Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter November 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
  2. Social and Christmas Functions
  3. Healthier End of Year Functions
  4. New Road Laws
  5. Blue Tags in 2018 for Portable Electrical Equipment in Hostile Areas
  6. New Drone Rules
  7. Chemical Corner - Too old to know (it) better
  8. Cultivating a Culture of Safety in Academic Research
  9. United States National Reports on Laboratory Safety in Response to Laboratory Accidents
  10. Emergency Contacts
  11. University Safety Committee
  12. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters
  13. Wellbeing eNews

Safety Related Training

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Social and Christmas Functions

Work related social events can be particularly enjoyable and are a way of developing better working relationships. Don't allow this possibility to be spoiled. By being aware of, and being prepared for the potential unintended consequences, many of the risks associated with these events can be reduced or removed. For further information see:  

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Healthier End of Year Functions

As planning gets underway for end of year celebrations, a reminder to ensure there are healthy choices on offer. Ideas of healthier options can be found on our healthy eating web pages: .
Other things you can do to hold a healthier event include:

  • Providing sun protection (e.g. shaded areas) where relevant, and/or encouraging participants to wear or bring personal sun protection items
  • Providing participants with information on active or public transport options. For an event on campus promote our transport website:  to suggest routes for public transport, walking and cycling.
  • Providing opportunities for movement or standing as part of your event.

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New Road Laws

The Road Traffic Code Amendment Regulations (No. 6) 2017 were gazetted on 31 October 2017 and commencing on 30 November 2017, amending the Road Traffic Code 2000. Insertion of a new Regulation 124A (Keeping safe distance when passing bicycle). The new regulations sets out that a driver of a motor vehicle passing to the right of a bicycle that is travelling on a road in the same direction as the vehicle must pass the bicycle at a safe distance from the bicycle.

A safe distance from the bicycle is defined in Regulation 124A as: o if the speed limit applicable to the length of road is not more than 60 km/h — a lateral distance of at least 1 m; or o if the speed limit applicable to the length of road is more than 60 km/h — a lateral distance of at least 1.5 m.

Most of the roads leading to the University are frequently used by cyclists, and some of them such as Mounts Bay Road have limited space. Please take care to provide a safe distance and adjust your travel times accordingly.

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Blue Tags in 2018 for Portable Electrical Equipment in Hostile Areas

Electrical equipment in Hostile work environments requires testing and tagging. Hostile environments are where conditions could result in damage to the equipment or a reduction in its expected lifespan. This includes but is not limited to physical abuse, exposure to moisture, heat, vibration, chemical damage and other harsh conditions where cables could be damaged. White, visual inspection tags are applied to new electrical equipment prior to its initial use. Regular electrical testing and tagging must be carried out for the workplace by an authorised competent person. Any white visual inspection tags are then removed and replaced with the coloured test tag, which for cords tested in 2018 should be Blue. Electrical equipment in Non-Hostile work environments must be visually inspected equipment and cords for damage prior to use and thereafter on a regular basis. Tagging is not a requirement but white visual inspection tags can optionally be applied to supply cords if workplaces wish to indicate the date when new equipment enters service.  

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New Drone Rules

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) recently revised rules governing the use of drones in response to community concerns about drone safety and the rapid increase in the number of drone operators.
The rules provide that drones must not be flown:

  • above 120 metres (400 feet) at any time;
  • over or within 30 metres of other people, unless the other person is essential to controlling or navigating the drone;
  • within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome (usually those with a control tower) at any time;
  • within 5.5 kilometres of any uncontrolled aerodrome or landing site which is being used by manned aircraft, including helicopters;
  • at night, in cloud, fog or in designated restricted areas.

Recreational drones weighing more than 100 grams must now never be flown within three nautical miles of any controlled aerodrome.
In addition, recreational drones weighing more than 100 grams must not be flown within three nautical miles of non-controlled aerodromes or helicopter landing sites if it is clear aircraft are operating there.
Recreational drones of all weights must not be flown above 400 feet at any location, kept more than 30 metres from people who are not involved in controlling the drone and only one drone can be flown at a time.

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Chemical Corner - Too old to know (it) better

Safety evolves. We learn from the misfortunes of those who came before us that some of the items we work with are dangerous. The longer the delay between exposure and effect the harder it is to determine the culprit.

Slowly, gradually, painfully knowledge is accumulated. Sometimes a reagent is found to be so dangerous it’s removed from production. White phosphorus, radium watercoolers (and suppositories!), opium teething syrups and, lead face paint were all once readily available. Radium was once touted as a cure all.

Other items are stringently controlled and available only by license this includes opiates and other drugs of addiction and very dangerous but useful chemicals like hydrofluoric acid and strychnine.
Labelling improves and becomes more specific.
Keep an item long enough and it won’t carry the warnings I know it should. You may not know. In the last month I’ve removed items that can irradiate, mutate, and detonate from labs that didn’t know what that lovely old bottle was holding. If it’s too old to tell you it’s dangerous it’s too old to hang on to.

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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) released a 72-page report in April 2016 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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United States National Reports on Laboratory Safety in Response to Laboratory Accidents

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Emergency Contacts

With the University closedown period approaching it's a good time to check that your contact details are up to date in Employee Self Service (ESS), through 'My HR'.
Your details are entirely secure and confidential and will only be used in case of emergency or critical incident.
Next of kin details and mobile numbers are especially important.  

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on Tuesday 10th October 2017. The next meeting is on Tuesday 12th December 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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