Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Handling of mail and packages

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.

Emergency procedural guidelines for handling suspicious mail items, opened and unopened.

  • It is appropriate that people handling mail remain vigilant and cautious at this time, but it should be remembered that most reports of suspicious packages are false alarms.
  • All people handling mail items in a work or business situation should be aware of the emergency procedures for responding to and reporting a suspicious article.
  • Where possible, the sorting and processing of mail and packages should be conducted in an area that is separate from the main organisation and which can be easily contained.
  • If you receive a package or letter that you believe is suspicious, follow the procedures outlined below.

What to do if you receive a suspicious package or mail item

If you suspect the mail item may contain an explosive device

  • Follow your normal emergency procedures
  • Ring 2222 and report the package
  • Ring Mail Room on 3035 or 3021.
  • Evacuate the area

Not opened package

If you suspect that you have received a package that may contain hazardous material and have not opened it:

  • Place item in a plastic bag and seal it.
  • Place all items in a second plastic bag and seal that bag.
  • Stay in your office or immediate work area. This also applies to co-workers in the same room. Prevent others from entering the area and becoming contaminated. Remember you are not in immediate danger.
  • Call for help. Ring Mail Room on extension 3035 or 3021.
  • Advise:
    • Exact location of incident - street address, building floor
    • Number of people potentially exposed
    • Description of the package/device
    • Action taken; for example, package covered with black coat, area isolated.
  • Keep your hands away from your face to avoid contaminating your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If possible (without leaving your work area) wash your hands.
  • Wait for help to arrive.

Opened packages

If you suspect that you have received a package that may contain hazardous material and have opened it:

  • Do not disturb the item any further. Do not pass it around. If any material has spilt from the item, do not try to clean it up, or brush it from your clothing.
  • If possible place an object over the package without disturbing it, such as a large waste bin.
  • Stay in your office or immediate work area. This also applies to co-workers in the same room. Prevent others from entering the area and becoming contaminated. Remember you are not in immediate danger.
  • Call for Help. Ring Mail Room on extension 3035 or 3021.
  • Advise:
    • Exact location of incident - street address, building floor
    • Number of people potentially exposed
    • Description of the package/device
    • Action taken; for example, package covered with black coat, area isolated.
  • Keep your hands away from your face to avoid contaminating your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If possible (without leaving your work area) wash your hands.
  • If possible, have the building ventilation system shut down and turn off any fans or equipment that is circulating air around your workplace.
  • Wait for help to arrive.

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