Work Health and Safety

The University has a statutory obligation to provide a safe working environment. Safety in the workplace is a cooperative venture, and staff and students have obligations to contribute towards and maintain safety. For the most up to date information, please visit http://sydney.edu.au/whs/.

Safety Responsibilities

The Staff & Students of the School of Molecular Bioscience are responsible for ensuring that their work environment is conducive to good occupational health and safety by:

  • Complying with occupational health and safety instructions, including the regulations and procedures as set out in the safety handbook. Safety regulations are in place to protect all members of the Faculty and will be strictly enforced by the Head of School.
  • Taking action to avoid, eliminate or minimise hazards
    Reporting hazards to the relevant supervisor, manager or service unit.
  • Making proper use of safety devices and personal protective equipment.
  • Not willfully placing at risk the health, safety or well-being of others at the workplace.
  • Seeking information or advice where necessary, particularly before carrying out new or unfamiliar work.
  • Wearing appropriate clothing and protective equipment for the work being carried out, where this is required.
  • Consuming or storing food and drink only in those areas designated for this purpose by the Head of School.
  • Being familiar with emergency and evacuation procedures, and if appropriately trained, the location of and use of emergency equipment.
  • Co-operating with directions from emergency wardens and other emergency personnel.

Managers & Supervisors are those who are responsible for the allocation of tasks to staff, whether general or academic, and honours and postgraduate students, and for the oversight of students in all classes. Supervisors have a particular responsibility for ensuring that the work for which they are responsible is carried out in ways that safeguard the occupational health, safety and well-being of staff, students and visitors in their charge. In summary supervisors must:

  • ensure they provide leadership and set a good example for staff and students in occupational health and safety matters.
  • ensure they consult with the staff and students they supervise to identify, assess and control WHS risks in accordance with the WHS Program.
  • ensure that safe working practices are developed and maintained at all times.
  • arrange for their staff and students to be instructed in safe and healthy working procedures, warned about particular hazards, and told how to avoid, eliminate or minimise them.

For further information about WHS responsibilities at the University refer to the Work Health and Safety Policy 2012 and Work Health and Safety Procedures.

Ergonomics
Do you do significant volume of computer or other screen based work?
If so, complete the Ergonomics Checklist and raise any concerns with your immediate supervisor.

Before You Can Start Work

All workers, research students and affiliates are required to complete the necessary WHS related paperwork before any experimental work can begin or before swipe card access to the School building is granted. It is imperative that all workers complete the following processes (and submit a copy of the documentation to the Admin Office, Rm 436):

  1. WHS Online Induction
  2. Local Induction Paperwork
  3. Hazard Assessment Paperwork

1. WHS Online Induction

This training is to be completed through CareerPath.

Staff members can access CareerPath directly using their Unikey.

Research students who are also employed on casual contracts, and other visitors to the School may need to register first by going here https://sydney.csod.com/selfreg/register.aspx?c=srg_whs%20induction to complete the WHS Online Induction.

When registering, you will need to:

  1. Accurately fill in your details in the first four boxes, then in the “Faculty or School Name” please type only “SMB” as this will make searching for completion records easier.
  2. In the Manager field, click on the little box link and search for the name of your research supervisor. Once your supervisor’s name pops up, please select their name from the left-hand side name column.
  3. For the field, “WHS Registration User Type” select “student” and then you are ready to click on “Next” and prompted to give a password.
  4. Once you have completed your registration, you will be sent an email confirming your username and password, and it will provide a link for you to access the WHS Online Induction through CareerPath.
  5. When you are in CareerPath go to the "Browse for Training" section. The WHS Online Induction can be located under the Work Health and Safety heading. It will take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete.
  6. Please note that once registered, access to CareerPath can only be accessed through this link so please keep the email with the link on file.

2. Local Induction Paperwork

Paperwork for the WHS local induction can be found here

3. Hazard Assessment Paperwork

Paperwork for the Hazard Assessment can be found here

Helpful Resources for Supervisors & Managers

  • The OHSRM Guidelines explain the program that has been established to assist supervisors and managers to fulfill their OHS responsibilities.

WHS induction checklists have also been provided to assist supervisors in the induction of new staff and post graduate students.

