Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter February 2020

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
  2. RiskWare - Online Hazard and Incident Reporting - Training
  3. Chemical Corner - Accidental incident? - Dr Laurton McGurk
  4. Noise and Chemical Induced Hearing Loss
  5. Staff News
  6. HMS Safety SharePoint site
  7. University Safety Committee
  8. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training

  • Laser Safety in Research Course
    (1/2 day) on Friday 20th March 2020
  • Building and Area Warden Training
    Emergency evacuation drills will be in March. For warden training sign up at the links below, the training covers the procedures and methods for dealing with emergencies within your buildings as well as emerging issues within the field.

  • Online Safety Induction
    It is required for all staff to complete the Online Safety Induction every 3 years so if you are getting close, log into ELMO and tick it off before you get reminders in your inbox.
    Also available at the above link are courses on Bullying in the Workplace and Sexual Harassment Awareness.

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RiskWare - Online Hazard and Incident Reporting - Training

Training at your location is available by request - contact David Thatcher

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Chemical Corner - Accidental incident? - Dr Laurton McGurk


“There’s no such thing as an accident”
Is this true?
On the whole I’d say yes. Things don’t just happen.
That ‘accident’ has a cause. Warnings weren’t posted; or were ignored. Labels are missing or so badly written they might as well be. PPE wasn’t worn. The first aid box hasn’t been stocked or not stocked appropriately. The fume hood sash was up or work was done on a bench when it shouldn’t have been. A reagent that must be stored in a specific manner….wasn’t. One that must be disposed of a few months after opening was held on to. Some of this you can control. These are the karma accidents; the ones where the biter gets bit. It isn’t an accident, it’s an incident, and you did it to yourself. Wear your PPE. Work in the fume hood if you need to. Check the first aid kit. Unfortunately karma’s just a hippy fallacy.
So check your area for incidents-in-waiting. Report them, fix them or dispose of them. Don’t let someone else’s incident become yours.

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Noise and Chemical Induced Hearing Loss

In addition to the natural effects of aging, hearing loss can be caused by:

  • Cumulative or isolated exposures to loud noise – generally, exposure to noise above 85 decibels for varying periods of time can result in hearing loss;
  • Exposure to ototoxic chemicals – certain chemicals when inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin can damage the auditory nerve.;
  • Exposure to otoxic chemicals can reduce the level of noise required to cause hearing loss by up to 15 decibels.

For further information please refer to these information resources :

If you would like to know more or are concerned you may be exposed to risk from noise or chemically induced hearing loss in your work environment, please contact your local safety representative and/or safety adviser or UWA Safety and Health to discuss available risk control options.

Noise Levels [PDF, 96.6 KB]
Updated 4 Mar 2020

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Staff News

Looking for Wellbeing and Injury Management Staff? Kirrily Robson (Ex. 4683), Sally Bigwood (Ex: 7931) and Sarina Hilton (Ex: 2571) now in HR at 55 Broadway, Nedlands.

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HMS Safety SharePoint site

Health and Medical Science Safety Team have a new SharePoint site.
Here is the link if you’d like to learn more:

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on 3rd December 2019. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 8th April 2020. Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety, Health and Wellbeing website.  
Changes are being implemented for the USC in 2020, four meetings a year will be held with members from the following groups:

  • Coo – Chair
  • SDVC
  • Faculty Chairs
  • Specialist committee representatives (as required),
  • Manager Safety and Health

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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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