Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter August 2016

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 2016
  2. New UWA Biosafety website
  3. Thermal Comfort - Portable Heaters
  4. Entrapment in Cold Room
  5. Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP)
  6. UWA Annual Safety Awards 2016 (Nominations required by 23rd September)
  7. AUSA Conference Presentations Available
  8. Safe Use of Ladders
  9. 5 Week Introduction to Mindfulness Course
  10. Wellbeing Activities
  11. University Safety Committee
  12. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2016

  1. Plug and Socket Course from College of Electrical Training (CET) at Business Unit cost
  2. PAT testing Course from CET at Business Unit cost, followed by
  3. UWA In-House Electrical Training Course paid for by Safety, Health & Wellbeing.

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New UWA Biosafety website

The UWA Office for Research Ethics & Integrity co-ordinates University compliance with the requirements of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) and supervises the safe use, handling and containment of hazardous infectious agents and biological material reasonably expected to contain these (biosafety). It also issues advice in relation to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (formally DAFF) Biosecurity requirements, ensures compliance with relevant Australian Standards (including advice on laboratory specifications) and provides training for research personnel working with GMOs, hazardous infectious agents and biological material.
There is a new Biosafety website available at:  

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Thermal Comfort - Portable Heaters

The University recognises that thermal comfort of a room space can be a very personal matter. Due to individual differences, it is difficult to specify a thermal environment to keep everyone comfortable all of the time.Portable Electric Bar Radiator Heaters are prohibited. There are suitable heaters for indoor use which should not be left operating whilst unattended and after hours. Whilst the use of portable heaters does increase the risk of electrical fire from unsafe use, and is an inefficient source of energy, these issues can be managed more effectively with some guidance. Campus Management has provided these guidelines for staff and students when purchasing and using a portable heater. These guidelines have important local work area responsibilities and information on safety, related to portable heaters.

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Entrapment in Cold Room

One of our research partners had two students enter a cold room and closed the door. The emergency release system did not work and the emergency bell did not raise help as there was no one in the area. Five minutes later a staff member realised what had happened. Further investigation found:

  • Another cold room door had similar issue with the door release
  • Induction and instructions on the door indicated the door was not to be closed
  • Only one of the students was aware of the procedure
  • It was unlikely that a serious medical impact would have occurred


  • Check the function of emergency exit mechanisms on cold rooms and freezers, repair as required
  • Include this check in regular workplace inspections
  • Ensure staff and affiliates (especially students) understand the process for entering cold rooms and freezers
  • Ensure all occupants are aware of the emergency alarms and what to do in case of an alarm
  • Refer maintenance issues to Campus Management

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Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP)

SROCP is a requirement for the skipper/coxswain of any commercial vessel with a VHF radio installed. Warren Starr (Diving and Boating Safety Officer) will be conducting SROCP exams on the 23rd of August and the 21st of September (Booking one week before the exams is essential as the exams are posted from Tasmania). Successful completion leads to a licence issued by Australia Communications Media Authority (ACMA).

Contact the Diving and Boating Safety Officer for details including study requirements (study book and online questions) and fees [email protected]

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UWA Annual Safety Awards 2016 (Nominations required by 23rd September)

Whilst safety is everyone’s responsibility, the University annually recognises persons and groups who go above and beyond in promoting and implementing good safety, health and wellbeing practices. Nominations are now invited for the following four UWA Safety Awards - Group (Faculty, School, Section), Individual, Safety Leadership (Individual) and Safety Recognition. All staff and safety committees are encouraged to promote these awards within their work areas and to seek suitable nominations. Nominations to Safety, Health and Wellbeing close on Friday 23rd September 2016. The awards will be presented by the SDVC on 31st October during Safe Work Australia Month.
For further information:  

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AUSA Conference Presentations Available

The Australasian University Safety Association Inc. (AUSA) is the network of OHS professionals servicing the tertiary education and research sector of Australasia.
Membership is free and open to persons employed in the Australasian tertiary education sector and active in a health, safety, environment or related field.  
Presentations made at the June 2016 AUSA Conference are available at:  

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Safe Use of Ladders

SafeWork NSW has produced a three-minute video safety alert on the safe use of ladders.  

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5 Week Introduction to Mindfulness Course

This course is designed to give participants an introduction to both the theory and practice of mindfulness, assisting you to develop the key skills to embed mindfulness into your day-to-day activities. Practising mindfulness can help us engage more fully with the present moment. In doing so, it can relieve stress, improve focus, and assist us in managing our emotions more effectively.

  • Date and Time: Tuesday mornings: 7:00am-8:30am (except for Thursday 8 September): August 30 - September 27.
  • Venue: Faculty of Science Common Room.
  • Facilitator: Kathryn Choules, Mind and Movement  

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Wellbeing Activities

  • Mondays: 12:15pm-1:00pm: UWA Staff Community Choir Semester 2. This semester the theme is ‘The Beast Does Pop’ – songs from ABBA, Queen and Michael Jackson.
  • Tuesdays 12:30pm-1:00pm: UWA Sport Lunchtime Walking Group. Continues to the end of 2016 after the great response during the UWA Activity Challenge.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday the 9th August 2016. The next meeting is on Tuesday 11th October 2016. Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety, Health and Wellbeing website.

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Previous Safety, Health and Wellbeing 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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