All supervisors and managers are required to annually complete the Manager's WHS Duty of Care Checklist for reference during the PM&D process.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessment and Standard Operating Procedures must be established for all hazardous tasks. Below are some blank templates for you to make your own risk assessments.

The School Safety Committee has drafted a set of risk assessments for common tasks in SMB. These can be found here. Note that these may not cover all procedures, and you should consult your supervisor regarding the need for additional risk assessments.

Hard copies of relevant risk assessment forms must be stored in a known location in each laboratory or work area, and all workers in the area must read these and confirm they have understood them by signing the forms.

Standard Operating Procedures

Below is a list of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that cover the majority of potentially hazardous tasks and equipment in the School. Any person who needs to use these tasks/equipment must have first read and signed the appropriate SOP. Lab managers should ensure that hard copies of signed SOPs are posted in a known location in their lab, or attached to the associated equipment. Note that reading and signing the SOP may not be sufficient to use certain equipment in the school - additional hands-on training by the equipment custodian may also be required.

If a technique/process is not covered by these, then use the Blank Procedural Form (MS Word). and generate one. Certain groups in the School have their own particular procedures. These are the NMR and X-ray groups, the autoclave facility, the Service Centre (formerly known as the workshop) and the class preparation rooms. Procedures for these are either available from the supervisor/manager or else are displayed in the appropriate areas.

A blank template SOP is provided here for you to write your own SOPs if you cannot find your procedure in the following list.

Copies of the Hazard Assessment Sheet and Standard/Particular Operating Procedures should be kept together in a folder in your laboratory. At any time a WHS inspector can visit the School unannounced and ask to see anyone’s WHS folder.

If new techniques/processes are required to be used as research progresses, the appropriate Standard or Particular Operating Procedures should be added to your WHS folder.

Reporting Incidents and Making Claims

All accidents, injuries, and illnesses must be reported via an online incident report form via RiskWare, located in the myHRonline section of the university staff intranet. Students should report incidents to their supervisor, who should complete the incident report on their behalf.

All incident reports must be submitted to WHS & Injury Management within 24 hours of the incident. If full details of the incident, injury, investigation and corrective actions are not available within this timeframe, the essential details of the incident or injury as they are known should be submitted initially. The report should then be re-submitted with all required information, including details of supervisor investigation and corrective actions, as soon as possible (within one week).

The School Safety Committee

The Safety Committee meets monthly to discuss reported incidents and aspects of safety within the School. If a situation arises which is unsafe (water on the floor, empty cartons blocking a corridor, loose carpet constituting a trip hazard etc) report it to any member of the Committee:

Nick Coleman (Chair & Representative of Level 5)
Room: 501
Phone: 16047

Dianne Fisher (School Safety Officer)
Room: 435
Phone: 12224

Peter Kerr (Representative of Level 2)
Room: 270
Phone: 16006

Ben Monaghan (Representative of Level 2)
Room: 270
Phone: 16006

Joe Dimauro (Representative of Level 3)
Room: 344
Phone: 40942

Sashi Kant (Representative of Level 3)
Room: 377
Phone: 14024

Jenny Phuyal (Representative of Level 4)
Room: 451
Phone: 66217

Angela Nikolic (Representative of Level 6)
Room: 637
Phone: 16491

Sue Ling Lim (Representative of Level 7)
Room: 782
Phone: 65382

Craig Jackson (Representative of Level 8)
Room: 874
Phone: 13898


First Aid

In the event of a staff member, student or visitor being injured please contact the first aid officer in your area and the Chair of the Safety Committee, Alan Jones.

If a local first aid officer is not available, call 1-3333 to arrange for First Aid assistance.

Joe Dimauro
Room: 344
Phone: +61 2 9351 2501 (ext. 12501)
Email:

Ben Monaghan
Room: 270
Ph: +61 2 9351 6006 (ext. 16006)
Email:

Angela Nikolic
Room: 610
Ph: +61 2 9351 6491 (ext. 16491)
Email:


* Auxiliary First Aid Officers:

Nick Coleman
Room: 564
Ph: +61 2 9351 6047 (ext. 16047)
Email:

Sashi Kant
Room: 377
Ph: +61 2 9351 4024 (ext. 14024)
Email:

Medical Emergencies

If a person is seriously injured or ill, call an ambulance immediately 0-000. Be ready to provide the following details:

  • your name,
  • location,
  • number of people involved, and
  • details of the medical emergency

Call 1-3333 to alert Security, who can escort or direct the Ambulance/Medical Personnel to the site of the emergency and arrange for First Aid to be provided in the interim.

