Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Newsletter November 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.

Further information

  • UWA Smoke Free
  • Become a first aid officer
  1. Critical incident management plan training and exercises
  2. Social and Christmas functions
  3. New guide to harmonised WHS regulations
  4. Texas Tech University laboratory explosion: case study
  5. Experimenting with danger video
  6. Laboratory safety guidance
  7. Highly toxic beryllium in welding electrodes
  8. Working safely in hot conditions
  9. Sun safety
  10. Bushfires information
  11. Safety and Health staffing news
  12. University Safety Committee
  13. Previous Safety and Health newsletters

Critical incident management plan training and exercises

Training on the UWA Critical Incident Management Plan was held on Tuesday 22nd November.  This was followed by different enhanced desktop exercises on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th November.  Thanks are extended to the many contributors to these including Critical Incident Team members and deputies, Telephone Response Team members and Role Players.  A great deal was learnt from the exercises with many suggestions for improving the planning, preparation, response and recovery for potential critical incident events.

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Social and Christmas functions

Work related social events can be particularly enjoyable and are a way of developing better working relationships.  Don't allow this possibility to be spoiled.  By being aware of, and being prepared for the potential unintended consequences, many of the risks associated with these events can be reduced or removed. Further information.

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New guide to harmonised WHS regulations

Safe Work Australia has published an overview of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations to help PCBUs, officers and workers determine which provisions of the new laws they must comply with.  The publication includes guides to sections of the Regulations on HSRs, managing health and safety risks, general workplace management, noise, manual tasks, confined spaces, falls, high-risk work, demolition work, electrical safety, diving work, plant and structures, construction work, hazardous chemicals, lead, asbestos and major hazard facilities. Each guide includes cross references to related Regulations and relevant provisions of the model Work Health and Safety Act, and a list of terms defined in Chapter 1 of the Regulations that are relevant to the sections.

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Texas Tech University laboratory explosion: case study

The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has produced a Case Study on the Texas Tech University Laboratory Explosion in which a graduate student lost three fingers, his hands and face were burned, and one eye was injured after the chemical he was working with detonated on 7th January 2010.  Essential reading for researchers using chemicals.

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Experimenting with danger video

The US Chemical Safety Board has produced a video on hazards associated with conducting research at chemical laboratories in academic institutions (24 minutes). Essential viewing for researchers using chemicals.

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Laboratory safety guidance

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has produced a ‘Laboratory Safety Guidance’ publication which is relevant to laboratories in the higher education sector.

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Highly toxic beryllium in welding electrodes

WorkSafe WA has released Safety alert 08/2011 ‘Highly toxic beryllium in welding electrodes’ to inform welding machine operators for the potential for electrodes to contain beryllium. Beryllium free electrodes should be used where practical.  However, if this is not practical systems of work that do not produce dust or fumes must be implemented.

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Working safely in hot conditions

The WorkSafe WA bulletin ‘Working Safely in Hot Conditions’ provides practical advice on heat illness, related health and safety problems and actions and measures to take to prevent or minimise the likelihood of heat illness. Further information on heat stress is also available.

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Sun safety

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. It is well established that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the major cause of skin cancer and eye damage. Outdoor workers are at greater risk from skin cancer and damage to the eyes because they are exposed to the sun throughout the year and receive significantly more UV radiation than indoor workers. Sun safety in the workplace

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Bushfires information

The bush-fire season has already commenced, and no matter where you live in the Perth area, your home or work-place may be influenced either by smoke from fires or a fire-front. Bush-fires are common in Australian summers and this year with the dry weather that we have had, the predictions are for a bad bush-fire season.  FESA Bushfires information.

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Safety and Health staffing news

Ms Megan McManus has been our Radiation and Safety Advisor since February 2008 but has decided to move to Canada in 2012.  Megan’s last day at the University will be on 7th December.  We thank her for all her hard work over the past 4 years and wish her all the very best for the future.
Our new Radiation and Safety Adviser is Dr Matt Carroll who commenced on 21 November.
Our new Chemical and Safety Adviser is Bruce MacKinnon who commenced on 28 November.
The announcements on the recent appointment for our new Health and Wellbeing Officer will be made in the December newsletter.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday 11th October 2011.  The next meeting is on Tuesday 13th December 2011.  Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety and Health website.

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Previous Safety and Health newsletters

For those who have missed out on our earlier editions, copies of previous newsletters are available. All are encouraged to distribute relevant safety information in your workplaces.

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