The University of Melbourne

Occupational Health and Safety Committee

Meeting Number 2/98

A meeting of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee was held in the Conference Room 1, Old Physics Building, on Tuesday, 5 May 1998 at 2.45 pm.


Prof B Sheehan (Chair)                        Dr P Marley                                   
Ms Julia McQuillan                            Mr J Colebatch                                
Mr J Carmichael                               Ms J Wedgwood                                 
Dr M Bullen                                   Dr L Huq                                      
Mr G Suckling                                 Dr M Livett                                   
Mr B Greenwood                                                                              

In Attendance

Ms N Austin                                   Ms F Grant                                    


Mr D Too                                      Prof T Wedd                                   
Ms M Harris                                   Ms P Cardinaletti                             
Mr R Mason                                    Ms L Baré                                     
Ms M Smart                                                                                  

1. Minutes of Meeting 1/98

The committee elaborated on the minutes of item 3.1, Safety Clauses to include the fact that it is now accepted that Position Descriptions including safety responsibilities are a requirement of SafetyMAP. Faculties should finalise position descriptions before being audited for SafetyMAP.

2. Reports from University Safety Committees

The committee noted that the number of safety committees and reports received from these committees have increased considerably.

3. Action Items from Meeting 1/98

3.1 Safety Clauses in Position Descriptions

A standard position description for heads of departments is being prepared for review by the executive of the University before being considered more widely. A standard position description for laboratory managers is now in discussion.

3.2 Checklist of safety signs

It has been decided that Maintenance will install any requested safety signs. If there are any difficult signage issues the Risk Management Office are to address these and request installation of appropriate signs.

3.3 Safety Information on the Web

A letter has been written to Jane Stephens regarding the importance of safety to the University's corporate image and specifically the new web site format. Prof Sheehan will follow up the results of this correspondence.

3.4 Resale of University Equipment

This section of the Occupational Health and Safety Manual has been published on the Web and distributed in paper format to all Department Heads and Deans.

3.5 SafetyMAP

A memorandum from the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Resources) has been sent to all heads of departments and Deans detailing the University's commitment to Safety.

3.6 First Aid Kits

The stationery store provides first aid equipment recommended by the St John Ambulance brigade. Those provisions are considered appropriate.

3.7 No smoking policy

`No smoking' signs have been organised through Property, Planning and Development for the new external no smoking areas. Cigarette butt bins are being organised by Grounds section.

4. Reported Incidents Performance

It was suggested that the target for incident reduction be changed from 50% reduction in number of incidents received to 50% reduction in number of incidents resulting in days lost. The committee noted that the Incident/Accident form was long, complicated and took time to fill in which may deter people from completing the forms. Particular data governed by legislation must be collected for the VWA, therefore the form must request this information.

5. Occupational Health and Safety Objectives for 1998

The Committee requested that Safety responsibilities in position descriptions be added to the Objectives in 1998.

5.1 Increase Number of Health and Safety Representative above current rate

Currently about 55% of Health and Safety representative positions have been filled. The rate of full positions dropped last year. Employees feel they have too many other duties to fill and can't undertake extra health and safety duties.

5.2 SafetyMAP Project

Accreditation to SafetyMAP (initial level) audit criteria is currently being sought in the Faculties of Veterinary Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Engineering, Science and Property and Campus Services.

5.3 Priority of minor building works related to safety matters

It was decided that a sub group of the committee would meet to review and advise on the prioritisation of minor building works.

5.4 Implementation of MFB Fire Safety Report

Implementation of this report by October with the MFB notified of the outcomes. A working party has been established to monitor the progress. John Carmichael is currently working to implement the report. The Environmental Advisory Committee should be informed of progress made towards implementation.

5.5 Health Monitoring Guidelines

Currently there are no clear guidelines for who should pay for vaccinations for students undertaking risky work. A working group will be established to develop guidelines for health monitoring. Pre employment health questionnaires are not always filled in for new employees or when current employees change position. Julia McQuillan will investigate whether applicants could be asked to fill in pre employment questionnaires at interviews.

5.6 Occupational Health and Safety Manual Update

The committee thought the proposal and the timing for republishing by August 1998 was acceptable. The committee accepted the proposal for reorganisation of the Occupational Health and Safety Manual.

