Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter November 2019

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. RiskWare - Online Hazard and Incident Reporting - Training
  3. Safe Travelling - Healix - Risk Map 2020
  4. The risk from inhaling Respirable Crystalline Silica
  5. Safety Awards 2019 - and the Winners are!
  6. Chemical Corner - Inventory Stakes - Dr Laurton McGurk
  7. Biosafety News - Not Gene Tech - Dr Caixia Li
  8. Staff Movements - Trav Flecknell
  9. Section Changes
  10. HMS Safety SharePoint site
  11. University Safety Committee
  12. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters
  13. Wellbeing eNews

Safety Related Training

  • Laboratory Safety Course: Will be held on Monday the 17th February 2020, in Wilsmore Lecture Theatre.
    The course runs from 9:00am am until 4:45pm 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 18th February 2020 in Room 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.
  • Online Safety Induction
    It is required for all staff to complete the Online Safety Induction every 3 years so if you are getting close, log into ELMO and tick it off before you get reminders in your inbox.
    Also available at the above link are courses on Bullying in the Workplace and Sexual Harassment Awareness.

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RiskWare - Online Hazard and Incident Reporting - Training

Training at your location is available by request - contact David Thatcher

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Safe Travelling - Healix - Risk Map 2020


Just a reminder that the University provides access to Healix, when used in conjunction with Concur it enablesapproved UWA travellers with pre-trip information, planning and also assistance while you are travelling.
More information on the following web page:

Drawing upon specialist expertise from across their organisation, Healix have assessed the risk landscape of every country around the world and assigned each one with overall security and medical risk ratings. These risk ratings are designed to give you an indication of the likelihood of being impacted by a security incident in-country, and to the quality of local medical care available.

Risk Map 2020

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The risk from inhaling Respirable Crystalline Silica


Inhalation of Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) has been linked to silicosis, lung cancers and other chronic illnesses and health impacts.

Crystalline silica is present in many stone and concrete materials. Engineered stone can have up to 95% crystalline silica. You will also find crystalline silica in concrete, bricks and natural stone (granite, slate, sandstone) in a lesser amount.

There has been a spike over the last 5 years of acute silicosis within the masonry industry, one of the culprits being uncontrolled dry grinding of engineered stone products.

Activities that can generate RCS are listed below and these are often undertaken in public areas affecting persons in the area and those walking past.

Generally the use of powered, mechanical tools in the activities below can create respirable crystalline silica:

  • Dry grinding of engineered or natural stone, concrete and bricks;
  • Dry cutting of engineered or natural stone, concrete and bricks,
  • Abrasive blasting where the blasting agent or the surface being blasted (eg brick, concrete) contains significant silica content;
  • Jack-hammering concrete;
  • Earthworks;
  • Rock crushing;
  • Mineral sample milling; and
  • Roadworks.

The take-away message is to prevent exposure – take steps to -

  • Prohibit dry grinding and cutting of stone, bricks and concrete – wet methods must be used;
  • Use products which do not contain crystalline silica;
  • Restrict dust creating activities in public areas;
  • Use Local Exhaust Ventilation in workshops;
  • Provide appropriate instruction, information, training and supervision to your workers and others in relation to the risks from RCS; and
  • Select, provide and maintain appropriate Respiratory Protective Equipment to workers and train them in its correct use and storage.

For more information on the risks from respirable crystalline silica, please refer to the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists website: .

Their Breathe Freely Campaign is a national health promotion program aimed at preventing occupational lung disease and protecting worker’s health through improving awareness of hazards and safe work practices. It is sponsored by Department of Mines and Industry Regulation, WorkSafe WA, Masters Builders Association WA and various labour organisations: .

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Safety Awards 2019 - and the Winners are!

The Safety Awards for 2019 were held 22nd November at the Somerville and combined with the 2019 UWA Professional Services Awards.
Winners in the following categories were:

  • Group Safety Award - NGCF and EMS Teams
  • Individual safety Award - Lois Aberle
  • Safety Leadership Award - Melissa Andrade
  • Safety Recognition Award - Toni Hawkins

EMS and NGCF Teams Lois Aberle Melissa Andrade Toni Hawkins

Further information on the awards can be found here

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Chemical Corner - Inventory Stakes - Dr Laurton McGurk


It’s a lovely day here at Someone’s laboratory. The reagents are at the gates and awaiting starter’s orders. And they’re off!
“We’re just going to use that” takes the lead. With “I didn’t know we had that” breaking away from “Half the labels worn off but it’s still good”, and “Leaking polycyclic aromatics”. Falling behind are What’s the solvent?, Unknown acronym, Should be wetted down, with Stored incompatibly, and Picric acid trailing the field.
Approaching the finish line Leaking Polycyclic aromatics and I didn’t know we had that are neck and neck ahead of We’re just going to use that. Following, well bunched, are Should be wetted down, Half the labels worn off but it’s still good, Stored incompatibly, and Picric acid then Unknown acronym and What’s the solvent?
Crossing the finish line it’s Leaking polycyclic aromatics by a nose.

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Biosafety News - Not Gene Tech - Dr Caixia Li

Schedule 1 of the Gene Technology Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2019 took effect on 8 October 2019.
The latest List of organisms that are not GMOs (Schedule 1)
and List of techniques that are not gene technology (Schedule 1A)
are available on Biosafety website:

Further information, please refer to OGTR website or email [email protected]  

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Staff Movements

Travis (Trav) Flecknell has joined the Safety Team as HSE Systems Adviser.

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Section Changes

Implications from the recent review of Safety and Business Continuity has brought forward a recommendation that the activities of Injury Management and Health and Wellbeing programme be transferred into the Human Resources function.
Transfer the services of the Occupational Safety and Health function (including Business Continuity) into the Campus Management function.

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HMS Safety SharePoint site

Health and Medical Science Safety Team have a new SharePoint site.
Here is the link if you’d like to learn more:

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University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee last met on 29th October 2019. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 3rd December. Approved minutes from previous meetings are available from the Safety, Health and Wellbeing website.  
Changes are being implemented for the USC in 2020, four meetings a year will be held with members from the following groups:

  • Coo – Chair
  • SDVC
  • Faculty Chairs
  • Specialist committee representatives (as required),
  • Manager Safety, Health and Wellbeing

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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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