Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter July 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. UWA Health and Safety Traffic Light Reporting (Submissions due by 28th August)
  3. UWA Safety Awards 2015 (Nominations required by 25th September)
  4. Mindfulness Meditation Drop-in Sessions at Lunchtime
  5. Protect your Back
  6. Office Relocation Procedure - Manual Task Risk Management
  7. Chemical Corner
  8. Staffing News
  9. University Safety Committee
  10. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2015

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UWA Health and Safety Traffic Light Reporting (Submissions due by 28th August)

The next UWA Traffic Light Report for the 6 month period January to June 2015 is required to be submitted to Safety, Health and Wellbeing by Friday 28th August 2015. Whilst line management and health and safety personnel should be consulted in helping determine the scores, it is the senior manager (Head of School, Director) who should endorse and sign off on the submission from their work area. Safety, Health and Wellbeing is available to meet to advise and assist work areas in achieving good practice (and ideally best practice) work health and safety standards.

The collated responses and summary for previous reporting periods is available via the Traffic Light System webpage at:  or directly (Pheme log in required) at:

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UWA Safety Awards 2015 (Nominations required by 25th September)

Nominations are invited for the following four UWA Safety Awards - Group (Faculty, School, Section), Individual, Safety Leadership (Individual) and Safety Recognition. All staff and health 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 25th September 2015. The awards will be presented in October during Safe Work Australia Month, which has a theme of ‘Be safe. Be healthy. Because …. ‘ For further information:

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Mindfulness Meditation Drop-in Sessions at Lunchtime

Starting in August we will be trialling a drop-in mindfulness meditation session weekly on Thursday lunchtimes. The sessions will run from 12.15pm-12.45pm in Geography Seminar Room 1, and will feature a 20 minute mindfulness mediation and a 10 minute talk on an aspect of mindfulness. No need to RSVP. The initial trial will be for 6 weeks (August 6th through to September 10th), however numbers pending it may continue. See the wellbeing website or contact [email protected]  with any queries.

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Protect your Back

Our backs are vital to our ability to perform all daily activities, including our jobs. Find out the key back care tips, including how to prevent and manage pain, from UWA professionals, Physiotherapist, Nafyn Pattiaratchi, Exercise Physiologist Kemi Wright and Ergonomics Adviser, Jessica Press. This free information session for staff will run 12.30-1.30pm on Wednesday, August 5th in the Robert Street Lecture Theatre. RSVPs requested online.

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Office Relocation Procedure - Manual Task Risk Management

With several work areas around the University on the move it is important to consider the health and safety of your staff during the relocation process. For many employees, preparing for an office relocation will introduce new physical tasks that are not part of their day to day duties. It is important to ensure that staff have adequate training, instruction and assistance during this process. The UWA Office Relocation Procedure can be found on the website below.This should be used by managers to help ensure health and safety considerations specifically relating to manual handling are made when relocating offices.

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Chemical Corner

Don't...just Don't...EAT or DRINK in an area where chemicals are used or stored. Don’t even have food or drink in such areas unless you’re using them in your work. If you use food or drink containers to store things (Eppendorf tubes, screws, specimens etc.) in your work area then completely remove the original labels from them before doing so. Unfortunately lab audits uncover a small number of coffee mugs, drink bottles and food containers. The number one cause of lab-based poisonings is eating or drinking in laboratories; it’s silly, it’s unnecessary and it’s dangerous. You wouldn’t tolerate someone using chemicals round the food at your favourite restaurant, don't mix food and chemicals in your work area.

Who are we going to call? It’s late, very late, or maybe it’s very early; it’s definitely a BAD TIME to get your Head of School or the Vice-Chancellor out of bed! But there’s a critical problem in your lab, workshop or studio and Emergency Services REALLY needs to know what is in there before they will enter the area. The contact information panel for your areas is not up to date and the facility manager is overseas on leave. Your Head of School is tired, cold and has no idea what chemicals might be responsible for the purple smoke pouring out from under your door…..but she fully intends to discuss the matter with you as soon as she tracks you down.

The preceding paragraph is based on a real incident; keep the contact information up to date. You don’t need to list private phone numbers but the names of the two senior staffers from the lab, workshop or studio should be clearly posted. When we need to contact you NOW the problem is big enough without adding a tired, cranky VIP to the mix. .

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Staffing News

Ms Ruhani Singh, Chemical Safety Officer (0.8 time until February 2016) commenced on Wednesday 22nd July 2015. Ruhani is assisting Dr Laurton McGurk with chemical and laboratory related duties.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday the 16th June 2015. The next meeting is on Tuesday 11th August 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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