Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter April 2015

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 2015
  2. LPG BBQ - Hazard Report
  3. Traffic Light System Collated Responses and Reporting Summary (Jul - Dec 2014)
  4. University Safety Committee Annual Report 2014 - now available
  5. University Medical Centre Flu Clinics
  6. Lightning - Emergency Response Procedures
  7. Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Workshops
  8. Heart Week 2015 - 'Move More, Sit Less!'
  9. Wellbeing opportunities coming up
  10. Chemical Corner - Gloves
  11. University Safety Committee
  12. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2015

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LPG BBQ - Hazard Report

A recent fire involving excess fat collected under the BBQ reinforces the need to consider the hazards of using BBQs. It is important to make sure that the barbeque is serviced and maintained correctly and that the condition of all hoses and connections is checked before each use. The barbeque should be clean before use, do not leave food cooking unattended and do not put the barbeque close to combustible materials or close to building structures, where fire may take hold. For gas barbeques a garden hose or other continuous supply of water nearby should be available and/or appropriate fire equipment.

The storage of barbeques and LPG cylinders within buildings could pose a threat to the safety and health of the occupants. Potential problems could arise with the security of the cylinder, potential explosive atmosphere from escaping gas and the specific storage location of the cylinder in cases of emergency situations. Cylinders should be stored outside in an adequately ventilated secure location with protection against falling, damage and excessive temperature.

More information can be found in the following Hazard Alert - Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Barbeque Safety

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Traffic Light System Collated Responses and Reporting Summary (Jul - Dec 2014)

The average score for all reporting areas in all categories is 2.8 (compared with 2.7 for the previous reporting period). Thirty (30) reporting areas (52%) were represented by active health and safety committees during 2014 compared with 37% coverage in 2013. The next reporting period will be for January to June 2015 with calls for submissions being made in August 2015.

The Traffic Light System documents are available (Pheme log in required) at: Traffic Light System information and procedure is available at:

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University Safety Committee Annual Report 2014 - now available

This report provides information on work health and safety related programs, activities and outcomes which were considered and reported to the University Safety Committee in 2014. The University Safety Committee Annual Report 2014 is now available (Pheme log in required) at:

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University Medical Centre Flu Clinics

The ideal time to get vaccinated is well before the winter season starts.

For more information on this year’s flu and getting vaccinated visit

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Lightning - Emergency Response Procedures

If thunder happens within 30 seconds of lightning, then the storm is within 10 kilometres of your location. Lightning safety experts consider this the strike danger zone and advise people to follow the 30/30 rule. Take precautions when thunder is heard within 30 seconds of a lightning flash and wait for 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard to resume your activity. If you’re unable to take shelter inside, find the safest accessible location and stay there until the storm has passed.For more information on:

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Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Workshops

Science Industry Australia and the Australasian Laboratory Managers Association will be hosting a series of GHS workshops around Australia during 2015. These workshops will provide attendees with knowledge they need with regards to application of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals under Australian Work Health and Safety legislation.

This full day workshop is suitable for all people, particularly Laboratory Managers and Supervisors, supplying, handling, storing and using chemicals of all kinds in their workplace.;jsessionid=E7D2ADCD2212BE935DA95D762FC196F0.worker_registrant?llr=s6ww5cdab&oeidk=a07eaopnis95d4a0f3e

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Heart Week 2015 - 'Move More, Sit Less!'

Heart Week 2015 will take place from Sunday 3 May - Saturday 9 May. The week provides a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on heart health issues in Australia and raise awareness of the work the Heart Foundation is doing to lead the fight against heart disease.

This year the Heart Foundation is focussing on physical inactivity and the importance of active travel.

See free dietary consultations on campus during Heart Week 2015: May 5-7 below.

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Wellbeing opportunities coming up

Health and wellbeing opportunities coming up for staff include:

  • An ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ course: May 4-27: Free for UWA staff and affiliates
  • Free dietary consultations on campus during Heart Week 2015: May 5-7
  • A new UWA-developed online health challenge ‘Self eHealth’ beginning May 25, which uses FitBit technology to track activity and provides incentives to keep up healthy behaviour. Registrations open April 30

Visit the What’s On page of the wellbeing website for more detail:

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Chemical Corner - Gloves

We’ve got to hand it to you (so wear appropriate gloves!)The human hand is a marvel; particularly the thumb! Our identity as a species is defined, in part, by the configuration of our front ‘paws’. Each human hand contains over two dozen bones and more than a hundred ligaments. Each square centimetre of your hand has 25000 nerve receptors. 25% of brain areas dedicated to movement control are assigned to hand muscles.

When you work with hazardous chemicals you must protect your hands. Know the chemicals and conditions you’re working with and in. Consider:

  • Temperature – extremes of heat or cold
  • Dexterity needed – for the work and for safety
  • Allergies – e.g. talcum, latex
  • Mechanical hazards – sparks, blades, percussion
  • Other factors – biting animals, UV light
  • Chemicals

Chemicals! Sooner or later there’s always a chemical (this is Chemical Corner, after all!) What chemicals are you using? How concentrated? How long are you using them for? How often will you use them? How are you using them?
If you’re immersing your hands then your gloves need to be more resilient than if they only providing ‘splash protection’ against the chemicals. If you’re working with multiple chemicals, with very concentrated or very dangerous ones you may need to double glove. This may involve two gloves of the same type or layering different types of gloves for the different chemicals you’re using. You can consult the SDS sheets or charts provided by companies that make the gloves to find out the best choice for your chemicals (these are readily available online). If you are going to working with an unusual chemical, that isn’t on these charts, call the company or call me (Laurton Mcgurk).

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday the 14th April 2015. The next meeting is on Tuesday 16th June 2015. 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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