The University of Melbourne
Occupational Health and Safety Committee
Meeting Number 3/97
A meeting of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee was held in the Moot Court Room, Law School, on Tuesday, 5 August 1997 at 2.15 pm.
Ms E Baré(Chair) Mr J Carmichael Mr B Greenwood Ms P Cardinaletti Mr G Suckling Dr P Marley Mr D Hook Ms J Wedgwood Dr M Livett Mr R Mason Prof G Campbell Dr M Bullen
Ms Lisa Ireland
Mr J Sempill
Ms V Jackson
Prof B Sheehan
Ms M Harris
Mr J Colebatch
Ms L Huq
It was noted that Mr Sempill is the new Student Union observer.
The minutes of meeting 2/97 were confirmed.
A list of Safety Committee reports was presented. There was discussion regarding means to address the ongoing requirements for safety auditing within Departments.
A draft schedule of safety signage and responsibilities was presented. It was agreed that this would be incorporated with the policy statement discussed at the last Committee meeting as part of the University's Occupational Health & Safety Manual. A checklist of current signs in use will also be developed for use by Maintenance staff.
Following feedback from Departments, the guidelines are being rewritten in a more generic format to allow for the varied activities carried out in Departments. It was requested that the guidelines also include example checklists and procedures. The new draft will be distributed for comment.
A memo from Norbert Riedl, ITS, was presented. The Committee agreed to support the formation of an internal and external University Web page, with links to safety from the internal page.
The SafetyMAP requirement to define safety responsibilities for staff was discussed. It was agreed that Mr Suckling and Ms Baré will meet with Department Heads to urgently resolve this issue.
A proposal to distribute a modified health questionnaire to all staff was welcomed by the Committee. A pilot survey of 400 staff would be conducted in the first instance. The questionnaire would be used to identify staff exposed to new potential health risks due to changes in work activities. Following the initial mail out, staff with over 5 years service would be targeted by the questionnaire in future. It was suggested that the questionnaire include a note that this is a measure to help protect the health of staff.
A paper on proposed maintenance and upgrades to fume cupboards was presented. A high priority group has been identified and $400,000 allocated to conduct required improvements this year, mostly during the semester break. A moderate priority group has also been identified and will be tackled next year. Departments will be informed before work commences in their areas.
Prof Graeme Campbell, Deputy Dean of the Science Faculty, has joined the Committee as a nominee for Ian Marshman.
No further progress has been made to date on this topic.
It was noted that velcro attachments, available from the traffic office, can be used to fix the permits to the windscreen.
A paper clarifying the VWA requirements regarding notification of spills was accepted. The information will be added to the amended section 4.1 of the OHS Manual and publicised to Departments by the RMO.
A new draft section on confined spaces was accepted for inclusion in the OHS Manual, with the following inclusions:
A draft policy on corridors was accepted by the Committee for inclusion in the OHS Manual. It was noted that the policy also covers landings and stairwells. The policy should be implemented by Departments in the next twelve months.
A progress report on the SafetyMAP project was presented. No further external audits have been conducted since the last report. It was noted that the project has increased demand for safety training amongst staff.
The Committee received a report on progress of the environmental audit. The implementation of environmental measures will be linked to SafetyMAP procedures where possible.
The HSR's raised the issue of the resale of University equipment and requirements of the OHS Act regarding safety of the equipment. The RMO was requested to provide further information on this issue.
The Committee discussed the terms of reference for this working party. It was noted that a draft induction procedure for smaller contractors has been developed.
The RMO was asked to provide information on the University's liability regarding visiting academics, students who do work in labs for further experience without pay. It was suggested that these people could be made an associate of the University, approved by the Head of Department.
The Committee was asked to consider extending the University's no smoking policy to public external areas eg. eating areas and entrances to buildings such as the Library. The RMO was asked to formulate further suggestions to handle this issue for the next meeting.
The meeting closed at 4.10 p.m.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 21 October at 2.15pm in the Moot Court Room, Law Faculty.