Safety, Health and Injury Management and Wellbeing

Newsletter October 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
  3. Safety, Health and Wellbeing - New location
  4. RiskWare Update
  5. Traffic Light System Jan - Jun 2017
  6. Marking Written Work
  7. Staying Safe from Swooping Magpies
  8. Are You Bushfire Ready?
  9. Bushfire Monitoring
  10. Cyclone Contingency Plans
  11. Sun Safety in the Workplace
  12. Working Safely in Hot Conditions
  13. Rural and Remote, and Diving and Boating Fieldwork Update
  14. Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety
  15. Chemical Corner - Dr Laurton McGurk
  16. Comcare Virtual Office
  17. University Safety Committee
  18. Previous Safety and Health Newsletters
  19. Wellbeing eNews

Safety Related Training 2017

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UWA Annual Safety Awards 2017

The UWA Annual Safety Awards recognise initiatives, successful implementation of processes and outstanding service for work health and safety by groups and individuals. For this year

  • The Safety Leadership Award was made to Mr George Anderson, Associate Director, Maintenance and Operations, Campus Management.
  • The Individual Safety Award was made to Mr Paul Kirkwood, Senior Technician in Molecular Sciences Team (Technical Services, Sciences).

The awards were kindly sponsored by The Co-op.
More information is available at:  

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Safety, Health and Wellbeing - New location

SH&W have been moved to a cosy space in the historic Administration building. We are no longer locked behind secure doors so you can come visit us anytime, find us on the ground floor of Admin South, take the first left after coming through the main entrance then a quick stroll past Finance (wave hello to them too).
Our new Mailbox number is M478. SH&W now reports to the Central Service Delivery Centre instead of Human Resources.

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RiskWare Update

RiskWare, the online replacement for the Incident and Hazard report forms is nearly complete with just some background tweaks to adjust and instruction manuals to write. Go-live is expected during early November.
Some highlights of the system that you can look forward to include:

  • Entirely online reporting of hazards and incidents
  • Automatic forwarding to supervisors (no need to get forms signed off before sending to Safety)
  • Simplified Action Plans for Supervisors and Managers with options for in-depth investigation
  • Auto fill forms to retrieve locations and employee details
  • Ability for Managers to review statistics for their areas at any time
  • Log in from any internet-capable device

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Traffic Light System Jan - Jun 2017

Traffic Light System reports from work areas for January to June 2017 are currently being collected. Following this the Collated Responses and Summary Report will be prepared and issued.
Traffic Light System information and procedure is available at:
Traffic Light System documents are available (Pheme log in required) at:  

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Marking Written Work

This guideline is designed to provide useful information for staff to prevent discomfort and muscle strain when marking written work, whether at home or in the office.  

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Staying Safe from Swooping Magpies

Recommendation to avoid or reduce the impact of a swooping magpie includes:

  • Never deliberately provoke or harass a magpie. Throwing sticks or stones at magpies usually makes them more defensive.
  • Avoid areas where magpies are known to swoop. Remember, magpie aggression lasts only a few weeks and they usually only defend a small area of about 100 metre radius around their nest. If there are areas on campus where magpies are known to swoop try using an alternate route.
  • Locate the bird and keep watching it when entering a magpie territory. Magpies are less likely to swoop if they are being watched constantly or if people walk in a close group. If it swoops, don’t crouch in fear or stop, move on quickly but don’t run.
  • If you are riding a bike dismount and walk through nesting magpie territory, wear a helmet and fit an orange traffic flag to the bike.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses or carry a stick or umbrella to protect yourself. A magpie will attack from behind initially. When a Magpie is tricked into believing the target is alert, the attack may stop or may not even get started.
  • Adopt a confident stance towards the bird as this can have a strong deterrent effect. This response is most commonly used by adults but can easily be taught to children  

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Are You Bushfire Ready?

The Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) has essential information and advice to assist you to Prepare, Act and Survive at this webpage:
Now is a good time to prepare including clearing gutters, over hanging trees, bush and flammable material close to property. Contact UWA Campus Management if you require assistance on UWA sites.

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Bushfire Monitoring

Travel advice includes:

  • Stay up-to-date with the bushfire situation by listening to your local radio station and by monitoring the fire and emergency services websites
  • Ensure you are aware of the emergency procedures in place in higher risk areas. Personnel should adhere to any instructions issued by the authorities.
  • Those in higher risk areas should consider preparing a ‘bug-out bag' containing items such as a portable radio, high-energy food, photocopies of essential documents, maps of the area and a small amount of cash.
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately
  • Bushfires could cause network outages, which would affect emergency alerts sent to both landlines and mobiles. In this event, monitor the radio, television and internet for bushfire alerts.
  • Roads in the vicinity of bushfires may be closed without warning.

The following sites should be monitored where there is a risk of bushfire:

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Cyclone Contingency Plans

WA’s cyclone season officially begins on November 1. Given the uncertainty and unpredictability of damage created by individual cyclones, employers in cyclone sensitive regions are urged, by WorkSafe, to apply extreme caution with regard to exposing workers to the dangers associated with cyclones.
For more information see ‘Cyclone – Emergency preparation, planning and preparedness’:  

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Sun Safety in the Workplace

Outdoor workers are at increased risk from skin cancer and damage to the eyes because they often spend long periods of time working outdoors year after year. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the major cause of skin cancer and eye damage. Cancer Council WA in consultation with WorkSafe has produced a range of information to help manage the risks associated with working in the sun.  

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Working Safely in Hot Conditions

Heat stress may affect people in all parts of Western Australia during our summer months and may affect workers at some workplaces throughout the year. The effects of heat stress range from discomfort to life threatening illnesses such as heat stroke. The following link has information on:

  • Heat stress
  • Why some people are more prone to heat illness
  • Reducing the risk of heat illness
  • Risk assessment
  • Treatment of heat illness  

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Rural and Remote, and Diving and Boating Fieldwork Update

Staff and Students working or conducting research in rural and remote locations and those diving or using boats must complete the appropriate forms and checklists before heading out or casting off. This ensures your general safety and in the case of an emergency your speedy rescue and recovery.

The up to date forms are only available from the following links.

Rural and remote fieldwork website
Diving and Boating fieldwork website  

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Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety

Compressed gas can present a range of hazards that should be taken into consideration before any work or study is undertaken. What type of gas is it? Is it toxic, flammable, or corrosive? How should it be stored? And despite the allure of a nice cylindrical shape for just rolling along how should it be properly transported?

BOC provides a more comprehensive guide including specific identification, handling and transport guidelines for compressed gas cylinders at the following link:  

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Chemical Corner - Dr Laurton McGurk

What the fizz?
While I was swanning about on holiday my mate Dave put some fizz into Chemical Corner. I’m not sure what he meant by fizz; but as he noted he’s not a chemical safety person. He doesn’t work in a lab or handle things fizzy, corrosive, toxic or flammable. But you do. So you should know exactly what might melt, burn, dissolve or otherwise ruin those big beautiful eyes that your parents doted on. That won’t happen to you. You, my friend, are wearing lab glasses, except when goggles are needed, or a face shield’s mandated. Like me you were puzzled by the cheerful intrusion of ‘fizziness’ into chemical corner – it’s not that chemicals don’t fizz it’s just that we work with those in the fume hood – with the pane down.

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Comcare Virtual Office

Comcare has overhauled its Virtual Office. This is a web-based risk management tool designed to help duty holders identify hazards and control risks in the office environment. The new version includes information targeted at both workers and employers, allows users to examine the hazards associated with specific work roles, and is compatible with a number of digital platforms.  

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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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