Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter July 2017

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 2017
  2. UWA Annual Safety Awards 2017 (Nominations required by 22 September)
  3. Standard Operating Procedures
  4. Sound Practice Project Final Report and Health Handbook for Orchestral Musicians
  5. Chemical Corner - Dark Corners
  6. AUSA Conference Presentations Available
  7. University Safety Committee Annual Report 2016 - now available
  8. University Safety Committee
  9. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters
  10. Wellbeing eNews

Safety Related Training 2017

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UWA Annual Safety Awards 2017 (Nominations required by 22 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 UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing close on Friday 22nd September 2017. The awards will be presented in October during Safe Work Australia Month. For further information:

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Standard Operating Procedures

Q: When is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for a tool or machine required?

A: When the equipment in question is powered, mechanical or in some manner automatic and is inherently hazardous. This means the primary function of the machine is to cut, bend, burn, shred or otherwise destroy something or that it otherwise uses significant force or hazardous chemical components as part of its function. Also includes some powered hand tools, particularly with blades. A simple rule of thumb is: “Could it rip my thumb off on its own?”


Q: What about a microwave?

A: Standard household goods such as microwaves, dishwashers, regular vacuums etc do not require an SOP. It is reasonable to expect staff to know how to use these. You may place signage eg. “Warning, hot” or “Do not microwave metal objects”, however this is not required.

Q: We think this tool requires instructions anyhow.

A: That isn’t a question. However, it is within the discretion of any area to create their own procedures or instructions for the use of equipment in their area. These do not require the detail or format of an SOP and often can be taken from the manufacturer’s handbook.

Q: I am still not sure if something needs an SOP or just a local procedure, who can I contact?

A: David in SH&W will be more than happy to assist, he will even help you write the SOP if you require. Contact him via [email protected]  or on extension 2035.

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Sound Practice Project Final Report and Health Handbook for Orchestral Musicians

The Sound Practice Project was an initiative to undertake health and safety assessments and interventions for orchestral musicians within the major state Australian Orchestras. The project investigated musicians’ health status and supplied a wide range of interventions, including physical, auditory, psychological and nutritional components. The main publications from the project include the ARC Sound Practice Project Final Report (Bronwen Ackermann, March 2017) and the Sound Practice Health Handbook for Orchestral Musicians (Ackermann et al, May 2015).  

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Chemical Corner - Dark Corners

I recently read an article in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety  that documents a case history about legacy chemicals.

These are the old reagents that collect like malicious dust bunnies in the dark corners of the laboratory.

Most are just a nuisance – taking up space better occupied by nice new shiny chemicals that will actually be used.

A few are nastier characters; they’re inherited, harmful and they can cause enormous trouble not least because no one knows what they can do.

The paper found that nearly half of the laboratory chemicals weren’t in use. Many of these were very old and no one was responsible for them..

Does this surprise you? Before you answer – have you checked the dark corners recently?

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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 2017 AUSA Conference are now available at:  

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University Safety Committee Annual Report 2016 - 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 2016. Included in the report is:

  • Incidents and injuries – by work area, types and trends
  • Staff health and wellbeing program
  • New and revised policies, procedures and guidelines
  • USC related business – items referred and actions taken
  • Safety related training, minor works funding and internal audit program
  • Safety Awards – acknowledging safety and health initiatives, successful implementation of processes and outstanding service by groups and individuals
  • Health and Safety Objectives and Targets program – designed to improve WHS understanding, compliance and engagement
  • The University Safety Committee Annual Report 2016 is available (Pheme log in required) at:

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday13th June 2017. The next meeting is on Tuesday 8th August 2017.
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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Wellbeing eNews

A reminder that the new look Wellbeing eNews is out in June with lots of great tips and events to help you improve your health wellbeing. Click here to subscribe

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