Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter June 2018

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. Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act - Amendment
  3. Safety, Health and Wellbeing Staffing News
  4. New Radiation/Chemical Officer position advertised
  5. University Safety Committee
  6. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters
  7. Wellbeing eNews

Safety Related Training

  • Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors course (1/2 Day workshop).
    WHS for Managers and Supervisors is undergoing review to ensure its content remains relevant in the context of the new processes and operating model.
    All existing participants for the July course will be contacted.

  • Laboratory Safety Course
    Will be held on Monday the 23th July, in Tattersal Lecture Theatre. The course runs from 9 am until 4:45 pm 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
    (3 days) from 24th July 2018 in 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.

  • Building and Area Warden Training
    Emergency evacuation drills will be in September. 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.

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Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act - Amendment

The Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by the legislative council on 14 June 2018 and is currently awaiting assent. Once assented to the Amendment Bill is proposed to commence on 1 July 2018.

The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 currently provides entitlements for dependants of deceased workers but the entitlement levels are inadequate and the legislative arrangements are complex. The Amendment Bill will ensure dependent family members of workers who die in work related accidents receive fair, reasonable and timely compensation. Key changes according to WorkCover WA include:

  • Increase in lump sum: Significant increase in the lump sum payable to dependants from $308,339 to $562,303 (indexed annually).
  • Clear apportionment rules: The lump sum entitlement will be payable to dependant partners and children with the apportionment between them set in statute. Unlike current arrangements, dependent children will also receive a share of the lump sum in addition to the weekly child’s allowance.
  • Removal or rules about ‘partial dependency’: No longer will partners of deceased workers be required to prove their exact financial level of dependency or have their entitlement significantly reduced because they happen to receive a modest income themselves.
  • Increase in child’s allowance: Significant increase in the weekly child’s allowance from $58.90 per week to $133 per week for each dependent child (indexed annually).
  • Fair treatment of de facto partners: Equalisation of access for de facto partners. Under the current legislation any de facto partner must have been living with the deceased worker for at least two years immediately prior to death in order to qualify for compensation. A de facto partner will have the meaning given in the Interpretation Act 1984 which is adopted in most statutes in Western Australia. The arbitrary two year period will no longer apply.
  • Clear claims process: Greater clarity and support for claimants seeking compensation. Workers’ compensation insurers and self insurers will be expected to assess claims quickly and a fast track process to a WorkCover WA arbitrator will ensure orders for compensation are expedited.

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Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) Staffing News

Jonathon Thwaites, Radiation and Laser Safety Officer Leaving as a UWA employee.
Jonathon’s exposure to the wonders of radiation started in 1981 when he joined the Radiation Health Branch of the Health Department to calibrate radiation generating and measuring equipment; construction and maintenance of radiation equipment and computer programming. Three years before that at the request of the Radiological Council, Radiation Health Branch had set up the Radiation Protection Office for the QEII Medical Centre and UWA as a sub group within Radiation Health.
During 1987 Jonathon took leave and obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Surrey in UK.
Jonathon remained as an essential part of RPO until 1994 when he jumped ship to become Senior Radiation Physicist in the Department of Medical Technology and Physics at SCGH. In 1998 while on Long Service Leave Jonathon started his private company “Medical and Scientific Services” as there was an increasing demand for this work in the expanding private practices for nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, radiology, dental work and training. This has been very successful and continues today.
In June 1999 Jonathon came back to UWA’s Safety and Health Office but during 2001 he was offered a locum position as Senior Radiation Physicist in the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering at the Bristol General Hospital in UK so we lost him again for 9 months. Being head hunted from UK showed that Western Australia was indeed fortunate to have Jonathon’s intellect available for us.
Jonathon’s long term concern and interest about our environment and sustainable living started when he was quite young. At one stage he rescued a beehive from a demolition site and started his own bee keeping. We used to look forward to receiving our Christmas presents of a jar of local honey. His Cottesloe back yard has fruit trees, a grey water irrigation system, a solar power system, a biodiesel manufacturing plant, an aluminium smelter and he made his own jams and pickles.
Sustainable living came to public notice in 2003 when Jonathon arranged the first UWA Sun Fair and obtained funding help from Alan Robson as Vice Chancellor. This was held on the Oak Lawn, had 20 exhibitors and attracted 2,000 visitors. By 2008 the Sun Fair had grown to 80 exhibitors and attracted nearly 20,000 visitors. Most of you will also recall seeing Jonathon’s photo on the cover of the 2011/12 White Pages telephone directory promoting sustainable living.


In the early 2000s Jonathon prowled the verge rubbish pick up streets and took the electric motors out of Fisher and Paykel washing machines. He converted these into electricity generators on bicycle frames to run lights, TV sets and data projectors. His fleet of these modified exercise bikes is still in demand today and in 2009 they were the community favourite in a sustainable light festival in Sydney.
He has also had a long term interest in making used cooking oil into biodiesel and has run many teaching workshops on this around Australia and also overseas. He has assisted mining companies and country Councils to set up biodiesel manufacturing plants in Western Australia. It costs him around 40 cents per litre for the biodiesel to run his own vehicles. He also started the WA Branch of the Alternative Energy Association.
Jonathon isn’t actually retiring. It’s just that after a very long history as part of UWA he is no longer a staff member. We will continue our connections and scientific interests.

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New Radiation/Chemical Officer position advertised

We have now advertised for the position of Work Health & Safety Specialist (Radiation and Chemical Safety). The position description has been broadened and this role will play a key role in strategic development of the University’s Radiation Safety and Chemical and Hazardous Substances Safety programs, as well as supporting the review and implementation of relevant procedures and best practice standards. The incumbent, as an inherent part of the position, will act as the University’s RSO, be responsible for mandatory registration and licencing matters, and will play a pivotal role to ensure that the University meets its external compliance requirements.  

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on 22nd May 2018. The next Meeting is on 24th July 2018.
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 Wellbeing eNews is now available with lots of great tips and events to help you improve your health wellbeing. Click here to subscribe

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