November 2014

Thanks to everyone who came to Fluoro Friday on 17 October. It was a great success! There were over 200 people dressed in fluoro and stalls from Toxfree, Sturdy Framac, Australian Defibrillators, EAP, UNSW Sustainability and more. The fashion parade winner was Rachael Perry (from the Library). The Caption competition winner was Eric Chu from Student Life & Learning (runner up Chris Myers from Science). The Word search competition winner was Jelynn Millare/Julie Hodge from Medicine (runner up Adrian Buckland from UNSW Business). Full competition winners listed here. See photos from the event here.

UNSW Sustainability Report

UNSW's first Sustainability Report is now online. UNSW is the first university in Australia's Group of Eight, and one of the first higher education institutions in the world, to publish a stand-alone, publicly available Sustainability Report.

This report acknowledges that 'sustainability' encompasses not just environmental, but social, cultural and economic dimensions. The summary features highlights of UNSW work on the environment, the community and safety. The report in its entirety is published online at  

Welcome Andrea

Andrea Dlouhy has joined the UNSW Health and Safety team as coordinator for DVC Academic and Research, UNSW Business, Law and Divisions of University Services, Finance and Operations. Andrea has worked as a health and safety professional in Manufacturing and Telecommunications and as a Rehabilitation Consultant undertaking ergonomics and rehabilitation. Andrea will be working to improve ergonomics and the health and wellness across divisions.

Contact Andrea at the Chancellery Building, Ext. 52916, email: For details on all Health and Safety Coordinators see the contacts page.

Fridge and freezer disposal

In order to help UNSW be sustainable and meet waste disposal requirements for items containing refrigerant gases, UNSW Facilities Management have put together a Refrigerant Recycling Protocol. This protocol is designed to assist areas in how to dispose of such as fridges and freezers and, just as importantly, the recycling of the gases, metals and materials.

Fridges, freezers and air conditioning units are required to be degassed prior to going for metal recycling or landfill. Correct disposal of these items is important to reduce health hazards in the environment and for a sustainable future.

Revised travel procedure

A revised Travel procedure has been approved, effective October 2014. This outlines health and safety aspects, booking process and expenses arrangements.

Remember to check in myUNSW "my Announcements" section for news on procedures and guidelines up for consultation or that have been approved.

Ergotron accessories available

UNSW Health and Safety have a number of accessories available, free to the first requester, for certain Ergotron sit-stand workstations.

A Work-Fit-S-compatible tablet/document holder - see here for photo/details.
A Work-Fit-A-compatible larger keyboard tray - see here for photo/details

If you would like any of these please contact with your details, you must be able to collect from Chancellery building, level 1.

Radiation training update

UNSW Health and Safety are working with Virtual Accident to develop an online radiation safety training course for students. The Radiation Safety Committee will be testing the course to ensure it is suitable for roll out.

The course is also being reviewed by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to be certified.

Further information will be released soon.

Supervisor training 

Anyone who is a supervisor of staff or students must complete Health and Safety for Supervisor training. There are two options available, you must attend either the training for Office-based supervisors or the training for Lab-based supervisors (no need to attend both).

This training outlines the health and safety systems that need to be followed at UNSW. To register for the training go to myUNSW, then "Training Registration", then "OHS-Staff", then chose one of the two courses.

For further details see the health and safety training webpage.

Working over Christmas?

If you get an exemption to work on campus over the Christmas/New Year shutdown period this is considered "after-hours" work and therefore you must follow the Working alone or after hours guideline. Being on campus during this time has an increased risk due to:
  • Reduced availability of immediate assistance e.g. UNSW emergency services.
  • Lack of first aiders and floor warden in the buildings.
  • Reduced security in the area.
  • Consequences of unattended experiments or equipment.
  • Consequences of working with hazardous substances or equipment with less support available.
People working in labs or workshops carrying out medium to high-risk activities must complete the After hours approval form and have a "Buddy system" in place. This means you have a communication link with another person with whom you can maintain regular contact and any emergencies can be quickly identified.

Lessons learnt

A UNSW computer caught fire recently causing considerable damage to the computer and the area around it.

Students working in an office noticed the computer started to smoke so they switched off the power and alerted UNSW Security. The computer eventually caught alight and set off the sprinklers. NSW Fire and Rescue attended the scene. The cause of the fire may have been electrical malfunction or insufficient air cooling. 

It is advised that everyone ensure combustible materials are not placed around computers, ensure the back is unobstructed, check for signs of dust build-up on cooling vents, switch computers off when not in use. For full details of the event and action to take see the Safety Alert.

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