6. SafetyMAP update

The committee noted that Departments located in hospitals have been excluded from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences SafetyMAP program.

7. Environmental Audit Report

The committee discussed the organisation of the Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental Advisory and Risk Management committees and noted that the Occupational Health and Safety Committee should generate outcomes. A working party will be formed to discuss the issues regarding reorganisation of the Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Committee. It was requested that the Environmental Advisory Committee receive the minutes of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee and vice versa.

8. Health and Safety Representatives

8.1 Report from Health and Safety Representative Meeting

The committee noted that Health and Safety Representatives continue to be concerned about the labelling of fume cupboards which are not safe for use. A fume cupboard management plan status report was tabled at the meeting. It was requested that signage on fume cupboards be large and easily readable by people using the fume cupboards, large stickers should be put on fume cupboards as soon as they are found to be out of order. A working group will be established to development processes for informing people about the results of fume cupboard testing. In the short term emails will be sent to Health and Safety Representatives notifying them that fume cupboards are not safe for use.

8.2 Review of Designated Working Groups and election process for Health and Safety Representatives

A meeting has been held to Review Designated Working Groups. Any changes to Designated Working Groups or elected representatives is noted by Nan Austin, Risk Management Office and notified to Executive Services. Human Resources then notify the Health and Safety representative and their supervisor. All vacant Health and Safety representative positions are due for election in June. It was recommended that if there is no challenge to an existing Health and Safety Representative that they remain in the position for a further term. An article will be published in UniNews giving information about the elections. Health and Safety representatives can elect to receive either two or five days of training through Staff Development and Training.

9. Control of campus grounds

It was noted that any issues regarding control of campus grounds should be reported to the Grounds Committee.

10. Policy for training of academic staff

The committee noted that the Staff Development and Training course is not currently sent to academic staff, but they can enrol in any course. However, staff development and training have no separate budget for academic staff training. Additional funding will be required to support current demand.

11. Asbestos Management Plan Status Report

The Asbestos Management Plan Status Report was noted by the Committee.

12. Construction Site Safety Working Party

The committee noted the minutes of the Construction Site Safety Working Party. Departments are still using other contractors for minor building works.

13. Any Other Business

Jo Wedgwood thanked Prof Sheehan for chairing the Committee on behalf of the Health and Safety representatives.

Prof Larkins will be the chairman of the next committee meeting.

The meeting closed at 4.45 pm.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 9 September, 1998 at 2.15 pm in Conference Room 1, Old Physics Building.

Topic                  Action Needed                  By Whom                By When         
Safety Clauses in      Meeting with Dept Heads to     L Baré and G           B/f from 1/98   
Position Descriptions  discuss further                Suckling               5 May 98        
No Smoking Policy      Conduct trial of bins for      G Suckling and         B/f from 1/98   
                       cigarette butts and hand       Grounds                11 Aug 98       
                       removable no smoking signs                                            
Safety in University   Follow up letter written to    Prof Sheehan           11 Aug 98       
Corporate Image        Jane Stephens, Corporate                                              
Guidelines for         Establish working group and    G Suckling and J       11 Aug 98       
safety related         meet to discuss guidelines     Colebatch                              
building works                                                                               
MFB Report             Report on progress to the      J Carmichael           11 Aug 98       
                       Environmental Advisory                                                
Health Monitoring      Sub group to meet and make     J Wedgwood / J         11 Aug 98       
Guidelines             progress towards guidelines    McQuillan / M Bullen                   
                                                      / G Suckling                           
Pre employment         Determine if it is possible    J McQuillan            11 Aug 98       
health questionnaires  for applicants to be                                                  
                       requested to fill out                                                 
                       questionnaires at job                                                 
Committee structure    Meet to discuss issues         P Marley / J           11 Aug 98       
and reporting          regarding committee            Wedgwood / G                           
                       structure and reporting        Suckling / N Austin                    
Health and Safety      Article to be published in     J Wedgwood             30 Jun 98       
Representative         UniNews about elections                                               
Fume Cupboards         Develop process for            J Wedgwood and J       11 Aug 98       
                       labelling fume cupboards and   Colebatch                              
                       notifying people when fume                                            
                       cupboards are out of order                                            
Objectives for 1998    Add safety responsibilities    F Grant                11 Aug 98       
                       in position descriptions to                                           

