September 2014

We are excited to announce that the annual Fluoro Friday event will be on Friday 17th October 2014 this year. This event is our way of thanking everyone who maintains the health and safety management system at UNSW, all level 3 health and safety committee representatives, floor wardens, first aiders and other champions of safety. There will be prizes and a fashion parade as usual, so get your best fluoro outfits ready. See Fluoro Friday flier for more information.

Staff awards - Excellence in Safety

Is there someone in your work unit/school/centre you think worthy of a staff excellence award for safety?

The University seeks to recognise and reward staff who have demonstrated excellence in their performance through either sustained outstanding performance or a single one-off exceptional success. Nominations are now open. All academic and professional staff are eligible for the Excellence in Safety and there is a prize of $2000 (individual or shared amongst a team). 

Indicators of Excellence in Safety include, but are not limited to:
  • Introduction of initiatives that contribute to a safety culture.
  • Development of a solution or control for an identified risk.
  • Contribution to the work health and safety systems and process.
To nominate someone read the 2014 UNSW Staff Excellence Awards information booklet and complete the nomination form.

Submit the form by Friday 26 September 2014 to

Under consultation 

There are a number of procedures and guidelines for your review currently under consultation. Please have a look at any relevant to your work and provide feedback to the relevant contact:

Scheduled Drugs (S4,8,9) Procedure - This outlines the new process for authorisation to use S8 drugs via the Research Ethics and Compliance Support (RECS) Unit, additional information regarding ordering of S4 drugs and new information on S9 drugs for medical or scientific research. Supporting documents for this are on the Governance Support website. Contact Martina Lavin (

Cleaning in moderate to high risk facilities - This outlines the process followed by cleaners at UNSW for entering and working in laboratories, workshops and other moderate to high risk areas. Contact Emma Gillham ( 

Immunisation guideline - This is being re-released for consultation due to the many changes requested during the first consultation phase. Contact Kate Noble ( 

For all documents under consultation refer to the Governance Support website.

UNSW Health Service 

The UNSW Health Service has introduced online and mobile phone bookings with Appointuit. Download the Appointuit app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.  Features include:
  • Book for yourself or your family members registered at the practice on the same Medicare Card.
  • Choose your preferred doctor, or the next available appointment.
  • Select the correct appointment type for your needs.
  • Receive automated confirmations and reminders.
  • Greater usability and functionality.
The first time you book you will need to register and set-up a password.

You can also make your appointment by going to and click the "Make An Appointment" tab on the left hand side.  

Revised machinery safety standards

Australian Standard AS4024.1 Series - Safety of Machinery has recently been revised to align with global standards and strengthen workplace safety.

AS4024.1 provides guidelines to help reduce the risks of working with or near machinery.
The main changes are:
  • The risk assessment approach parts 1201 & 1303 have been updated to reflect the global standards of ISO12100 Machine Safety and ISO14121-2 Practical examples of risk assessments.
  • A new part 1503 now gives the practitioner the option to design safety related control systems using ISO13849-1 and the Performance Level (PL) approach.
  • Parts 1602 Interlocking devices and 1604 Emergency Stop are now both direct text adaptations of their international standards, ISO14119 and ISO13850.
  • Guarding Parts 1801 Safety Distances and 1803 Minimum Gaps are also now both direct text adoptions of their international standards ISO13857 and ISO13854

Animal import changes

Changes have been made by the Department of Agriculture to the laboratory import process, relating to rodents, amphibians and zebra fish. These are effective immediately.

The import of rodents, amphibians and zebra fish will now be permitted from any approved country, and the specific exporter details will not be listed on the import permit. This means for a single commodity (e.g. mice) an importer will only need a single import permit per year for any exporter in any approved country.

Approved countries are: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,  Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

All other import conditions must be met in full.

Any questions regarding this should be directed to

Half year statistics 

UNSW is maintaining a significant drop in workers compensation claims in 2013 and 2014. Claims are down 38% from 10-year averages for the first 6 months of 2014. The average over 2014-2013 was 56, but in 2014 there have been 35 so far.

The main injury types for workers compensation claims are:
  • 46% Slip, trip, fall
  • 17% Repetitive motion
  • 14% Manual handling
As we can see, slip/trip/fall injuries is the major cause. Check out our slip, trip, fall webpage for videos, tips and posters on this topic. Ensure that you report any hazards, wear appropriate footwear, take care during wet weather.

See our statistics page for further breakdowns.

Safety alert

Following last month's lesson learnt regarding a mercury spill during a laboratory decommissioning, a full Safety Alert is available on the Health and Safety website.

Lessons learnt

Recently in the UNSW upper campus chemical waste store a plastic container containing a chemical melted and the contents leaked out (pictured). This was due to incompatibility of the container material with the chemical  being stored. 

Use this chemical compatibility chart to check the container suitability for chemicals.  Choose items rated as E (excellent) or G (good) only.  

In this case a yellow-capped specimen jar was used to store turpentine. Turpentine is not compatible with quite a number of plastics e,g, polypropylene, polystyrene and polycarbonate. The plastic container Turpentine is usually supplied in is PETG (polyethylene terephthalate co-polymer).

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