Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Newsletter October 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.

Further Information

  • UWA Smoke Free
  • Become a first aid officer
  1. Safety Related Training 2013
  2. Lessons Learnt by the University of Canterbury - 2pm Wednesday 6th November, Bayliss Building Lecture Room G.33
  3. UWA Safety Awards 2013
  4. Health and Safety Traffic Light Report for January - June 2013
  5. Allergic Reactions - New webpage
  6. Sharks, Jelly Fish and Crocodiles
  7. Care and Comfort when Marking Written Work
  8. Bushfires: Monitor Local Advisories Closely During Bushfire Season Until March 2014
  9. Mailing List for Recycling Unwanted or Surplus Chemicals
  10. University-wide Chemical Waste Collection Service
  11. Roles, responsibilities and duties of care
  12. Helping Students Work Safely - Online Resource
  13. Social and Christmas Functions
  14. Working Safely in Hot Conditions
  15. Sun Safety
  16. Free health events for staff in November: Women's Health Forum & health Checks
  17. New Staff Sought
  18. University Safety Committee
  19. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2013

  • Mental Health Awareness 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 health issues and wanting to learn how to recognise and provide support to others. Replacing the two-day format in 2012, Mental Health Awareness Training will provide a quick overview of the basics everyone should know. For more information go to 
  • Occupational Safety and Health for Managers and Supervisors training on Monday 18th November and Tuesday 19th November (2 x ½ days, 9.00 am – 1 pm each day). Enrol via OSDS.

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Lessons learnt by the University of Canterbury - 2pm Wednesday 6th November, Bayliss Building Lecture Room G.33

There will be a presentation by Mr Chris Hawker on ‘Lessons learnt by the University of Canterbury during and after the Christchurch Earthquake of 2011’ from 2 pm – 3 pm on Wednesday 6th November 2013 in the Bayliss Building Lecture Room G.33. All welcome.

Mr Chris Hawker is the Director, Centre for Risk, Resilience & Renewal and Principal Incident Controller at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is a co-author of two research reports, Shaken but not Stirred (April 2011) and Resilience Tested (August 2012) that examine the lessons learned at the University of Canterbury following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes. These reports are available at:

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UWA Safety Awards 2013

The UWA Safety Awards 2013 were presented on Thursday 31st October by W/Prof Alec Cameron, Acting Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The awards recognise initiatives, successful implementation of processes and outstanding service for safety and health by groups and individuals.

  • The Group Safety Award was made to the University Club.
  • The Individual Safety Award was made to Mark Dickinson (Physics)
  • The Safety Leadership Award was made to George Anderson (Facilities Management)
  • The Safety Recognition Award was made to Financial Services

All Individual Finalists received a framed certificate and a UWA Centenary memento. The Winners received a framed certificate, gift voucher kindly sponsored by the University Co-operative Bookshop and a UWA Centenary memento (individuals only). For further information on the awards please see:

An article on the awards will appear in UWA News in due course.

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Health and Safety Traffic Light Report for January - June 2013

The collated results and summary report for health and safety performance for the 6 months January – June 2013 using the Traffic Light System are now available. See the link under Further Information (Pheme access required) at:

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Allergic Reactions - New webpage

A new webpage has been created to address allergies with a method of recording and planning, where required, for management in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Allergens can trigger a range of reactions from mild to more severe where some may develop to anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening and calls for immediate medical attention. This webpage describes the most common causes and symptoms which help identify the severity. For known, potentially severe allergies, a personal declaration form is provided with links to action plan documents and related information on how to manage cases of anaphylaxis. This resource can be used to supplement individual staff or student induction records and is also applicable for visitors to the University.

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Sharks, Jelly Fish and Crocodiles

Hazards to consider from the Diving and Boating Safety Officer for the Summer Field Trip Season:

  • Sharks – increase of reported sightings around Perth and the Southwest. The last attack occurred in in Turquoise Bay Exmouth, 28th October 2013, by reef a shark (details not yet known). Those planning trips should assess hazards and evaluate risks with all possible means, including the Surf Life Saving twitter reports

For those heading North:

