Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Newsletter June 2012

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
  • Become a first aid officer
  1. Safety Related Training 2012
  2. UWA Safety and Health Online Induction
  3. Safety and Health website - New Website Now Live
  4. Domestic Heaters Fire Risk
  5. Safety Officer for Facilities Management
  6. Project Cessation - Laboratory Decommissioning Checklist
  7. WorkSafe WA Videos
  8. Do you have a certificate of competency (OHS Certification Australia card)?
  9. Promoting Safety and Health in a Green Economy
  10. Quad Bike Safety for Young Workers
  11. Casual Workers Safety
  12. Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
  13. Benefits of Movement - Be Upstanding!
  14. Weight Watchers at Work
  15. University Safety Committee
  16. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2012

  • Laboratory Safety Course (1 day) on Wednesday 25th July
  • Mental Health First Aid training is being offered by OSDS in a number of sessions this year for UWA employees who wish to have a better understanding of mental disorders, and wanting to learn how to recognise and provide support to others who may be experiencing mental health problems. The course is particularly recommended for managers and supervisors. For more information go to
  • Occupational Safety and Health training for Managers and Supervisors on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th of July (2 x ½ days, 9.30 am – 1 pm each day). Enrol via OSDS.

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UWA Safety and Health Online Induction

Three new online Occupational Health and Safety Induction modules are now available for all staff. Current staff members are encouraged to complete the induction. New staff will be expected to have completed this induction in their first weeks of employment.

The induction comprises three modules which should take no more than 30 minutes each to complete. These modules provide essential health and safety information for staff and cover:

  1. OHS Introduction - This module covers why safety is important, employers' and employees' obligations, the legislative framework, Safety and Health representatives and Committees, hazard reporting, University policy, procedures and supporting information.
  2. Managing Occupational Risk - This module covers how to apply the principles of hazard management, how to manage occupational risks at the workplace, accident and incident investigation and workplace inspections; and
  3. Manual Tasks and Ergonomics - This module covers task handling injuries and their prevention, tasks handling techniques, basic principles of ergonomics, how to set up your desktop computer ergonomically (specific to your requirements) and musculoskeletal disorders and their prevention.

The induction is available in the UWA Learning Management System (Moodle), which can be accessed using your Pheme account login details. Completions of this training will be recorded within the UWA Human Resources Management System (Alesco). For further information, and to begin the induction please see:

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Safety and Health Website – New Website Now Live

The new Safety and Health website went live on Thursday 7th June 2012. The University Website Office was outstanding in the process. We were able to reduce the number of web pages (from 900 to 400) and greatly improved the organisation, access and readability of relevant health and safety information. Much work is still required in relation to updating procedures and guidelines which will need to take into account the new Work Health and Safety legislation for when this is introduced into Western Australia. We welcome any comment you may have on the new website to: UWA Safety and Health website: - add to your favourites list to keep up-to-date with changes via our News and Events section.

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Domestic Heaters Fire Risk

UWA Safety and Health have been made aware of a fire caused by a faulty heater at another University. The incident was exacerbated by being left on and unattended for a long period of time. The brochure ‘Electrical Safety – A user guide to the safe use of electrical equipment on UWA premises’, which has been widely distributed, outlines the following:

  • Portable fan heaters – All portable fan heaters must be fitted with a 60 minute timer and limited to a power output of 1500 watts. Suitable heaters may be purchased through Facilities Management. Contact Facilities Management (6488 2025) for an assessment of heating needs. Do not operate heaters near combustible materials, in air conditioned areas or in confined spaces.
  • Unattended heat sources – Minimise fire risk and do not leave heaters, hot plates and ovens unattended whilst still hot. Do not store combustible materials near them.

