Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter May 2016

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 2016
  2. New and Revamped - Safety and Health Online Training
  3. The UWA Activity Challenge Returns in 2016!
  4. UWA Sport Lunchtime Walking Group
  5. Blended Mental Health First Aid Training
  6. Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace
  7. Hazard Alert - Gas Trolley Incident
  8. Snake Bite - Bees and Wasps - Working Outdoors
  9. Recent Fires
  10. First Aid Courses - UWA Sport
  11. Cultivating a Culture of Safety in Academic Research
  12. Chemical Corner
  13. Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) News
  14. University Safety Committee
  15. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters

Safety Related Training 2016

  1. Plug and Socket Course from College of Electrical Training (CET) at Business Unit cost
  2. PAT testing Course from CET at Business Unit cost, followed by
  3. UWA In-House Electrical Training Course paid for by Safety, Health & Wellbeing.

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New and Revamped - Safety and Health Online Training

A new suite of online training is now available following successful pilots in various areas of the University, including a revamped online staff health and safety induction and training relating to sexual harassment and workplace bullying. Staff are required to complete these training courses every three years. New and recommencing staff will be required to complete them during their induction. All courses take approximately 30 minutes each to complete and completion will automatically register against staff training records within the HR System (Alesco).

The new health and safety induction condenses the information previously contained within three modules into one and is now hosted externally rather than within the University’s Learning Management System (LMS). Access to this training is available through the UWA Safety, Health and Wellbeing website. Please direct any queries to [email protected]

Note that staff who have completed the previous induction within the last three years are not required to undertake the new version. Note also that there is a separate online health and safety induction for students in Blackboard.

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The UWA Activity Challenge Returns in 2016!

The UWA Activity Challenge is returning, bigger and better in 2016. The Challenge will run from 23rd May – 14th August 2016 and is a great way to socialise with colleagues, reduce stress and improve your health and wellbeing. This year there is an increased focus on nutrition and physical activity with the addition of a food diary function in the software and a variety of group fitness classes available for staff including Walking Group, Yoga and Circuit classes.
Visit the Wellbeing webpage for further details on these offerings:
To register for the Challenge please visit the UWA Activity Challenge website:  

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UWA Sport Lunchtime Walking Group

To help meet your Activity Challenge goals a UWA staff walking group will meet each Tuesday for a 30 minute walk around the campus and surrounds. UWA Sport Fitness Trainers will be leading a different walk each week and will be available to discuss your personal fitness goals. Comfortable, supportive footwear is the only requirement to participate.

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Blended Mental Health First Aid Training

In this course participants learn about the signs and symptoms of the common and disabling mental health problems, how to provide initial help, where and how to get professional help, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation. This is an accredited course presented in a blended learning format: a half-day workshop preceded by completion of online training component

  • Date: Wednesday 6th July, 9:00am-12:30pm.
  • Venue: Spice Room, Centre for Learning Technology.
  • Registrations are required by June 8, 2016 - Blended Mental Health First Aid

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Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace

This half day course is directed at UWA Managers and Supervisors. It provides an overview of strategies and suggestions on how to best deal with mental health issues that may arise in the workplace. Participants will learn about their obligations and be provided with practical strategies to respond to mental health issues at work.

  • Date and time: Tuesday 28th June, 9:00am -12:30pm
  • Venue: Spice Room, Centre for Learning Technology
  • Facilitator: Tasha Broomhall – Blooming Minds

For more information and to register, please visit – Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace

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Hazard Alert - Gas Trolley Incident

It has come to our attention of an incident, not at the University, involving a large ‘G’ gas cylinder slipping under the chain of a trolley. This occurred when the trolley caught on an expansion joint cover on the floor. The valve was knocked open with a resultant loud bang and the high pressure release of gas propelling the cylinder at speed until it came to rest against an object. The possible risks include physical injury to personnel, health risk due to exposure to gas (asphyxiant, toxic, flammable), hearing impairment, and damage to the building.
Recommendations include:

  • Make personnel aware of the issue of inadequately secured cylinders on trolleys
  • Trolleys have sufficiently deep tray to carry a ‘G’ size cylinder, pneumatic tyres, sturdy brackets and restraints positioned at least at the midpoint of a cylinder, handles with a firm grip, and a counterbalance e.g.
  • Report issues with trolleys
  • Modifications to a gas trolley are made by a competent person
  • Routes are assessed for uneven surfaces

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Snake Bite - Bees and Wasps - Working Outdoors

