April 2014

Welcome to the April newsletter, here you will see some exciting new developments in travel risk management from UNSW Risk and Insurance and an update on changes within UNSW Health and Safety for Radiation Management. 

Travel advice

To assist staff and students in managing the risks associated with travel, UNSW has engaged International SOS (ISOS), a medical and travel risk management company to provide expert advice and assistance before travel, whist travelers are abroad or in an emergency.

All travel booked through the preferred Travel Agents or the UNSW Travel Management system (Serko) will automatically be loaded into ISOS. Travel booked independently will need to be manually entered into ISOS. This allows travelers to receive travel alerts before and during their travel. If also allows UNSW to contact travelers if there is an incident or emergency.

ACE Insurance will continue to provide travel insurance for UNSW travelers, however the ACE Assistance Card is replaced by the ISOS membership card (available from the website).

For further information see the Risk Advisory & Internal Audit travel services website (z-pass required) or call UNSW Risk and Insurance on 93851107.


Radiation safety update

UNSW's Radiation Safety Officer, Bob Armstrong, left the University this February. Over the past thirteen years Bob was responsible for establishing and managing UNSW's radiation safety compliance framework and he will be truly missed.

Following Bob's departure there are changes in responsibilities for the management of radiation at UNSW. The UNSW Radiation Safety Committee, radiation projects, licences, legislative compliance and dealing with the regulator will be managed by the Research Ethics and Compliance Support (RECS) Unit. RECS will provide advice on legislative and other compliance requirements (e.g. licences, premises registration, radiation projects) associated with research involving radiation. UNSW Health and Safety will assist with radiation waste and radiation training.

If you have any questions regarding radiation please contact the relevant department:
  • Radiation compliance: Lan Le, RECS; email:, Tel: 93857244.
  • Radiation waste: Rohan Singh-Panwar, UNSW Health and Safety; email:, Tel: 93854731.
  • Radiation training: Marnie Kenny, OSDS; Email:, Tel: 93855772

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

If there is anyone who requires assistance in the event of an evacuation they should have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP). A PEEP is put together by the building chief warden, the floor warden, the individual requiring assistance and anyone else involved in helping. If you require assistance or notice someone who requires assistance, please notify the building chief warden. You can find a list of building chief wardens in the UNSW Emergency Management website (z-pass required) or for UNSW Canberra in the Health and Safety site (ADFApass required).

Health and safety committee compliance

Have you checked that your 2014 Health and Safety Committee is compliant? Complete this checklist: HS632 L3 compliance checklist to ensure all your work groups are represented, inspections are being carried out, minuets are being circulated etc.

A Health and Safety Committee must be established if requested by at least 5 workers or if any elected Health and Safety Representative requests it. The term of office for a representative is up to 3 years, representatives should not be nominated by management but elected by their work group.

For more information on consultation refer to HS337 Consultation Procedure and HS339 Consultation Guideline.


Fume cupboards

Australian Standard 2243.8 Safety in Laboratories - Fume cupboards has been revised. It now provides requirements for fume cupboards relating to their safety and performance along with recommendations and procedures for their selection, installation, testing and use.

There is now a requirement for risk assessment for all operations in the lab involving plant, equipment and chemicals. It also permits the consideration of manifolded duct systems.

To see the full standard go to SAI Global (only accessible from UNSW computer).

Media devices in labs

A brief reminder that ear phones and personal media devices must not be brought into a laboratory environment, as they present potential for cross contamination and infection.

Gas regulators

When purchasing gas regulators ensure that you source these from a reputable supplier. Some purchased from China or America have been found to be in effective such as indicator needles and numbers have fallen off, some connectors haven't worked.

Ensure that gas regulators meet Australian Standard 4267. Gas regulators are subject to wear and stress depending on operating conditions. You should perform leak test and creep check regularly. All gas regulators require an inspection/overhaul periodically (at least every 5 years) and eventual replacement once it has reached its life expectancy. 


Lessons Learnt

In Engineering, during routine testing of a concrete beam made by an undergraduate student, a 9kg piece unexpectedly came off. The piece projected through the air landing safely, however it could have struck persons in the area at the time.

This highlights the necessity for supervisors to closely monitor student work and inspect upon completion, especially where poor workmanship can result in an extreme injury. 

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