Completed Actions

Topic                  Action Completed               By Whom                 When          
Checklist of safety    H & S Reps discussed with      J Wedgwood              5 May 1998    
signs                  Building supervisors, who                                            
                       will put up safety signs                                             
Safety Information     Wrote letter to Jane           F Grant                 5 May 98      
on Web                 Stephens, Corp Relations                                             
                       about importance of safety                                           
                       to Uni's image                                                       
Resale of University   Published on Web and           F Grant                 5 May 98      
Equipment              publicised to departments                                            
SafetyMAP              Sent letter to Heads and       N Austin Prof Sheehan   5 May 98      
                       Deans detailing Uni's                                                
                       commitment to safety                                                 
First Aid Kits         Risk Management Office         A Boldt                 5 May 98      
                       reviewed what the Stationery                                         
                       Store provides and gave                                              

Attendance Record for 1998 - 1 meeting held to date

Name                    No           No Mtgs      Apologies       
                        Possible     Attended     Received        
Professor B A Sheehan   2            2            0               
Ms E Baré               2            1            1               
Mr J Colebatch          2            2            0               
Dr M Bullen             2            2            0               
Prof T Wedd             2            0            2               
Ms J Wedgwood           2            2            0               
Mr J Carmichael         2            2            0               
Mr R Mason              2            1            1               
Dr L Huq                2            2            0               
Ms P Cardinaletti       2            0            2               
Mr P Marley             2            2            0               
Mr D Too                2            0            2               
Dr M Livett             2            2            0               
Ms M Harris             2            0            2               
Mr G Suckling           2            2            0               
Mr B Greenwood          2            2            0               
Ms M Smart              2            1            1               


Professor B A Sheehan  Chairman               Dr L Huq             H & S Rep                
Ms E Baré              Management Rep         Ms J Eskdale         Central Secretariat      
Mr J Colebatch         Management Rep         Ms J Wilmot          Baillieu Library         
Dr M Bullen            Management Rep         Ms J Wedgwood        H & S Rep                
Mr J Carmichael        H & S Rep, Chemistry   Mr D Too             Student Rep              
Ms B Young             Biohazards Committee   Ms N Austin          Project Officer, RMO     
Mr B Greenwood         H & S Rep, P&B         Mr G Suckling        Manager, RMO             
Ms M Harris            H & S Rep, VCA         Dr L Scott           Animal Welfare Officer   
Dr M Livett            Female Rep             Mr P Marley          H & S Rep, Pharmacology  
Mr R I A Marshman      Management Rep         Mr L Vines           Student Union            
Mr R Mason             H & S Rep, Physics     Ms M Smart           Post Graduate Rep        
Ms P Cardinaletti      H & S Rep, CSHE        Prof T Wedd          Nominee: for Marshman    
Academic Services Mgr  Student Union          H & S Rep            ANU                      
OH and S Advisor       Ballarat University    OH&S Officer         Flinders University      
Denis Crowley          Environmental Adv.                                                   

Minutes will also be distributed to Heads of Department and Laboratory Managers via email once the papers have been accepted by the Administrative Committee. The minutes are also made available on the RMO web page.

Contact person for Agenda and Minutes

Fiona Grant, Risk Management Office Ph. 9344 7702





A. Recommendations


B. Reports

Asbestos Management Plan Status Report

This report was circulated with the agenda to the Committee

Fume Cupboard Management Plan Status Report

This report was tabled at the meeting.

Reports from other University Safety Committees

Reports from other University safety committees are reviewed by the Risk Management Office and any issues arising are presented to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.


A verbal report on progress towards SafetyMAP accreditation was presented to the committee.

C. Other Items Discussed

1. Minutes of Meeting 1/98

2. Safety clauses in position descriptions

3. Checklist of safety signs

4. Safety information on the Web

5. Resale of University equipment

6. First aid kits

7. No smoking policy

8. Reported incidents performance

9. Occupational Health and Safety Objectives for 1998

10. Environmental Audit

11. Health and Safety Representatives

12. Control of campus grounds

13. Policy for training of academic staff

14. Construction Site Safety Working Party

Details of matters discussed by the Committee are available in the papers supplied to Central Secretariat