WorkSafe Victoria has published a safety alert about some of the hazards associated with working outdoors and follows recent incidents including the death of an employee from a snake bite. The safety alert covers the background of the issues and recommended risk control measures including:

  • Written work procedures addressing identified hazards and risk control measures for working outside
  • An emergency response plan
  • Employ information with regards to allergies etc.
  • Suitable equipment, tools and personal protective equipment
  • Appropriate first aid equipment and training

For more information view the safety alert:  

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Recent Fires

There have been two small fires during the past month. Both were well contained and managed correctly. These incidents are a good reminder of the importance of appropriate work practices when dealing with flammable materials and inspection of equipment. When fire extinguishers are used they need to be taken out of service and Campus Management informed of their use so they can be serviced.

There is an online Fire and Extinguisher course available here:  

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First Aid Courses - UWA Sport

Whether you are looking to add to your skillset, update your certificate, or learn how to save a life and be an everyday hero - UWA Sport First Aid and CPR courses offer all you need to become qualified.
On campus courses run several times throughout the year, with the next set running this Wednesday 20th July 2016. Act now, and arm yourself with skills for life.
For more information please visit  or call Rita Pizzini on 6488 3077.

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Cultivating a Culture of Safety in Academic Research

A task force on Laboratory Safety led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) (in association with the Association of American Universities (AAU)) have released a 72-page report with guidelines and recommendations for cultivating a culture of safety in academic research. The report also includes a link to an online tool for gathering suggestions for what else to include in a safety best-practices "toolbox."
A guide to implementing a safety culture in our universities:  

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Chemical Corner

Laboratory Safety Course: The next laboratory safety course will be held on Monday the 25th of July, in the Wilsmore Lecture Theatre (this is located next to the Bayliss building). 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). The cost is $50 for UWA staff and students and $150 + GST for external attendees. As this date is in O-week and parking may be difficult at UWA. It is STRONGLY advised that you use public transport if you don’t have a UWA parking permit.

What? “But if we knew what we’re doing it wouldn’t be research!” This aphorism encapsulates the frustration and the wonder of life in laboratories and workshops. Reach out beyond the edge of known and defining risks and hazards can appear difficult, if not impossible, to define.

So what can you do? Play the ‘what’ game, you do it anyway – ‘whats’ form the basis of research and experimentation. What did everyone else find? (aka lit review, technical standards etc.) What will happen if we increase, decrease or substitute (variable manipulation)…. and the what if…. insert BAD THING (I spill it, the drill piece breaks, the water main bursts, my glove breaks). By defining the current state of knowledge in the area we’re working on we should be able to pinpoint safety concerns and methods of dealing with them. If you increase the amount or concentration of reagents, or the temperature, or alter the state at which a process occurs then expect the reaction rate to also increase and consider how this may affect the risks of carrying out your work. Do you need to move into a fume hood? Will you need to adjust equipment to cope with greater pressures?

And lastly think about how you’ll cope if things go pear-shaped. If you’re working with dangerous toxins do you have an antidote kit? Who knows what to do if you are incapacitated? These plans need to be prepared in advance – emergencies are very rude and don’t send you a calendar invite! These things are like your car seatbelt, they don’t prevent an incident they limit its impact. Know where the gas shut-off, first-aid kit and emergency contact information is in your area. Find out what else is in your area for the ‘what ifs’.

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Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) News

Ms Christine Chernoff transferred to a new role of Manager, Safety Systems and Compliance in SHW on 26th April 2016. Christine is still providing assistance to the Faculty of Science until the appointment of a replacement Safety and Health Consultant in the Science Faculty.

Ms Jessica Pereira (Injury Management Consultant) commenced on 9th May 2016 whilst Ms Kirrily Robson is seconded to the Health and Wellbeing Officer role until March 2018. Jessica is an Occupational Therapist and joins us from Bis Industries where she worked in a national role providing health and injury management support to injured workers across the country. Jessica has extensive experience in workers’ compensation, dealing/liaising with doctors, designing return to work programs and delivering training.

Ms Andrea Roelofs (Senior Occupational Therapist) commenced on 9th May 2016 and replaces Ms Gwenda Hogg, who left the University on 21st April 2016 after 5 years of valuable service. Andrea works 3 days a week and brings with her a wealth of experience with workplace rehabilitation, injury management and safety and will be primarily assisting with the management of non-workers’ compensation cases.

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday the 12th April 2016. The next meeting is on Tuesday 14th June 2016. 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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