October 2014

October is Safe Work Australia safety month. This year's theme is Work safe. Home safe which reminds us that the most important reason for making our workplace safe is not at work at all. On average, 210 workers are killed at work each year. In the Education industry in the last 10 years an average of two workers were killed a year in work-related incidents. Encourage your co-workers to speak up about hazards and report these in myUNSW.

Fluoro Friday

All health and safety committee members, emergency response teams and safety champions are invited to this year's Fluoro Friday on 17th October from 12-2pm at Matthews Pavilions.

This is to thank all those involved in keeping the university safe. It's always a fun day and everyone is encouraged to dress-up in their best fluoro colours; there will be the usual BBQ and drinks and spot prizes on the day.

SafeSys - Release 2

SafeSys, the new online system for Safe Work Procedures, Risk Management Forms, equipment management, inspection testing and monitoring plan and fieldwork approvals, had a major release in September.

SafeSys can now be accessed by all staff and students in the following areas: Medicine, Science, Engineering, Built Environment, UNSW Canberra, Art and Design, Mark Wainright Analytical Centre and Health and Safety. See this list of school/unit administrators to find out who to contact about SafeSys in your area. SafeSys will be rolled out to the remaining areas in the university in 2015.

For detailed information see the SafeSys information page.

New chair supplier

Sturdy Framac has been appointed the new preferred supplier of office seating for UNSW.

For 5 years Gregory Commercial Seating (Gregory's) has supplied office seating to UNSW. However, in May 2014 a procurement project was undertaken for office seating, testing the market through an open tender. This identified Sturdy Framac as the new preferred supplier, they offer the following improvements:
  • A more lightweight, compact and nicer looking standard chair range
  • Integrated seat foam technology
  • Excellent quality control and factory capabilities
  • Access to NSW Government contractors giving UNSW even more seating options
  • Improved unit costs, with about a 10% saving on standard chairs

Starting in October Sturdy Framac will be UNSW's preferred office seating supplier and should be contacted to discuss your needs on 02 87608300 or email

For warranty claims, repairs, componentry and other queries regarding existing Gregory chairs contact Gregory's sales support team on 133746.

Ebola travel advisory

UNSW is closely monitoring the Ebola virus outbreak in several West African countries. At this time the university has no students who are known to be traveling in the affected region.

UNSW's International SOS service has issued travel advisories for any persons planning to visit these areas. 

Given the current situation, before contemplating travel to the region a risk management form must be completed and flights should not be arranged prior to discussion with a senior university manager.

For more information see this UNSW Travel Advisory.

Sit-stand workstations

Do you sit at your desk for a significant period of the day? It is important to get active in the workplace and take regular breaks away from your desk and do gentle stretches.

UNSW researchers authored a guide to Physical Activity in the Workplace and a recent feature on 60 minutes TV programme highlighted the risks of sitting all day and need for regular activity throughout the working day.

The UNSW Health and Safety website has information on rests and stretches. There are mechanical aids that help to avoid sitting all day such as height-adjustable desks that move to standing height or attachments to your normal desk that moves the monitor and keyboard/mouse to standing position. For further information see the sit-stand workstation webpage.

Security and safety awareness

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) recently increased Australia's threat level from Medium to High

This is a timely reminder for all persons at UNSW to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to UNSW Security Services ext 56666; for those in UNSW Canberra report to the AFP 62657275. Please ensure that you
  • Familiarise yourself with UNSW Emergency Procedures
  • Review local security arrangements
  • Do not leave restricted access doors or fire doors propped open
  • Do not give unknown individual access to restricted areas
  • Report unattended packages and bags to Security Services
  • Report lost or stolen access control cards to Security Services
  • Report individuals asking unusual questions e.g. about security protocols within your building or chemicals held on site
This message is to reiterate best practice in relation to security. Do no interpret this message as a warning or cause for panic. For for information refer to UNSW Security Services.

Lessons learnt

Recently a member of staff was opening a glass door on Kensington campus, when the door came off its hinge, fell over and shattered. Due to momentum the individual fell with the door resulting in severe cuts to their hand.

UNSW Facilities Management organised manufacturers to attend site and address the cause, they are also reviewing other similar doors on campus. Contact FM Assist if you notice any problems with glass doors e.g. looks loose, rubbing on the floor, banging on magnetic lock, any large gaps.

For more information see the Glass Door Safety Alert.

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