Staff are asked to co operate with these procedures to help reduce the risk of fire. For more information please refer to the guide or contact UWA Safety and Health. Electrical Safety – A user guide to the safe use of electrical equipment on UWA premises:

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Safety Officer for Facilities Management

Alex Scholz joins the University as the Safety Officer for Facilities Management. He will be involved in reviewing the existing Facility Management OSH Framework and developing and facilitating initiatives to ensure it meets its legislative requirements. He recently worked as the OSH Coordinator at Rottnest Island Authority and has experience in managing the OH&S issues associated with aging infrastructure within the government, construction and mining sectors.

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Project Cessation – Laboratory Decommissioning Checklist

A new checklist has been added to the Laboratory Safety webpage in the recently revised UWA Safety and Health website Its purpose is to ensure that laboratories are left in a safe, uncontaminated and hazard free condition upon completion of projects or when decommissioned. Workers who subsequently use the laboratory must not be exposed to any residual physical, electrical, chemical, radioactive or biological risks.

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WorkSafe WA Videos

WorkSafe WA has also co-produced five excellent safety videos on:

  • Workplace falls – Particularly valuable for those working in the construction industry
  • Manual tasks – Covers the risk management process and includes many examples of solutions
  • Hazardous substances – Useful for all workers using hazardous chemicals
  • Asbestos – Reflections of former Commissioner for Health Dr Jim McNulty
  • New workers – Useful for all workers as an introduction to OSH

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Do you have a certificate of competency (OHS Certification Australia card)?

On the 1st of July certificates of competency for scaffolding, rigging, operators of cranes and hoists and forklift and pressure equipment will no longer be valid. If you, your employee or someone you work with still have a certificate of competency it will need to be converted to a high risk work license before the 1st of July 2012. All unconverted certificate holders will be required to be reassessed. Contact WorkSafe on 1300 424 091 for further information.

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Promoting Safety and Health in a Green Economy

International Labour Office (ILO) reaffirms that “Decent Work is Safe Work”. Therefore, the protection for workers’ health and safety and the protection of the environment should be intrinsically linked to ensure a comprehensive approach to sustainable development. This paper was developed as part of world day for safety and health at work in April 2012. It includes topics on the following:

  • Green debate and its social dimension
  • Occupational risks in renewable energies, solar and wind energy, hydropower, and bioenergy
  • Waste management and recycling
  • Osh risks in the greening of traditional sectors e.g. mining, agriculture, forestry, construction and nuclear industry

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Quad Bike Safety for Young Workers

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has published a quad bike safety guide for young workers, which includes advice on PPE and employer responsibilities.

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Casual Workers Safety

Despite their short time at the workplace, casual workers must be provided with safety and health training, instruction and information so they can work safely. There may be a greater need to provide this to casual workers because they may be at increased risk of injury or harm.

The safety and health standards for casual workers need to be the same standard as for other workers at your workplace, with their safety and health issues considered within the context of safety and health management for all workers. As an employer, you have a general duty of care for workers’ safety and health. WorkSafe have produced the following guide for employers titled ‘Managing the safety of a temporary workforce’:

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Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields

Report of the independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (Health Protection Agency 2012):

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Benefits of Movement – Be Upstanding!

This fact sheet, produced by Comcare, provides an overview of the health risks associated with long periods of sitting, the benefits of regular movement, and strategies that can be implemented to reduce sitting time at work. There is considerable evidence suggesting that prolonged sitting increases your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and death. And the amount of time spent sitting remains a risk, even if you engage in regular exercise. Conversely, there are many benefits to sitting less and moving more, including:

  • reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes
  • improved weight management
  • reduced risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.!.pdf

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Weight Watchers at Work

If you’re interested in support to lose some weight Weight Watchers at Work is coming in July. Weight Watchers at Work offers sustainable weight-loss results through a comprehensive approach including diet, exercise, behaviour modification and group support in the convenience of a work environment. To register your interest please contact or call Sarina Radici (x 7931) as soon as possible.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday 12th June 2012. The next meeting is on Tuesday 14th August 2012. Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety and Health website.

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Previous Safety & Health Newsletters

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

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