Previous H&S news

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28 October 2015

UNSW Health and Wellbeing Celebration was held in the Matthews Pavilion on this day.

12 May 2015

School of Medicine Sciences will have a 3rd party audit of health and safety management system later in 2015.

13 November 2014

SafeSys is now available to all SoMS staff and students. If you need to create a Risk Management Form or Safe Work Procedure now use SafeSys safesys.unsw.edu.au All existing forms remain in word version until they are due for review.

16 September 2013

There is a new Media and Tour Visits Protocol for Wallace Wurth and Lowy buildings.

1 July 2013

Dr Mark Hill, the Chairperson of the SoMS Health and Safety Consultation Committee, is on study leave until 17 January 2014 in his absence Dr Lu Liu <Lu.Liu@unsw.edu.au> is Acting Chairperson. 

21 October 2012

It's Safe Work Australia week!

To promote this in SoMS we are offering a prize for the most important hazard reported this week. Anyone (staff & students) can report a hazard; if you recognise a real hazard in the SoMS workplace, go to My Profile on the myUNSW site, and click on the H2logo. If you report something in your work area that could cause an injury or illness you will be in with a chance to win a first aid kit for your home.
 

15 October 2012

It's global hand-washing day!

Hand-washing with soap has an important role to play in child survival and health. About 2.2 million children aged <5 years die each year from diarrhoeal diseases or pneumonia, the top two killers of young children worldwide. Hand-washing is not only simple and inexpensive, but hand-washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by 30% and respiratory infections by 21% among children aged <5 years.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/globalhandwashing/

14 August 2012

New Waste Bins - Have now been rolled out on the 5th and 4th floor. The remaining floors will be rolled out in the coming days/weeks. Here is a brief one-page guide on their use.
  
Electric Bar Heaters - These are banned at the university. If you find one have the owner take it home or dispose of it as waste. See the FM Personal Heater Guideline for advice on appropriate heaters.
 
Lowy Tunnel - There have been a few reported incidents of people riding bikes & scooters in the tunnel - make sure this is not you!
 

9 July 2012

New Waste Bins

The Lowy building occupants have been trialling new biological waste bins. SoMS is monitoring their success in Lowy and will be phasing in the bins in the coming months.
  • New larger (60L) yellow bins for biological waste will replace the current white bins. The large yellow SULO bins in the Wallace Wurth corridors will be removed.
  • New cytotoxic waste bins will replace the current purple bins.
  • Sharps bins remain the same and should be placed inside the new yellow bins.

The bins hold a larger volume of waste which should alleviate over-filling, require fewer bins in the lab and eliminate the need for the large SULO bins in the corridors. They have a lid which can be locked shut once the bin is ready to be taken away.

The bins will be taken off site for incineration, and will no longer be autoclaved in the Lowy Building.

Biological liquid waste will continue to be decontaminated and sent out as chemical waste.
  

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31 May 2012

New SoMS Immunisation Protocol – All staff and students who require immunisation as part of their work in SoMS can claim the cost of the immunisation from the Schools budget – see here for more details.

New SoMS Internal Transport Protocol – Please ensure that all dangerous goods are transported safely, according to the protocol. Always use the plastic Eskies provided and zip-lock plastic bags for use inside the Esky are available from the Research Support Officers or room G13 – see here for more details.
 

New Liquid Nitrogen Room (LG09) Access Protocol – Supervisors must induct workers to the area and workers must sign the local area’s SWP in order to get swipe-card access. Please remember to keep the door open when you are working inside LG09 to maintain adequate ventilation – see here for more details. Guidance on working with liquid nitrogen can be found here.23 May 2012

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Legislation

On the 1st January, 2012, the new Work Health and safety (WHS) laws were introduced in NSW. This includes the Work Health and Safety Act, Work Health and Safety Regulation and Codes of Practice. The new Code of Practice for consultation is called “Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co‐Operation and Co‐Ordination.” At the recent (21 May 2012) SOMS L3 Health and Safety consultation committee meeting, members voted on the two possible consultation mechanisms (A and B, shown below) available for health and safety consultation within the School.

    Option A: Continue with your work group’s existing consultation arrangements. i.e. Maintain the existing L3 Health and Safety committees with elected HS Consultation Committee members. Any new members would need to complete the 2 day UNSW Consultation training course. These committees would continue to meet on quarterly basis.
    Option B: Develop your own consultation arrangements for your work group, which may include the new option of electing a “Health and Safety Representative (HSR)” if it has been requested by the work group, and the majority of the members of the workgroup elect that particular person. You would need to have evidence to prove that the majority of the workgroup have voted for that particular person.

Option A, which maintains the existing structure, was unanimously agreed by attending committee members. Further information is available in the L3 Committee minutes, available from the consultation link shown below.

Dr Mark Hill
Chairperson, H&S Consultation Committee, School of Medical Sciences

Further information:

17 May 2012

Working with cytotoxic drugs

Following a recent incident it appears there may be some confusion over the definition of cytotoxic drugs.

Some cytotoxic drugs may be listed as a Prohibited and Restricted Carcinogens in the Work Health & Safety Regulations e.g. Cyclophosphamide is a notifiable carcinogenic substance. Most cytotoxic drugs are classified as hazardous substances and working with them must comply with hazardous chemicals risk management procedures.

Cytotoxic drugs cause the death of certain type of cells and are used to treat conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and some ophthalmic conditions. Not all drugs prescribed for cancer are cytotoxic. Cytotoxic drugs are known to be highly toxic to non-target cells, mainly through their action on cell reproduction. Some have been shown to be mutagenic (causing changes to DNA) or teratogenic (causing birth defects) in various experimental systems.

UNSW procedures that apply include:

For more information on cytotoxic drugs see the WorkCover cytotoxic drugs guidance (expired link). Try instead here or here