Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter January 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. Novel Coronavirus - Information
  4. Chemical Corner - Tell me about it - Dr Laurton McGurk
  5. Skin and Outdoor Work - Alex Scholz
  6. Fieldwork - Investigate local conditions prior to departure - Warren Starr (Starry)
  7. Staff Movements - Christine Chernoff
  8. University Safety Committee
  9. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training

  • Laboratory Safety Course: Will be held on Monday the 17th February 2020, in Wilsmore Lecture Theatre.
    The course runs from 9:00am am until 4:45pm with breaks for morning and afternoon teas (we provide tea, coffee and biscuits) and lunch (we don’t provide lunch).
    More information and enrolment:
    As this date is in O-week and parking may be difficult at UWA you are STRONGLY advised to use public transport if you don’t have a UWA parking permit.
  • Unsealed Radioisotope Handling Course - Now FULL (3 days) from 18th February 2020 in Room G25 Physics
    This is designed to provide participants with sufficient theoretical and practical knowledge to enable them to safely handle radioisotopes in a research environment.
    All new unsealed radioisotope users at UWA are required to have attended and passed this course within the first year of using radioisotopes, preferably before they start such work.
    The course satisfies the training requirements for a licence for unsealed radioactive substances (research) under the Radiation Safety Act 1975.
  • 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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Novel Coronavirus - Information

UWA is closely monitoring and responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak and working to support all our staff and students at this time.

There are currently no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Western Australia. Further, the Department of Health advises that the risk of transmission in Western Australia remains low. There is no immediate threat to the campus or community and we should act together to ensure that our campus and community remains an inclusive and welcoming place to work and study. As an organisation predicated on research and respect we will continue to follow the advice of experts in this area.

For more information please email [email protected]  with any UWA-specific coronavirus queries and visit the FAQ page for continuing information  

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Chemical Corner - Tell me about it - Dr Laurton McGurk


It’s your lab. That’s your reagent. Old, new, labelled, unlabelled, half a label curling away from the bottle, label fluffy with crystals (Of ?), label in German (fun fact the German for poison is ‘gift’) or Chinese or French, labelled with chemical molecule diagram..
Excellent! So tell me about this reagent. Is dangerous? How should I store it? What sort of gloves should I wear? Do I need to work with it in the fume hood? The glove box? What about wastes? Antidotes? Spill response? Is it mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic?
But you have to tell me….no seriously….you are legally obliged to tell me….
If it it’s your lab you need to know. Because you can’t tell what you don’t know and you have a responsibility to inform others. Labels aren’t optional. Damaged or inadequate labels aren’t acceptable. Unfortunately they are common….let me tell you about it.

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Skin and Outdoor Work - Alex Scholz


With this summer being one of the hottest recorded, please ensure if you are working outdoors that you:

  • Limit your exposure to the sun’s UV radiation – work in the cooler times of the day, seek shade, rotate work and take breaks as required.
  • Slip on protective clothing, slop on some sun screen, slap on a hat and slide on some sun protection-rated glasses.
  • Acclimatise to the heat and keep hydrated – drink water regularly.
  • Keep an eye on your mates.

Please see a link to the SunSmart site. A free “UV alert” phone app and widget is available that will alert you when the UV rating is hazardous:

Please also see further information on sun protection in the attached brochure.

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Fieldwork - investigate local conditions prior to departure - Warren Starr (Starry)

A reminder about seasonal climatic issues when undertaking off campus activities travel or fieldwork. i.e. An alertness heightened risk by cyclone and bushfire season etc. Staff or students undertaking the travel or fieldwork are responsible to investigate local conditions prior to departure and monitor conditions whilst off-campus. Emergency plans should be formulated prior to departing and any actions in emergency parties keep UWA supervisor posted.

See links below that may assist:

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Staff Movements

Welcome back to Christine Chernoff (Safety, Systems and Compliance Adviser) who has been on parental leave. She can be contacted on Wednesdays and Fridays on Ex 7934.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday 3rd December. 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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