Bret Church nominated for Peter Dunlop Memorial OH&S Award

13 November 2009

Dr Bret Church
Dr Bret Church

Dr Bret Church, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Chair of the Faculty's Occupational Health and Safety Committee, has been nominated for this year's Peter Dunlop Memorial OH&S Award.

The award recognises outstanding contributions to Occupational Health and Safety within the University by an individual or group, beyond their normal duties.

Bret has shown a real commitment to OH&S in the Faculty of Pharmacy. He has adopted a slogan "Safety is No Accident" and adheres to the philosophy that he should be assisting in making safety a feature of all staff activities.

Bret sees safety as being an integral part of his job. A chemist by training, he is acutely aware of the extra responsibilities that are associated with OH&S in a faculty like pharmacy, where research chemicals are in constant use and can pose significant safety issues.

He has undertaken training in radiation, building warden duties and fire fighting, in addition to the University's training for OH&S Chairs. He is continually looking to instigate methods to help staff members. One aspect has been to help ensure timely and safe departure of researchers from laboratories and to reinforce the importance of accounting for equipment, chemicals and maintaining a well-managed laboratory environment.

He consults with a wide number of people when incidents occur and on the few occasions where the fire-brigade have been called to the building, he likes to engage fully to ensure nothing pertinent to ongoing safety has been overlooked.

For Safety Week 2008, Bret ran a 'suggestion competition' using the attention and putting up prizes to the advantage of safety. In 2009 he and the OH&S Committee hosted a staff morning tea at the Faculty, yet another example of his using every opportunity to remind staff of his motto, "Safety is No Accident". He wishes to acknowledge the work of the committee, and suggests it would have been more appropriate if they were nominated as a committee for this award. He says it is rare for others in the Faculty not to contribute their time if required, and doesn't want that ignored at such a time as this.

There are core activities in his position such as incident reporting and follow up, committee meetings, overseeing audits, consulting with individuals, giving safety lectures for coursework students, demonstrators and research students, as well as regular informative safety emails for staff and other specialist groups such as the research labs. These efforts are truly well above and beyond his daily duties as senior lecturer and research scientist!

The winner will be announced and the presentation held at the Forum Restaurant of the Darlington Centre on Friday 20th November 2009.

The award is named in memory of the late Peter Dunlop who was an OHS and Radiation Protection Officer at the University for several years until his untimely death while traveling on his way to work just over 16 years ago.

Contact: Claire Riordan

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 392510363b2556070a215b08052c602f380f2c640a23017a0e39