for UWA? Come along to the UWA Employee Benefits and Wellbeing Expo 2014 to find out everything UWA can offer to help you achieve your lifestyle goals and boost your wellbeing.
Featuring a fresh new look, this year's Expo is running on Tuesday March 11 from 10.00am to 2.00pm in the Winthrop Undercroft. Mark your diary now. Come along for advice, prizes, special offers as well as free massages, food and drinks and more! Visit www.uwa.edu.au/staffexpo

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Thursday 20th February 2014. The next meeting is on Tuesday 8th April 2014. Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety, Health and Wellbeing website. http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/people/committees/safety

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Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

For those who have missed out on our earlier editions, copies of previous newsletters can be obtained from the following web site: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/newsletter . All are encouraged to distribute relevant safety information in your workplaces.

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