  • Jelly fish- Irukandji and others, heightened occurrence. Much literature denotes the limits of Irukandji and other jelly fish species only as far south as Broome, in W.A. Please be aware at the end of last season (in April alone) 13 sting cases in Ningaloo marine park were confirmed by DEC. Those entering the water or touching equipment that has been in the water need to be cautious. Stinger suits and face protection are advisable personal protective equipment. First Aid: limited – flood the area with vinegar to neutralize further envenomation, do not wash or rub with fresh water. Medical assistance should be sort immediately if contact is suspected. Carry out CPR if necessary. More information can be found at these links:
  • Crocodiles – current nesting season, be aware that female crocodiles can be more aggressive around their nests. Further information see the DEC brochure:

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Care and Comfort when Marking Written Work

This guideline is designed to provide useful information for staff to prevent discomfort and muscle strain when marking written work, whether at home or in the office. It outlines how you should set up your workstation and sitting posture, and provides some points to remember when managing your workload.

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Bushfires: Monitor Local Advisories Closely During Bushfire Season Until March 2014

The country's official bushfire season began on 1 October and will end on 31 March 2014. Authorities have warned of high activity during this period due to prevailing and forecast dry and windy weather conditions, which have already caused more than 1,000 bush and grass fires in New South Wales (NSW) state in September.

Travel advice includes:

  • Stay up-to-date with the bushfire situation by listening to your local radio station and by monitoring the fire and emergency services websites
  • Ensure you are aware of the emergency procedures in place in higher risk areas. Personnel should adhere to any instructions issued by the authorities
  • Those in higher risk areas should consider preparing a ‘grab bag' containing items such as a portable radio, high-energy food, photocopies of essential documents, maps of the area and a small amount of cash
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately
  • Bushfires could cause network outages, which would affect emergency alerts sent to both landlines and mobiles. In this event, monitor the radio, television and internet for bushfire alerts.
  • Roads in the vicinity of bushfires may be closed without warning.

The following sites should be monitored where there is a risk of bushfire:

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Mailing List for Recycling Unwanted or Surplus Chemicals

A new mailing list has been set up to allow UWA staff members to advertise unwanted or surplus chemicals to other UWA staff members. This mailing list replaces the online form for advertising chemicals on the Safety, Health and Wellbeing website. 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: .

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University-wide Chemical Waste Collection Service

UWA Safety, Health and 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 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 November 2013. The exact collection date(s) will be arranged when all manifests have been submitted. To be involved in this collection you should have already submitted a manifest of your waste chemicals. Further instructions are available at: . Please pass on this information to anyone else who you think might be interested in this service. If you have any queries please contact Matt Carroll ( ).

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Roles, responsibilities and duties of care

Health and safety roles and responsibilities have been reviewed to align them more closely with proposed legislative changes. Everyone is responsible for their own safety and health and for that of others. The degree of responsibility and accountability a person has will depend on their authority and level of influence or control. The guidance is provided in the form of a checklist of duties of care for management, staff and students. This information is available at

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Helping Students Work Safely - Online Resource

A new and updated version of workplace safety and health resource WorkSafe SmartMove was launched recently by Commerce Minister Michael Mischin. SmartMove is a free-of-charge resource for senior high school students and young workers who are entering the workforce on work placements, work experience or as school-based apprentices or trainees. The website is designed to address the national competency unit BSBWHS201A Contribute to Health & Safety of Self and Others.

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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. For further information see:

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Working Safely in Hot Conditons

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.

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Free health events for staff in November: Women's Health Forum and Health Checks

You might be interested to note that a Women’s Health Forum is happening on Friday November 1, featuring a range of expert speakers, and that free health checks (including fasting blood cholesterol and fasting blood glucose) are available on various dates in early November. Contact  with any queries.

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New Staff Sought

We are about to advertise for the following two new and ongoing roles:
Safety and Health Consultant – Faculty of Science (full time)
Reporting to Safety, Health and Wellbeing and physically located within the Faculty, the responsibility of this role is to provide work health and safety consultancy services across the Faculty of Science.
Chemical and Safety Adviser (0.5 time)
The responsibilities of this role are to provide specialist advice for comprehensive chemical safety, laboratory safety, occupational hygiene and related emergency responses.
These positions will be advertised at  with applications required by 26th November 2013.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday 8th October 2013. The next meeting is on Tuesday 10th December 2013. Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety, Health and Wellbeing website.

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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: . All are encouraged to distribute relevant safety information in your workplaces.

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