University Health Service
The University Health Service offers a general practitioner and "walk in" service for staff, students and visitors on the Camperdown/Darlington Campus. Priority is given to emergencies or those in pain or distress. The University Health Service is located at Level 3 Wentworth Building (G01) Phone 9351-3484 and Entry Level Holme Building (A09) Phone 9351-4095.

Spill Response

Please click here for steps to follow when there is a spill.

Location of Spill Station: Level 4, Front Foyer, G08
For Help: Kamrul Zaman, Room 451
Phone: 9351 3817
Email: kzaman@usyd.edu.au

Important: For large scale hazardous spills, call the Fire Brigade immediately

Emergency and Evacuation Procedures

In the event of a fire or other emergency in the faculty, the following procedure must be followed:

ALARMS

BEEP…BEEP…BEEP… PREPARE TO EVACUATE

  • Check for any sign of immediate danger
  • Shut down any equipment/processes
  • Secure valuables

WOOP…WOOP…WOOP… EVACUATE THE BUILDING

  • Follow the EXIT signs
  • Escort visitors and those who require assistance
  • Do not use the lifts
  • Proceed to the assembly area which is the lawn to the east of the school

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

  • Warn anyone in immediate danger
  • Fight the fire or contain the emergency IF SAFE TO DO SO

IF NECESSARY

  • Close the door
  • Evacuate via your closest safe EXIT
  • Report the emergency 0-000 & 1-3333

Waste Disposal

Hazardous waste must never be disposed into the sewer of the general waste stream. If in doubt about any issues related to waste disposal, consult the School Safety Officer. Detailed information on waste disposal can also be found in the risk assessments and standard operating procedures - these can be found on the SMB website. In brief, rules for waste disposal are as described below.

BIOLOGICAL WASTE
  • All biological waste must be autoclaved before leaving the building, or killed with bleach.
  • Bleach-killed biologicals are subsequently disposed of in the yellow 'Sulo' bin in Room 225.
  • Sharps containers containing biologicals must also be autoclaved before disposal.
CHEMICAL WASTE
  • Check the MSDS of any chemical you are working with to ensure you understand the risks.
  • Some non-hazardous chemicals may be disposed of down the sink (eg. sodium chloride, potassium phosphate) but this is not appropriate for hazardous chemicals.
  • All hazardous chemical waste needs to be labelled with the chemical name, the volume, the concentration (or the mass for solid waste), the person's name, lab group, and date. The waste must be in a tightly closed strong contained, preferably plastic, or in a wet garbag, or strong plastic bag for solid waste like EtBR-contaminated gloves. Glass containers should be avoided, unless the waste would dissolve plastic. Once all these conditions have been met, the chemical waste can be left in Room 225 for disposal.
  • Chemical wastes should not be mixed together unless this is unavoidable (eg. phenol/chloroform mixture).
  • If you have many different chemical waste items to dispose of at the same time, you should fill in a dedicated chemical waste disposal form (from waste disposal officer, Ben Monaghan).
RADIOACTIVE WASTE
  • Only trained individuals should handle radioactive waste.
  • If your experiments will generate long-lived wastes (14C or 3H isotopes), you must ensure that the activities are low enough to enable subsequent disposal (see below).
  • Radioactive waste should not be left in Room 225 at any time. Consult with the waste disposal officer directly, and bring down waste on the day prior to collection. In the meantime, this waste should be stored temporarily in the radioactive work area in a container that is sufficient to prevent any significant radiation exposure to nearby workers.
  • Radioactive waste must be labelled with the type of isotope, the activity per gram, and the total volume or mass of the waste. In addition to info on the person, lab and date. The chemical nature of the waste must also be specified (eg. contains scintillation fluid, or contains labelled glucose etc.).
  • Radioactive waste with activity >100 Bq/gram cannot be disposed of AT ALL. If this is from a short-lived isotope, it should be kept in the radioactive work area before bringing it down to 225 for disposal when it gets <100 Bq/g. If it is long lived waste (C14/H3) the experiments should not be done at all, since this waste cannot be disposed of in any meaningful time-frame. If generation of long-lived waste at >100 Bq/gram has already occurred or is for some reason unavoidable, the safety officer and waste disposal officer must be informed, and special arrangements made.


If there is a need to dispose of hazardous waste contact the Waste Disposal Manager:

Ben Monaghan
Room: 270
Phone: ext. 16006
E-mail:

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) Information

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) gives details about the properties of the substance, its toxicity and reactivity, and precautions for safe use - segregation from incompatible materials, procedures for handling, transporting, spill control and first aid, suitable storage and disposal arrangements, and any facilities or personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used.

Suppliers and manufacturers are required to provide a MSDS for hazardous substances they supply. If an MSDS is not supplied, this information can be obtained by using ChemAlert.

ChemAlert is a web-enabled chemical information database, which allows you to search for a chemical and then print a material safety data sheet (report) or label. A material safety data sheet for a substance contains information such as potential health hazards and first aid information, safe handling instructions, procedures for dealing with spills and advice on the appropriate protective equipment to be used.

To access ChemAlert and for further information, click here.

Reaction and Chemical Labelling

All reactions (working apparatus) must be labelled with a current Reaction Tag.

Where possible, ChemAlert should be used to generate the labels for decanted chemicals. The labels should be attached to the receptacle (eg. bottles, flasks, drums) with clear contact. If a ChemAlert label is not available, transfer the appropriate chemical name, and risk and safety phrases (Refer to the MSDS) to the Generic Label Format for Hazardous Substances (MS Word) (School of Chemistry format). Labels should have the name of the chemical written, NOT the structure formula.

Emergency Information

Emergency Help information is now available from a Quick Link on the University's internet home page and the MyUni Student Portal. The What to do in an Emergency page provides information on emergency response procedures for a variety of common emergencies and relevant contact numbers. All staff should be familiar with this page: http://sydney.edu.au/whs/emergency/index.shtml.

All lecturers, tutors and demonstrators must be familiar with the location of emergency exits, available egress paths and evacuation assembly areas relevant to the classrooms they are using.

For further guidance please refer to the What to do in an Emergency site.

Work Health and Safety Training Needs Analysis

Head of School
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors (Careerpath)
- Incident investigation (Careerpath)



School Safety Officer / Chair of Safety Committee
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors (Careerpath)
- Training for Departmental Safety Officers (Careerpath)
- Incident investigation (Careerpath)
- QAP training (AQIS)
- Certificate IV – WHS (tba)
- OGTR training (in-house)



Academics
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors (Careerpath)
- Incident investigation (Careerpath)



Laboratory Managers
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors (Careerpath)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- Incident investigation (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath) – as required
- OGTR training (in-house) – as required



Admin Managers
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Work Health and Safety for Managers and Supervisors (Careerpath)
- Incident investigation (Careerpath)



General Admin staff
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)



Prep room (technical) staff
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath) - as required
- OGTR training (in-house) – as required



Workshop staff
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Manual Handling training (tba)
- Working with heavy machinery (tba)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)



Autoclave technicians
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Manual Handling training (tba)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- OGTR training (in-house)



Research staff/students
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath) – as required
- Radiation training (Careerpath) – as required
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath) – as required
- QAP training (AQIS) – as required



Fire Warden
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Chief Warden training (Careerpath)
- Emergency Warden training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals training (Careerpath)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath)



First aid officer
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Apply First Aid training course (Cynergex, St John’s Ambulance, Red Cross)
- CPR training (Cynergex, St John’s Ambulance, Red Cross)



Waste officer
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- OGTR training (in-house)



Health and Safety Representative
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Radiation training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)
- Health and Safety Representative training (Careerpath)
- Incident investigation (Careerpath)



Storeperson
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house)
- Manual Handling training (tba)
- Biosafety training (Careerpath)
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath)



Visitors
- WHS online induction (Careerpath)
- Local WHS induction (in-house)
- School Safety Induction (in-house) – as required
- Biosafety training (Careerpath) – as required
- Radiation training (Careerpath) – as required
- Working with Chemicals (Careerpath) – as required